Picking an eco-friendly, BPA, and phthalate-free lunch box isn't all mom needs to do to keep her tot safe in the cafeteria this school year. According to a new study in Pediatrics, 9 out of 10 lunches packed by mom aren't safe to eat by the time kids get to their lunch period. Researchers tested the temperatures of 705 home-packed lunch bags at nine Texas child care centers and found that even those with an ice pack were too warm to be considered safe to eat.
Foods such as milk, meat, and sliced fruit need to be kept under 40 degrees to be considered safe. To create a safer lunch, freeze items like juice boxes, water, and milk, as well as soft cheeses, chicken salad, and other perishable items. Packing them in an insulated lunch box (or bag), including two ice packs, and ensuring that the bag is sealed tight will also help. When doing your back-to-school shopping, consider adding some of these 10 safer lunch box items to your list — your lil one's stomach will thank you!