Pack a safe lunch box

Do's, don'ts when packing your child's school lunch


JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Each year, one-in-three Americans get food poisoning, many of them children. Packing a child's lunch may seem like a healthier option than the school cafeteria, but your healthy intentions could end up getting your child sick.

So how do you pack a lunch that's safe for your kids?

Studies show the best way to keep lunches safe is to always have an ice pack or two with meats or dairy products. Use plastic wrap for foods that need to remain cool and use an insulated lunch box rather than a bag to help regulate temperature.

Another way to pack a safe lunch is putting in just enough food for a lunchtime meal. Then you won't have to worry about the temperature and safety of leftovers.

You can freeze juice boxes and use them as freezer packs. By lunchtime, the juice should be melted and perfect for drinking.

These small changes can play a big role in making your child's food safe to eat.

The USDA has more advice for parents and guardians to help keep "bag" lunches safe.