Every day, many Americans pack food for school and work. As your spouse and kids run in and out of the kitchen grabbing their breakfast and lunch on the go, have you ever wondered whether the food they are going to eat will stay healthy for them later?
Also, have you ever worried about how your kids should handle the food until lunch time? This week, I have uncovered a few tips recommended by USDA to help you understand the proper way to pack a cold lunch.
So let’s begin:
- Do use insulated soft lunch bags or boxes. Although metal, plastic or doubling paper bags are also safe as long as they are kept cold, I think the insulated ones are already inexpensive and safe.
- Do use reusable ice packs, or frozen packaged fruit juice to help keep things cold.
- Do allow cooked foods to cool completely before packing. Cook ahead of time. Also try dividing the food into smaller portions using shallow containers so that it can be chilled faster.
- Do follow this restaurant tip: when in doubt, throw them out.
- Don’t over-pack. Pack only the necessary amount of perishable food.
- Don’t underestimate the variety of non-perishable food that can stay at room temperature. Pack these non-perishables for lunch to avoid temperature problems. If foods are displayed at the grocery store without refrigeration, they can be carried that way too as whole package.
Read more for a list of common foods and their storage requirement
- Don’t let food temperature go over 40F at lunch time. Over-chill your lunch the night before to about 33 to 34F. Try storing it towards the back of the refrigerator. You may also freeze some sandwiches. Just add lettuce, tomatoes and mayonnaise later.
- Don’t leave your lunch bag near heat or in direct sun, and instruct your kids to follow that policy.
So there you have it, just a few tips to help you get the best nutrition safely to your family.
Also, we have tested the hot new freeze-and-go lunch bag by Packit. The result is posted on Lunch Bites on Facebook, click and “Like” the page on the right and check it out.
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By PK, We Live Concepts
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Nearly everyone has eaten a messy sandwich. It can be tasty and yet unappetizing. A properly wrapped sandwich enhances a meal, and makes it much more enjoyable. Sandwiches are some of the most popular food for lunch at work or school. After publishing the article Pressed Sandwich – An Easy Sandwich that Shows Love and Care last week, I thought it might also be useful to share a post on how to wrap a sandwich. To stay earth friendly, I turned to the use of wax paper. I discovered a good way to do it…
First, make sure the width of the sandwich is no wider than half the width of the wax paper. You may need to cut it to fit the desired dimension. Then follow these steps.
- Step 1: Tear off some wax paper in a length at least 1 ½ to 2 times the length of the sandwich
- Step 2: Place the sandwich on the center of the paper.
- Step 3: Bring the opposite width-sides of the wax paper together above the sandwich and roll them down to form tight folds
- Step 4: Fold the open ends of the paper down beneath the sandwich
- Step 5: To make the package extra secure, I recommend either double-wrapping the sandwich with another piece of wax paper or wrapping the package with a real cloth-napkin which you may also use during eating.
It may not be perfect, but a properly wrapped sandwich will definitely add pleasure to a meal. Do you have a secret way to wrap? Feel free to share it with us.
~Have you eaten yet?
By PK, We Live Concepts
Lately, I’ve wanted to learn how to make wrapped sandwiches for lunch. Being new to making this type of sandwich, I searched around for a proper way to do it. I figured I could pack all kinds of fun and healthy ingredients, as well as my left-overs, in it. Here was what I found…
I learned a few wrap-rules…
- Combine vegetables and protein with vibrant colors and flavors.
- Precook and chill ingredients ahead of time
- Portion ingredients in advance to save time
- Blanch hard vegetables such as carrots
- Use whole wheat tortillas
- Chill mayonnaise or sandwich spread
- Minimize wet ingredients
- Wear disposable gloves when handling uncooked food
- Arrange ingredients and utensils within reach. Place ingredients in separate trays or bowls. A silicon spatula is especially useful.
- Lay down one tortilla with parchment paper cut to size underneath.
- To create a moisture barrier, begin by spreading sandwich spread onto the bottom half of the tortilla. then lay down well-dried lettuce, then the remaining ingredients
- Avoid over-packing
- Make the first fold from the bottom just about reaching half way
- Fold in the two sides
- Then tightly roll up the tortilla all the way
- Repeat the same wrapping technique but this time with the parchment paper wrapping the sandwich
- Keep the sandwich chilled
- Consume within 1 day
With these rules in mind, I think I am going to come up with some off-the-wall recipes. How do you usually make your wrapped sandwich? Do you have a tip to share? I would like to hear it too.