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How To Pack The Best Lunch Ever

When it comes to packed lunches, there’s a lot that can go wrong. Soggy sandwiches, crushed chips, and warm cheeses can quickly ruin a lunchtime experience. And aside from just being a bummer, a packed lunch fiasco can even be unsafe! If refrigerated foods aren’t kept cold enough in your lunch bag, they can move into a temperature range that promotes bacterial growth. Yuck!

But packing a lunch that is both safe and delicious is a breeze if you follow a few simple steps!

My first rule of thumb for a packed lunch is to freeze what you can. A homemade smoothie, a juice box, fruit cocktail, or yogurt can all be frozen to help keep your lunch cold, and should thaw out just in time for lunch!

Read More: Lunch Box Smoothies, Homemade Frozen Fruit Cocktail Cups, Homemade Breakfast Pops

That leads us to the first step of packing your lunchbox…

Layer 1 – Frozen Item

A frozen juice pouch or box works great, but you could use an ice pack instead if you prefer.

Layer 2 – Refrigerated Entree and Sides

Next, place your sandwich or entree on top of your frozen item of choice. Place your sides (like a fruit cup, veggies, string cheese, etc.) next to the entree.

Layer 3 – Another Frozen Item

Place an ice pack or other frozen item on top of the second layer. Your refrigerated items are now “sandwiched” in between a layer of frozen items to help keep them cool until lunch time!

Layer 4 – Non-Refrigerated Items

Finally, stack your items that don’t need to be kept cool on top. This could include crackers, fruit snacks, chips, or whatever.

Here’s a cross-section view of the layers, just for added clarity…

Now that you know the method to use for packing up your lunch box, all that’s left to do is decide exactly what you’re going to pack!

Here are a few links to tasty lunchbox-friendly recipes to help get you inspired (and maybe a bit hungry!)

Lunchbox Recipes and Ideas

Mini Corndog Muffins

from One Good Thing by Jillee

Bunny-Shaped Quesadilla Wrap

from Good Housekeeping

Sweet Potato Black Bean Burritos

from Hungry Happens

Rainbow Vegetable Spring Rolls

from The Kitchn

Lunchbox Pizza Quesadilla

from Food.com

Ladybug Pasta Lunch

from Momables

Spinach & Bacon Mini Quiches

from Laura Fuentes

Peanut Butter Banana Wraps

from So How’s It Taste

Healthy Buffalo Chicken Wrap

from The Creative Bite

Teriyaki Chicken Lunch Bowls

from Momables

Homemade “Hot Pockets”

from Happy Money Saver

Pizza Buns

from Simple as That


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    Hi, I’m Jillee!

    I believe we should all love the place we call home and the life we live there. Since 2011, I’ve been dedicated to making One Good Thing by Jillee a reliable and trustworthy resource for modern homemakers navigating the everyday challenges of running a household. Join me as I share homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make life easier so you can enjoy it more!

    Every day I share creative homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make your life easier and more enjoyable!

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