Lunchbox Ideas and Mum Hacks For Hot Brisbane Days
Guest Blog written by Kylie at Kidgredients
It’s hot, it’s really, really hot! But kids still need lunches and they need to be kept cool! So what do you do as a parent to send lunches to school that are kept cool throughout the day? Whatever you can! And what are the best things to pack? Here’s some summer lunchbox ideas and tricks for ensuring your kid’s lunch stays cool and edible in the heat.
- First of all, make sure you have a good cooler bag and ice pack. Some work better than others, in fact when I reviewed them last year, only 3 kept food at a foodsafe temperature. When it comes to cooler bags, price is pretty much an indicator of quality. The three I can recommend are: So Young, medium Fridge-To-Go, and Apple and Mint.
- Pack cold food! If food is room temp when packed, the icepack and cooler bag have to work to get them down to a cool temp before keeping them cool. So chop your fruit and veggies the night before and put in the lunchbox in the fridge for maximum coldness come morning time.
- Some things can go in frozen! In summer, a frozen muffin will defrost despite the cooler bag and icepack before lunch time. They have the added benefit of keeping other things cold. Freeze some watermelon chunks or other fruits, they will still be extra cold come lunchtime.
- Try to keep food light and fun in summer, as when it’s hot, kids are drinking a lot more and the heat can mean they don’t want to eat heavy food, so think salads with a protein hit rather than heavy sandwiches.
- The best drink for kids at school is always water, so make sure their bottle is big enough to get them through at least their morning session. If your child isn’t drinking enough water, try adding a piece or two of cut up fruit to the water to infuse the flavour.
- Remind your kids to zip up the cooler bag after removing their recess or crunch and sip, otherwise they are losing valuable coldness! Such a simple step is often forgotten and can mean their food warms up a lot easier than it would otherwise.
- Make your own fruit slushies. By blitzing some apple juice and berries, and freezing in reusable yoghurt pouches, you have homemamde slushies when stored in the cooler bag with lunch. They are much healthier than the canteen slushies available at our school. Do the same with yoghurt and berries, it ends up the consistency of softserve by lunch time!
- Invest in some containers with freezable cores, gel packs, or freezable lids, so that snacks that don’t fit in the cooler bag can stay super cool. You can also get insulated sleeves and pouches for yoghurt pouches which will help to keep yoghurt or slushies cold if they don’t fit in your cooler bag.
- If your child likes really cold water, some bottles such as the Oasis bottles, ecococoon and klean kanteen insulated bottles will keep water cold for up to 24 hours. Buy a skinny ice cube mold and you can pop ice cubes into the bottle to ensure it is really cold. Don’t put insulated bottles in the fridge though, it doesn’t do anything, so store the water in another bottle in the fridge to get it cold and pour into insulated bottles before leaving.
I hope that these cool summer lunchbox ideas and hints help you to pack lunch in hot weather and keep it cool!
Kylie blogs about kids and family foods and is famous for her epic lunch box reviews. She loves packing lunches and helping others to pack fun, healthy lunches. You can also find her inspiring parents around the world on her Facebook at page facebook.com/kidgredients.