Some fresh produce on the table top

Ice Packs in Lunch Boxes: Are They Necessary?


Getting your child's lunch ready is only half of the struggle. We've all experienced what happens when you leave a sandwich out for too long. Dried, stale bread with the potential for bacteria to develop on it. Let's take a look at why we need ice packs in our lunch bags, as well as some tips for keeping meals cooler for longer.


Why Do You Need Ice Packs in Lunch Bags?

 Nice Packs Maxi ice packs

Credit: Nice Packs


The end of summer is a time of new beginnings for everyone. The start of a new school year, new episodes of our favorite TV show, and a new football season.

Packing lunches is something that students, sports fanatics, and outdoor enthusiasts all have in common. However, rather than using an insulated lunch box, some people still bring perishable food in an old-fashioned brown paper bag.

We spend a lot of time pinning healthy, balanced lunch ideas that are both fun to pack and tasty to eat. Regardless of what you pack, making sure your homemade lunch is cool, safe, and healthy to consume when it's time for lunch is important. A heated turkey sandwich that is falling apart is not only unappealing, but it could also be harmful to eat. Foodborne diseases can be contracted when food is exposed to temperatures above or below 39.2°F for more than 2 hours, resulting in diarrhea, vomiting, fever, and, in some circumstances, a trip to the hospital.

Insulated lunch boxes and ice packs keep food at a safe temperature and avoid the spread of foodborne diseases that can spread fairly quickly. If you're taking a packed lunch to school or work, you'll need a plan for keeping your food cold.


In conclusion,


1) Ice packs keep our food at a safe temperature.


2) They keep the food cold which keeps it from rotting too soon. As a result of this, our meals can last longer.


Tips To Keep Your Food Cold for Longer


1) Use Insulated Lunch Bags

 A lady packing her lunch bag and including a Nice Pack

Credit: Best Products


It's time to upgrade from your brown paper lunch bag to an insulated lunch bag that will keep your food at a safe temperature. In the summer, an insulated cooler bag is essential.

When shopping for a cooler bag consider the number of hours between packing your lunchboxes and when your child or you will eat lunch. The food in your cooler bag must be able to stay cold for this long. So, if you pack lunchboxes at 7 a.m. and your child eats lunch at 1 p.m., your cooler bag must be able to keep food cold for at least 6 hours.

They are available in a variety of shapes, sizes, and designs. Many of these lunch bags feature a lot of storage space and extra pockets. They usually consist of an outer layer, an inner layer, and an insulating intermediate layer that helps to reflect the core temperature back, keeping it cooler for longer.


2) Use Reusable Ice Packs

 Someone showing their well packed lunch bag with a nice pack in the lid

Credit: Nice Packs


When carrying a cold lunch, using reusable ice packs or freezer packs with your insulated lunch bag is almost mandatory. You want to make sure it's completely frozen, not just cold.

It works to keep the temperature of your lunch cool while you wait till it's lunchtime. Food stays colder when you use more than one way to keep it cold. Ice packs are readily accessible in most places and are reasonably priced. Nice Pack has the best ice packs if you want something that doesn't create a watery mess and that will keep your food cool and fresh for longer.

Most lunch bags have a dedicated space for a slim ice pack. It is either a zippered pocket inside the bag or somewhere inside the bag. You can place the ice pack on top of the meal or at the bottom of the bag as well. In any case, having lunch box ice packs while traveling or waiting for lunch can make a big difference.


3) Freeze It

 A lady keeping her lunch in the fridge till she is ready to add to her lunch pack

Credit: Sound Health and Lasting Wealth


Another option is to keep your lunch refrigerated. After you've filled your lunch box with food, simply place it in the refrigerator. You can keep the contents cool this way. When you're ready to head out, simply toss your lunch box in your insulated bag with an ice pack and your lunch will remain cool until lunchtime.

To keep food cold, invest in stainless-steel food containers, such as a reusable bento or any other freezer-safe container. When it comes to keeping our food safe and tasty, stainless steel works best.


4) Freeze Water Bottles

 Someone adding water to the freezer so that the water can freeze

Credit: iStock


Everyone carries a water bottle to work or to school. Why not make the best of this? Simply freeze a water bottle overnight and pack it in your lunch bag to get the most out of it. It's a terrific way to keep the temperature down, and when it's time to drink it, it will still be cold and thawed.

A frozen beverage bottle, while not a replacement for an ice pack, is a great way to keep your lunchbox chilled. Look for safe and non-toxic reusable bottles.


5) Keep Your Lunch Bag Out of the Sun

 A very healthy lunch of grapes, carrots and a sandwich with lettuce, cheese and tomato on a desk waiting to be eaten

Credit: iStock


Request your kids to keep their lunch bags out of direct sunlight or if it is your lunch, make sure that it is stored in a cool corner in the office. This will prolong the life of the contents within the lunch bag as well as ensure that the ice packs last for a longer time.


Additional Food-Safety Measures


Take the following precautions to avoid getting sick and to keep your lunch safe:


1) Be Wary of Cross-Contamination

 Some diary, vegetables, fish, poultry and meat all mixed together on one chopping board

Credit: FoodDocs


After preparing raw meat, poultry, or fish, thoroughly wash cutting boards, counter surfaces, and utensils with hot water to kill bacteria like salmonella.

Consider using one chopping board for vegetables and fruits and another for raw meat and poultry.


2) Practice Proper Handwashing Techniques

 A person washing their hands thoroughly with soap and water

Credit: hxdbzxy


Always wash your hands before starting to prepare lunch. Also, teach your youngster how to properly wash their hands before eating their meal.




Ice packs vary depending on the lunch box you choose. So be cautious and don't be afraid to splurge. Besides, it's better to be safer than land in the hospital due to a food-borne illness.

For the ultimate dry ice packs for lunch that will last for hours at an end, you can choose Nice Pack's long-lasting ice packs. Check us out today.