After-School Food Safety

Contributors: Esther Ellis, MS, RDN, LDN
reheating dinner


During the school year, many families face busy schedules packed with after-school activities. Don't let food poisoning throw a wrench into your packed itinerary, with just a few food safety tips, you can help keep your family healthy and active.

  • If your child has an extra-curricular activity directly after school, they may not have time to return home for a snack. Send older kids to school with a nutritious after-school snack such as unsalted nuts, whole grain crackers or whole fruit that can be kept at room temperature. Avoid sending items that require refrigeration, unless your child is able to store them in a refrigerator at school.
  • With busy after-school activities, you may be serving dinner late, or family members may be eating at different times throughout the evening. Remember to properly refrigerate and reheat dinner, rather than letting it sit out for several hours at a time.
  • One of the best things you can do to reduce your risk of food poisoning is to properly wash your hands. In fact, proper hand washing may eliminate a large percentage of food poisoning cases and significantly reduce the spread of the common cold. Always wash your hands before eating or preparing food and encourage your children to do the same.

By keeping these tips in mind, you can help improve your family’s food safety, even with a busy after-school schedule!

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