Last year when I admitted my son in a school, I was both excited as well as apprehensive about my son’s new life. As a toddler he would grab anything and put it in his mouth, which meant I had to be watching him 24×7. But when a child starts going to school, the teacher’s attention is limited and diverted, as they have to manage many more crazy children like yours own. As a parent it becomes important to understand what kind of dangers your child can be exposed to in school in terms of Food Safety, health and Hygiene and what are the effective steps you must take to ensure your child remains healthy and bright.
The first and foremost thing a child should be taught at school is to wash hands before eating lunch. Hands are a storehouse of germs and therefore, the hands should be scrubbed vigorously with soap before coming in contact with food or otherwise there are chances your child may fall prey to foodborne diseases. Also the kids must be taught to wash hands after toilet or after touching an animal. Habit must be inculcated to immediately wash hands when a child blows his nose, coughs or sneezes in hand. If a kid fails to do this he may spread the virus and make other fellow schoolmates also sick. The use of tissue papers and sanitizers should be promoted right from the beginning.
The second important factor to be looked into is the food which your child have it in school. Clearly home brought food is the safest bet. The school canteen sold food can never be trusted as it may be contaminated. High standards are to be maintained before preparing food specially for this vulnerable group. Contamination can happen at any stage be is preparation, transportation, serving and even storage. Therefore, it is advisable that home brought food should always be encouraged. But the question arises is the home brought lunch box really safe?
You may take all the pain and pack your child’s lunch box for school and if someone tells you that your kid became sick because of the food you had packed for him. That’s like the scariest horror story for a parent. But this is not a far fetched hypothetical case. This happens way too frequently.The lunch packed for school may turn bad after 2 hours of packing if the food is not kept in the right temperatures. If the food is kept at room temperature it is in the danger zone – between 4 degree to 60 degree Celsius the growth of bacteria grows many folds during room temperature. Therefore, insulated stainless steel tiffin boxes is recommended which maintains the temperature of the food and keeps it from going bad. The plastic lunch boxes are also under the scan as they are also believed to be unsafe for handling food.
My mother used to wrap the roti in cloth or even aluminium foil and pack it for lunch. But over years the studies have shown how using aluminium foil can affect our life. It causes danger to bones and brains.Also using the same cloth for food can carry germs which contaminates your fresh food. Therefore good quality food wrapping paper must be used to wrap food which helps it from becoming soggy and retains the freshness of food. It also keeps germs at bay.
Some of these small things can go a long way in keeping our kids safe from illness. The wellbeing of your family is in your hands so why not take that extra mile to ensure our kids are safe in school.