While I am not kosher, many friends and my brother-in-law’s family are, plus my children have attended kosher schools in the past (Central Queens Y and Forest Hills Jewish Center). So, I’ve had to make sure that I pack kosher lunches for them. If you aren’t sure what kosher is, according to Chabad, “Kosher foods are divided into three categories: meat, dairy and pareve (can also be spelled parve). One of the basic principles of kashrut is the total separation of meat and dairy products. Meat and dairy may not be cooked or eaten together. To ensure this, the kosher kitchen contains separate sets of dishes, utensils, cookware, and separate preparation areas for meat and dairy. A third category, pareve, is comprised of foods which are neither meat nor dairy and may therefore be eaten with either.” More details here at Chabad.org.
So here are some ideas for packing either kosher dairy/parve lunches for kosher classrooms or camp. Always check packaging to make sure the kosher dairy or parve symbols are there. In my youngest child’s school they had two snacks a day plus lunch, so I would just pack them together. I used the Laptop Lunches system and when the weather was warmer, I packed it in either a soft lunch box with an ice pack or a PackIt Lunch Bag.
Some ideas from lunches that I’ve made my own child:
Tips for packing a Kosher Dairy or Parve Lunch
1. Make sure you have a good place to store your lunch. You don’t need to spend a bundle. Before school or camp starts, look for a deal on Zulily or Amazon or check your local big box store. I’ve found great containers at Target and cute lunchboxes. I keep going back to the laptop lunches set I bought for my oldest son a few years ago. He couldn’t open it himself, so I had to use something else. However, when my youngest started his special ed preschool last year I used the set because they were opening everything for him. I’m not sure if I’ll use it for this upcoming year, I will have to see what the school is doing and if they will open it for him.
For the fall, I’ve also been eying yumbox.
There’s the regular version for kids.
or the new Panino version for kids and adults that will fit a sandwich.
Yumbox Leakproof Bento Lunch Box Container (Tutti Frutti Blue) for Kids and Adults
2. Stock up on dairy or parve foods your kid will eat. Making that fancy sandwich will do you no good if your child would rather have cheese and crackers with some fruit for lunch. My youngest is ultra picky, but will always eat fruit, yogurt, and crackers — which is why they end up in his lunches often.
3. You don’t need to be a crafty/pinterest Expert parent and cut your child’s food into shapes or cutesy animals. If you really want to jazz up their lunch, use bento toothpicks and silicone baking cups, which I also use to divide larger containers.
And this is what I store the lunches in:
And yes, it will stay cold. My son leaves at 7:30 AM and comes back at 3PM and it’s still cold.
This post contains affiliate links. We get a small amount if you purchase through us. Thank you to Esti of Primetime Parenting for checking the article to make sure the explanations were accurate.