Sure, you could buy ice packs or even make your own — but you don't have to. There are plenty of lunch items that can be frozen and packed, keeping the rest of your lunch cool as they thaw. Even better? At the end of the day there's nothing extra to schlep home in your lunch bag.
1. A bottled drink
Freeze a bottle of water, juice, tea or iced coffee and sip your still-chilled drink alongside your lunch.
2. A container of soup
If you're freezing soup in portions anyway, let it thaw in your lunch bag and keep the rest of the contents cool until it's time to warm it up for lunch.
3. A burrito, wrap or calzone
Wraps and pockets are easy to freeze and make probably the most delicious "ice packs" ever. Here are a few recipes to try:
4. A yogurt, fruit or pudding cup
Individually-packaged cups are easy to freeze and pop into your lunch bag without worrying about leakage.
5. A smoothie
Blend up a big batch of smoothies and freeze it in portions. After it has thawed for a bit, just shake it up and sip it as a mid-morning snack.
Do you have any other ideas for lunch items that can double as "ice packs"?