It's that time of year again. School is back in session, and everyone is transitioning from the ease of summer to a schedule jammed with homework and afterschool activities. The USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service encourages parents and educators to take advantage of this time of new beginnings to teach kids the importance of food safety and how to protect themselves from foodborne illness.

"Children have a higher risk for foodborne illness, and they tend to have much more severe reactions to pathogens than adults," said FSIS Administrator Al Almanza. "Teaching them how to protect themselves means we can reduce tragic illnesses now and continue to improve the public health of the next generation."

Involving kids in packing their own lunches is a great way to start conversations about food safety in the home, and allowing kids to take part in the activity means they'll remember the four important steps—Clean, Separate, Cook, Chill—better. When making lunches together,

Here are more pointers to keep in mind.

Source: USDA