Are you back in the hectic routine of packing warm or cold school lunches? No need to stress about how to keep perishable food safe to eat. Here are some helpful and easy tips for keeping those lunches WARM or COLD until it’s time for your kiddos to eat lunch! 😊
The best way to pack a warm lunch is to first invest in a good leak-proof insulated food container. Then you can just heat up leftovers, or whatever warm food your kids enjoy eating and send it with them.
We have both the Thermos FOOGO 10 oz. Stainless Steel Vacuum Insulated Food Jar, and the Thermos Funtainer 10 oz. Food Jar. They are both great options for keeping food warm on the go until lunchtime. One other tip to make sure that the food stays nice and warm, take a few minutes to preheat the inside of the jars and then add your hot food.
To Preheat Your Food Jars…
Warm up some water in the microwave to boiling or very hot. Carefully pour the water in the empty container and close the lid. Let the water heat the container for a few minutes while you warm up the food you’d like to pack. Then just pour the water out, replace with the food, and the close lid. That’s it!
(P.S. I have tested this for myself at home by using this method for heating up piping hot soup in the morning and it is still very warm at lunchtime. It’s not super hot, but definitely warm.)
Use leftovers or purposely make extra dinner for school lunches. Here are some great WARM lunch ideas your kiddos may enjoy…
Use at least two cold sources for safely packing cold lunches, plus an insulated lunch bag. As an idea, use a frozen juice box or water bottle, plus a frozen gel ice pack to keep perishable food chilled below 44 degrees. The ice packs I use are these Fit & Fresh Cool Coolers – the slim fit is easy to pack and they’ve lasted a very long time with no issues.
In addition, the Thermos insulated food containers can also be used to keep food COLD! Both the highly rated Thermos Funtainer and Thermos FOOGO say they keep food hot for 5 hours and cold for 7 hours. For maximum thermal efficiency, pre-chill the inside by filling with ice water for a few minutes before filling with cold food.
Looking for Budget-Friendly Food Containers?
I also wanted to mention the convenient and inexpensive food containers I like to use for packing my kiddos lunches. This 14 piece Fit & Fresh Kids Set is awesome to have on hand! I love that it includes a good assortment of sizes plus it has two containers with removable ice pack lids to keep items cold. Just freeze the insert overnight and place inside the lid to use. More Fit & Fresh sets are found here.
Also, if school lunch packing has gotcha down 😩 , be sure to check out this post for some winning tips to make your life much easier when it comes to packing lunches!
What do your kids take for lunch? Do you have any great lunchbox tips or ideas to share? Please let us know in comments!
Written by Lina for Hip2Save. Lina is a proud mom of 2 small kids who loves photography, all holidays, cooking, thrift store makeovers, bargain shopping, and DIY makeovers. Her goal is to create a beautiful life and stylish home on a dime!