We are in a similar situation, but ds, 11, does not have the option of buying a lunch at his school. Therefore, he brings lunch everyday. This is what we started doing the end of last school year (and will resume again tomorrow!).
We bought a thermos for each of the boys. In the morning, they cook up what they want to bring. In the meantime, they put hot water in the thermos, per the directions that came with it. This heats the thermos up. They then put the food in the thermos just from being cooked. Example: they like tortellini. They boil the tortellini and put it straight in the thermos after they drain it. The thermos is already heated up from the hot water and the food is VERY hot when they put it in.
I don’t know exactly how hot it actually was at lunch (usually cooked about 7 or 7:15 and lunch at 12), but they kept doing it, even ds13 at the time (who is VERY, shall we say, discriminating). When ds11 and I were coming up with lunch ideas for this week, 4 out of 5 require the thermos, so it must work pretty well! Good luck and please share any other ideas you may get – we are always looking for something different to try!
Barb in Central Florida.
“If you can’t find me, I’m either in the car or at the hockey rink!”
Which type of thermos cups were you using Sharla ? I have short thermos type cups that have a screw on lid. I have sent leftovers in them and my kids say they are still fairly warm for lunch. I put boiling water in them in the morning and let them sit while I heat up whatever they are taking. I heat the food up really really hot and then dump the boiling water out and put the food in. This seems to work.
As far as something like a burrito or hot pocket I have heard of hot packs for lunch boxes now. I’m not sure how that would work if you also needed to keep other items cold. I haven’t used this type of thing. Our intermediate and high school lunches are either $1.50 or $2.25 (for double entree or another larger lunch). One complaint I have is that even the larger lunches (our 17 year old son buys these) still only included an 8 oz. drink.
That is not enough drink for a large lunch. Another complaint I have is the elementary lunch is not enough food for bigger kids. My 11 year old will be in his last year of elementary school this year and he packed last year for this reason. I think the lunch guidelines need to be upgraded for older kids.
I came in at the tail end of this conversation, so forgive me if I’m repeating. Dh is in construction. After breaking a few glass thermoses I had to admit they were not a viable alternative. Stomping my feet all the way to the register, I bought one of the expensive steel thermoses (I think they run about $30).
In all honesty, last winter he complained that at lunch time his soup was too hot. The one problem I could forsee is that it has a narrow opening.
And I don’t know if they make them wider. Good luck. It was a good investment for us.
I would love it if the thermos ever came back home again! I have stopped buying the fancy little lunch boxes, they never make it back home. I use good old brown paper sacks. I went to a restaurant supply store and got little cups with lids for things like jello and pudding cups, cups of diced fruit, dip, etc. They work well. Although if making jello make the jigglers recipe and put in the cup. Regular jello melts and gets all over.