Hot lunch ideas for your child’s thermos

There are several good reasons to pack a hot lunch for your child in a thermos.

  1. It’s Healthier- My kid’s cafeteria actually has a decent menu with lots of fruits and vegetables, but still, there is nothing as healthy as a home-cooked meal.  One thing that I am starting to notice is that my kids behave much better when they are eating healthier foods, that are low in sugar.   Many “cold lunches” are filled with processed snacks that also aren’t the healthiest.
  2. It’s less wasteful- Something that has been bothering me lately is how many foods have excess packaging.   I try to use compostable packaging whenever I can, but when it comes to helping the environment, packing a homecooked meal in a thermos creates no extra throwaway waste.
  3. It’s less expensive – If you’re on a budget, making homemade meals at home is a great way to save money!  School lunches aren’t as expensive as eating out, but they can add up if you get them for multiple children, every day.
  4. You’re cooking anyway-  These days, there are so many shortcuts you can take when preparing healthy meals for your family.  Grocery pick-up, and grocery delivery services, slow cookers, and Instant Pots, and tons of meal prepping tools are out there to help busy parents make healthy meals for their families.   If you’re making dinner, why not just make a double batch and have lunch for the family the next day?  You can also make a few extra meals on Sunday to have for lunch during the week.  There are lots of meals that last several days in the fridge.

Here are some tips to consider when packing your kids a hot lunch in their Thermos

  1. Know your kids likes and dislikes.  Pack meals in your Thermos that are tried and true in your house.   I would feel so bad if my child ended up being hungry at school because they didn’t like their lunch.
  2. If you are packing thermos lunches for a large family, consider putting the soup, stew or chili in the slow cooker before bed.  That way, you won’t have to spend a bunch of time heating meals up in the microwave all morning.
  3. You can send pulled meat in your child’s thermos with a bun.
  4. Consider keeping your thermos in a warm spot– or you can heat your thermos in boiling water before filling it with food. Heating your thermos will help keep your food warm until lunch.
  5. Hot breakfast items like eggs, waffles, pancakes, sausage, and bacon can be packed in your child’s thermos too!

Here are some delicious, kid-friendly recipes that would make excellent thermos lunches for your kids, and parents too! 

Click on either the recipe name or the photo to get directed to each recipe.

1.  Pasta e Fagioli soup 

Chicken Cordon Bleu Quinoa Casserole 

3. Homemade spaghetti-os

4. Homemade freezable Chicken Nuggets 

5. Super Easy Mac and Cheese

6. Applesauce Pulled Chicken 

7. Peanut Butter Noodles 

8. Lasagna Soup

9. Zucchini Nuggets 

10. Sweet Baked Beans Chili 

11. Creamy Chicken Soup with Rice 

12. Pizza Chicken 

13. Beef and Barley Soup 

14. Sloppy Joe’s

15.  Cheeseburger Quinoa Casserole 

16. Shepherds Pie 

17. Chili Mac and Cheese Bites 

18. Easy Weeknight Jambalaya 

19. Mini Breakfast Pizzas 

20. Pizza Chili 

21 Parmesan Mac and Cheese 



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