Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Lunch Box Thermoses

With the weather turned cooler, I'm really using thermoses for my daughters' school lunches. Not only do they get a healthy, hot lunch every day, it's so easy to give them dinner leftovers or soup. 

Here's a few tips:

- Get a smaller thermos. I really like the 5-inch high thermoses. They are the perfect size for kids and fit easily into any kind of lunch box. The last couple of years I was using the thermoses sold by Laptop Lunchbox but not only was they expensive, even the smaller size is just too tall. My kids don't want that much of any one item and it's harder to eat from that tall bottle, especially for younger kids. And, if you don't fill the thermos all the way, the food cools down too fast. (The smaller Laptop Lunch ones are great for adults though.)

- Get a stainless steel thermos--plastic leaches chemicals into the food when hot food is put into it (which is why I don't recommend the 'heat and go' type thermoses).

- Fill the thermos with hot, hot water while you are heating the food. This will help the thermos to heat up and the food will stay hot longer.

- If heating food in the microwave, I find out how much food fits in the thermos by filling it with water and pouring it into a measuring cup. Then when heating food in the morning, I fill the measuring cup to that level (my thermoses hold about 1 1/4 cups of food) and just nuke that. Never microwave in plastic -- chemicals leach into your food. Or of course, you can heat the food in a pot on the stove.

- Don't forget to pack a fork or spoon. (Woops -- have done that several times. Sorry kids!)

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