20 answers

Sending Hot Lunch to School

It's only been a week since my son started preschool but I'm already sick of sending him sandwiches for lunch! So far I have alternated each day between PB&J and bologna sandwiches. I would like to be able to send him something like chicken nuggets or macaroni & cheese but I'm not sure when to cook them and how to store them. Can you all give me some ideas on sending "hot" foods. My son is actually not very picky about the temperature of his food and would probably eat them cold, but I'm just not sure about the safety. Thank you in advance for any ideas!

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Featured Answers

If you heat the food up in the morning & put it in a thermos container meant for hot drinks or hot food it will stay warm until lunch time. MY oldest son takes a thermos with soup for lunch everyday and this works very well.

1 mom found this helpful

I'm having the same dilemma....I've done mac'n cheese in a thermos w/chicken nuggets once this week. The other day lunchables and ham & cheese rolled up. I also send PB&J on crackers.

I would love to hear what other moms' have done too.

More Answers

I just want to add that while I am heating the nuggets in the morning in the microwave, I fill the thermos w/ hot water and let it sit with the lid on until nuggets are ready. Then pour out the water, wipe the inside w/ a paper towel and put the nuggets in. It will stay warm for hours. Then I put ketchup in a little round ziploc plastic container with a lid. My kid is picky and this about all he will eat.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi there, I am having the same issue with trying to come up with lunch ideas. For a hot lunch, I did get a small thermos container that is meant to keep lunches hot for 5 -6 hours (you put hot water in first to temper it). I have put mac and cheese, pasta, and even tried soup. A couple times I've also stuck some veggies on top. You can get the containers at Walmart or Target; just look where they have storage containers (or maybe camping gear, etc) I hope that helps!

1 mom found this helpful

If you heat the food up in the morning & put it in a thermos container meant for hot drinks or hot food it will stay warm until lunch time. MY oldest son takes a thermos with soup for lunch everyday and this works very well.

1 mom found this helpful

HI C.,

Sandwiches are not the only way to go with lunch boxes. Use leftovers ie cut last night's chicken into to bite-sized chunks, add some cheese chunks and baby carrots. That's a great nourishing lunch - and so easy. We send out a newsletter twice a month that includes a Cool Lunch Box Menu. Also have a bunch of lunch recipes on our website, which is about to be rebooted in a new format - so please check it out next week for more ideas (www.familyfoodexperts.com). Hot lunches are great. Again, leftovers - try to get away from chicken nuggets and mac and cheese. A warm or cold pasta salad - edamame beans - there are so many other ways to feed your preschooler. Feel free to email me with your thoughts... for the health of families,

I get tired of sending sandwiches too. For a treat I would buy the cooked publix chicken tenders, heat them up right before we leave the house, put them in tin foil and they would be a little warm or sort of room temp but not cold. Also make pasta salad with tricolor noodles, cheese, pepperoni and italian dressing. The kids love it. Good Luck
T. with AuPairCare/Live-In Childcare

Hi C.,
I like to prepare wraps (chicken, tuna, ect) with the tortilla, chicken strips inside or tuna salad, lettuce and a bit of cheese). My kids love them. Another idea are croissants, you just put some cheese with a lunch meet or whatever you want in them. Yes, left overs are a great idea, by the container Thermos. Make sure you put lots of fruits, nutricional bars (quaker, kellogs, ect) water. Good luck and happy lunch boxing packaging!

You have to heat in the morning and place in a container, like plastic glad containers with lids. Soup, mac and cheese, (chicken fingers go ahead and send cold...) any veggies will remain warm til lunch time.
Otherwise, most schools do have a microwave. If that's ok with you.

Hello Fellow Mom,

Yes! I just went out to Target and bought my 7 year old and 3 year old THERMOS containers from Target. They were a bit pricey at $19.99 each but well worth it. They are metal material(stainless steel, food safe)and have worked amazingly. I have sent my kids with macaroni and cheese, rice & chicken with vegetables, chicken nuggests, lasagna,etc. Im very very happy with how the food stays warm, the kids get nutrious meals, and the THERMOS are easy to clean. I usually heat their portion in the microwave about 10 minutes before we head out the door. Make sure they eat with a plastic spoon of course. I personally dont like metal to metal fork contact(like scratching the blackboard feeling). Both my kids have said that their lunches have been warm not hot, and that they love it! For clean up, I always use soap and warm water. I hope this helps. :)

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