Hot/Cold Lunchboxes for School

Updated on June 29, 2009
M.E. asks from Fort Lauderdale, FL
7 answers

My son's soon-to-be classroom does not have a fridge or microwave. What are some good lunchbox choices that will keep food warm or cold for the day?

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answers from Fort Walton Beach on

I was going to ask a question close to this. My son is going to kindergarten soon and we need ideas.

My friend says she makes individual containers of applesauce and yogurt, then freezes them. Saves on the cost of buying individual packs and saves on waste. She freezes grapes too.

I am thinking about buying more of these "fit n' fresh" containers. I bought one to see what it was about. I'm able to fit a sandwich and two sides with a frozen block in the middle for lunch. Kinda weird, but a great concept. They have different containers. I also like the "lock n' lock". They are nice to have, especially w/ liquid type of food.

Good luck!

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answers from Orlando on

M.-- I just pack my son's lunchbox with one or two of those blue ice packs, and that seems to work well. He likes to bring a turkey and cheese sandwich, a drinkable yogurt (like Danimals, the Dannon brand), string cheese, apples or grapes (or applesauce), and sometimes some crackers. He also likes it when I make him a homemade "Lunchable" instead of a sandwich-- I fill a little Tupperware container with whole wheat Ritz crackers, turkey, and cheese. His favorite thing is when I use these little cookie cutters and cut little shapes out of the cheese. :) My sister's boys like PB and J, so on Sunday she makes the boys' sandwiches, puts them in Ziploc bags, and freezes them for the week. They thaw out by lunchtime. She also freezes Capri-Suns and puts them in their lunchboxes to act as cold packs-- they also thaw out by lunchtime. But my son likes water better than juice, so I just use the blue ice gel packs. If you want to pack something warm, a thermos works great. I just stay away from packing soup or spaghetti because my son makes a HUGE mess with that! It gets all over his face and shirt! :)

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answers from Miami on

Hi, M.. There are these small plastic thermos bottles with wide mouths that are good for keeping liquid foods like soup or stews warm, or for keeping cold stuff like smoothies cold.

You can also get an insulated lunch bag -- it is shaped similarly to one of those old brown paper lunch bags, and the top folds over the same way, but it's made out of an insulating material, and it will keep cold food cool for a few hours. If you have a cold sandwich, it will keep it cool until the child can eat it, as long as the insulated lunch bag is not left in the sunlight or in a very warm place.

Things like crackers and cheese, the stuff that comes in a Lunchables box, doesn't usually need to be refrigerated at all, but you still want to make sure that it's not kept in a warm place.

Pudding snacks, gogurts, stuff like that, doesn't need to be refrigerated, but of course, they are more fun to eat when they are cold. An insulated lunch bag should keep them cool enough to enjoy.

Happy school lunch to everyone!




answers from Orlando on

I use the Land's End lunch box too and love it! I bought two and they have lasted for years. And boys typically don't care much about bringing the same lunch box year after year:)



answers from Miami on

Freezer packs keep things very cold, so don't limit yourself. A good thermos will keep soup, Spaghettios, or some other "warm" food choice warm for a few hours.



answers from Miami on

I've always been ok w/ giving my son room temperature food. he hasn't ever gotten sick from this...
what I do is give him little tupperware containers of food like cooked pasta, cooked veggie, some fruit maybe a cheese stick.
the classroom is air conditioned and so if the food starts off cold (from your refrigerator) then by lunch time it's room temperature...
I even give chicken nuggets, fish sticks, applesauce (those individual containters), mac n' cheese, hard boiled egg, ravioli, tortellini, etc...



answers from Boca Raton on

Walmart sells cute shaped things to go in the freezer each night and them put it in his lunch to keep lunch cold for the day. There are toddler & bigger kid lunchables that go well in lunchboxes. Also packing cold stuff in lunchbox night before and sitting in refrig all night helps. Wide-mouth soup size thermoses keep any other lunch choices warm. Hope he likes his new school.

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