Updated on September 06, 2011
J.L. asks from Hoffman Estates, IL
12 answers

Hi Mamas,

Now that we are well under way into the schoo year..I've gotten into the routine of packing my daughter's lunch for school. She's been ok with peanut butter and jelly, however, I know she loves chicken noodle soup. Can you tell me what kind/brand thermos would work the best in keeping food warm so she could enjoy her soup? Where you'd purchase it? Also, it needs to be a small thermos since her lunch box isn't that big. Thanks!

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answers from Orlando on

We bought the one at Target that others have mentioned...but I had to have two due to having twins...honestly, it made me sick having to pay 14.00 each for those things but my one twin said he really enjoyed his chicken noodle soup the next day. He better like Star Wars for many years because he will be using it a long time for that price! LOL

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answers from Albuquerque on

Foogo, Funtainer or Pottery Barn. They're all great - but not exactly small. You can purchase the first two on Amazon.

Also, just because of how easily kids spill things, put less of the broth part in the thermos than you'd normally do when you serve soup. That way she gets more of the good stuff and is less likely to tip over a ton of liquid.

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answers from Dallas on

We have been having great success with the funtainer food thermos. We bought ours at Target. I boil some water when we get up and fill up the thermos to warm it up. Then right before we leave I heat up the food, dump the water and fill the thermos. We have tested it and it seems to last really well for about 4 hours, sometimes 5.

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answers from Phoenix on

Thermos makes a short, fat hot food container that is perfect for kid's lunches/lunch boxes. It's wide enough that it's easy to get a spoon or fork into, but small enough to fit into a kid's lunch box.

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answers from San Francisco on

I just sent 2 of my kids off with thermos lunches...scalloped potatoes and tri tip from last night's Labor Day bbq. We purchased the thermoses at target...about 15 buckaroos a piece. It sounds like a lot of money. But it works great and the kids get a change from peanut butter and jelly. In the long run it saves money and is better on the environment than ziploc plastic baggies. We do soups,chili,left over dinners etc. One time I sent them each with ice cream in their lunches...they had a pleasant surprise come lunchtime!!

Happy thermos hunting! Good luck and best wishes on many non jelly filled lunches!
Oh..I just read a response about putting water in the thermose then dumping it out then putting the food in. That is exactly what the directions on the thermos tell you to do. Hot water first for hot foods...Cold water first for cold things. Read the directions!

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answers from Boston on

Funtainer, which is about $15 at Target. It keeps food warm, has a wide mouth so it's easy to eat things like soup and pasta and short enough to fit into a lunchbox. We use it for wet/spoonable thing like soup, pasta, mac and cheese as well as dry foods like chicken nuggets, dinner leftovers, soft tacos (rolled like burritos) and bagel bites (stacked with a little square of parchment paper in between to keep the cheese from sticking). The kids also like having a thermos of meatballs and sauce and a little sub roll with cheese in it and they can have a hot meatball sub for lunch. This also works for steak and cheese or grilled chicken. So many options! has Funtainers that you can personalize. They're more expensive than the generic ones, but my younger boys have been using personalized ones for almost a year and haven't lost one yet. They lost a couple of the generic ones a year before that. Thermos also makes a really great small stainless steel water bottle with a built in straw and flip top and you can get those personalized to match the Funtainer as well.

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answers from Detroit on

We have had good luck with Foogo and putting hot water in the thermos before the soup really does help it stay warmer longer!

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answers from Chicago on

I use the Foogo brand - they work fairly well. One way I keep food warmer for longer is put hot water in the thermos for 8-10 minutes. Then I drain it out and put the heated food in there. It keeps it warmer for longer.

Good luck.

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answers from Minneapolis on

Get industrial grade...the kind those in the construction/contracting business get at the hardware store. Stanley is one brand that comes to mind. There are others. You can't miss them. They look heavy duty.

Another place to find good thermoses is any camping/sporting goods store. Gander Mountain, REI, even KMart are good places to find these too.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

My dad worked for ALFIE in Europe for 20 years and manufactued thermos bottles in all shapes and sizes. I worked there for 4 summers earing extra chash for school and I picked up some knowledge with testing the glass inserts that go into the thermos.
1) Regardeless where you buy one the first thing you need to do is shake it. If you hear something rattling around that either means that the seal is broken or it was broken and a repair was made. Those go back on the shelf.
2) Unscrew the top and look inside. There should not be any dark spots whatsoever on the glass insert. If there are it means those are points where heat ( or cold) is lost. Those go back on the shelf as well.
3) Once you bought one and took it home fill it with hot water and take the temperature. Close it and let it sit for 18 hours. Then take the temp again. If the temperature diffrence is greater than 5 degrees it is a bad thermos and will only get worse. In that case take it back to the store and get your money back.
4) If all checkes out you can use it and all you need to do is rinse it before and after every use to keep things in working order. There is no need to preheat a thermos, that is a myth. If you fill it with 160 degree hot soup it will keep that temperature regardless of prewarming or not. It's simple physics.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

One thing that I will add about sending hot food in a thermos. A friend told me this trick and I use it everytime. When you are going to use the termos, first heat up some water to boiling, pour it into the thermos and let it sit with the lid on for several minutes. Then open it up and pour out the water and replace with the heated up food/soup. This trick will heat up the thermos and keep the food warmer for the kids.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

My son has a Foogoo and it is amazing! At the end of a hot summer day... still ice in there! Soup? Keeps them warm too!

1 mom found this helpful
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