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Hot packed lunches?

(22 Posts)
Whathappenedtothelego Sat 22-Aug-20 13:25:37

Does anyone send their child to school with hot food?

Dd's secondary are now due to Covid only offering (expensive) cold pre packed sandwich bags for school lunches, and Dd is not keen.

I was thinking of getting her some sort of vacuum container so she can take in hot food.

Does anybody do this?

How long does it stay hot, and what sort of food do you send in?

Do you cook stuff fresh (I don't think I'd have time for that in the morning)or do you just reheat stuff in the microwave.

Any recommendations for food that works well, or good vacuum flasks would be really gratefully received.

OP’s posts: |
Rumtopf Sat 22-Aug-20 13:32:18

Dd always preferred taking something hot so we bought a thermos tub. I'd heat things up in the morning in the microwave and they'd still be enjoyably warm at lunchtime.
Her favourites were thick soups like minestrone or chowder and a bread roll, or if I'd made a stew, chilli or spag bol then she would take that.

She's gluten free and it was a nightmare trying to get anything edible at school.

Seeline Sat 22-Aug-20 14:15:21

Really recommend the Thermos food flasks.

My DD used to take pasta dishes and chunky soups for lunch.

It's worth pre heating the flask properly with boiling water, and making sure the food is piping hot when it goes in. It was always still really hot at lunchtime.

ohtheholidays Sat 22-Aug-20 14:19:52

We've taken hot picnics out before for all of us(family of 7)I've used wide necked thermos flasks.

Things I've made that went down well
Homemade soup(usually a thick soup)and wedges of homemade bread and a container with butter in.
Chicken supreme and rice(the rice mixed in)chicken curry and rice
Bologneise and pasta/chilli and rice
I've cooked sausages before and stuck them in the flasks and taken bread rolls and sauces with me,that was one of our 5DC's favourites.

If you don't have time in the morning(and not many people would have)then I'd make the food the evening before,cool it and stick it in the fridge and then just get it out and heat through in the microwave and then stick into the thermos flasks.

We found the food would still be lovely and hot after 5 hours.

TorysSuckRevokeArticle50 Sat 22-Aug-20 14:26:30

I've done it for myself, for work.

I use leftovers, heat them thoroughly in the microwave, warm a food flask with some boiling water for a few minutes first then fill and seal it up. I have a thermos brand one with a wide neck.

It's stayed warm from 7am to around 1pm.

Whathappenedtothelego Sat 22-Aug-20 14:39:55

Thanks, that's a good tip to warm up the flask beforehand, I wouldn't have thought of that.
It will need to stay hot for about 4.5 hours, so that's good to hear that it lasts even longer than that.

She likes soup, so that could work well, and she is very taken with the sausages idea.

I will look at Thermos brand ones - main thing is that it won't leak if turned upside down while she is rummaging for her calculator or something!

OP’s posts: |
TorysSuckRevokeArticle50 Sat 22-Aug-20 14:42:13

Mines never leaked and I just chuck it in my handbag, usually for a couple of trains and tube rides as well as a brisk walk to the office.

I don't know if contigo do food flasks but I have one of their coffee mugs and it's indestructible, never a drop leaks from it and coffee stays piping hot, as in blow to cool it down hot, for about 8 hours

Ricekrispie22 Sat 22-Aug-20 16:10:16

Another thing to keep in mind: portion size and air space. The more you fill the container, the longer its contents will stay cold or hot. If she doesn’t have a massive appetite, consider getting a smaller flask.

I’ve used mine successfully for:
Tagine, and a pitta bread taken separately
Falafel/lamb koftas in the food flask, and a wrap or pitta bread taken separately.
Chilli with a separate bag of Doritos
Curry with a separate naan bread or a packet of mini popadums to dip in it
Homemade pot noodle
Pulled pork in the food flask, and a tortilla or soft rolls taken separately

haba Sat 22-Aug-20 16:57:36

Similar to rumtopf my DD is intolerant to wheat and dairy, so has always had to take her own food. We have the thermos food flasks (food king?? I may have imagined that name- they're about £22 in Sainsbury's, which sounds expensive, but ours are over five years old and still going strong)
She has:
Soup (with gf bread separately)
Chili and rice
Pasta with Bolognese sauce
Shepherd's pie
Beef bourgignon (?sp)
Lamb hotpot
Chicken casserole
Sausage and mash (not fabulous, tbh)

I have porridge in mine smile

haba Sat 22-Aug-20 16:59:59

Sorry- I always save portions after I've cooked at home in individual sizes, so that I have a freezer drawer full of different meals for variety.
Yeah, it gets samey after a while...but I think that's the case for most GF/DF diets tbh.

haba Sat 22-Aug-20 17:01:39

And they've never leaked at all! (Though I put them in lunch bags in any case)
Don't forget cutlery is my advice! blush
Eating porridge with a pencil isn't recommended grin

PrincessGraceless Sat 22-Aug-20 17:38:08


PrincessGraceless Sat 22-Aug-20 17:44:26

Phone playing up! Has anyone tried S’well? Looks like you can buy handy bowls to store food in, then heat and pop in flask. Micro, d/w and freezer safe. Not cheap but look interesting! Time my trusty old Thermos was replaced.

Motormouthvan Sat 22-Aug-20 17:45:23


YouWereGr8InLittleMenstruators Sat 22-Aug-20 17:45:49

DDs take pasta + pesto + sliced spring onion and tomatoes in a Thermos flask / tub every day, and never grow tired of it. I cook the pasta in the morning, stir in the extras and it is always piping hot at lunch time.

waitingforadulthood Sat 22-Aug-20 17:48:43

I'm exploring the same idea op. I have a few things planned, definitely soups, noodles, pastas. Interested re rice dishes, but concerned around the slow cooking of rice being dangerous in terms of food hygiene? If it's safe my dd would love curry and rice!

haba Sat 22-Aug-20 17:56:04

It's the slow cooling then reheating of rice that is the problem waiting. I cook it in the morning fresh, and put straight into the flask when it's done.

Whathappenedtothelego Sun 23-Aug-20 09:15:39

Right, I've added two different sizes of thermos to my shopping basket, but not sure which to get (one seems a bit big and the other a bit small)
I have a "Funtainer" one which is 270ml and a "King" one which is 470ml.
I have never thought about portion sizes in ml before, tbh, but she isn't the biggest eater.

I think if she was having soup, or stew with bread then the smaller one would be better, but if it was bulkier, like pasta, the small probably wouldn't be enough.

(DH thinks we should get both, so we can take sausages with us on family picnics!)

OP’s posts: |
gigglingHyena Sun 23-Aug-20 22:28:10

We have the 470ml food kings. As you day its bigger than needed for a portion of soup, but even though it's not full DS has never complained that his lunch is cold. It does get close to full with a stew or pasta though, I think the smaller one would limit your options quite a bit.

He takes pasta with various sauces, it helps to undercooked the pasta just a bit otherwise it can end up quite stodgy after being kept warm. Veggie chilli works well, with tortilla chips in a separate container. His favourite is a burrito filling with a wrap and cheese to assemble just before eating.

During hot weather he also uses it for pasta salad which he prefers properly cold.

Elouera Sun 23-Aug-20 22:40:13

I'm glad I saw this thread. Over the winter months, I work in a different location each day, and never know if there will be a microwave, nearby cafe/shop to get lunch etc. I never knew there was a thermos type food option and it never occurred to me! I've been eating cold food in winter for years! blush

Minesateaorthree Mon 24-Aug-20 00:22:28

We bought a great one from the range last year. Perfect for chunky soup, chili, beans etc, cost around £7 and everything stays hot (best to warm the food flask first). DD and I were discussing this earlier and placing her orders for soups etc

Shizzlestix Mon 24-Aug-20 08:11:08

Batch cook at the weekend, no way could I do it in the mornings before school! I had paella last time I was in school, I didn’t put any shells in.

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