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View Full Version : Do you send your kids to school with a warm lunch? How does it stay warm?


Disney1fan2002
08-21-2011, 07:33 AM
I am new to this lunch packing gig. My kids don't like to buy lunch, because it takes too long to get through the line. If they have a lunch from home, they can sit down and start eating immediately.

Anyway, they love grilled cheese sandwiches, but won't eat them cold. Is there any lunch bags out there that will keep a sandwich warm for 4-5 hours?

They sell freezer packs, do they sell warmer packs?

Off to google.....

java
08-21-2011, 08:08 AM
I found one by googling but they are $60! That's nuts. I have in the past grilled the sandwich in the am, cut into thermos size sticks wrapped in foil and put in warmed thermos. It's not perfect but kept it warm.

I was thrilled when my soon to be full dayer decided he liked a cheese sandwich. Just plain cheese no grilling.

kacaju
08-21-2011, 08:16 AM
I found one by googling but they are $60! That's nuts. I have in the past grilled the sandwich in the am, cut into thermos size sticks wrapped in foil and put in warmed thermos. It's not perfect but kept it warm.

I was thrilled when my soon to be full dayer decided he liked a cheese sandwich. Just plain cheese no grilling.

Great idea!! I boil water in my tea kettle and pour the boiling water in the themos. Leave it for a bit to make sure it is warm, them put the warmed food in the themos. My dd says her food is still warm. I may try the grilled cheese.

dis-happy
08-21-2011, 10:29 AM
Some things are meant to be eaten fresh, IMO and grilled cheese is one of them! But thinking about it, how about those rice/bean bag things you heat up in the microwave for sore muscles, etc. They stay hot for a long while. You could put in the lunchbox and keep things warmer that way.

tlbwriter
08-21-2011, 10:33 AM
Honestly, I think a grilled cheese sandwich is going to be a soggy mess after being kept warm for a few hours. They'll need a fork to eat it.

I've sent DD with chicken nuggets and pizza rolls. We used a Thermos hot food container. I pre-heated it with boiling water. At the time, she was eating lunch at 10:45 :rolleyes: so it stayed plenty warm. I don't know if this would have worked for a later lunch. They do make hot packs - I bought an Anchor casserole with an insulated carrier that includes a microwaveable hot pack. I don't know if you can buy them individually, but it's worth a search.

golfgal
08-21-2011, 10:34 AM
Go to any drug store/pharmacy section and there will be hot/cold packs that you use for injuries. Buy some of those, warm them up, stick them in an insulated lunch bag, you will be good to go.

I agree though, a 4 hour old grilled cheese sandwich, yuck.

Liberty Belle
08-21-2011, 10:34 AM
The only thing I'd trust to keep things hot enough is a thermos. I'm going to buy one of those funtainers next week for ds's lunch.

chamonix
08-21-2011, 10:39 AM
I would probably go the thermos route, but you can make hot packs too. Make a cloth bag and fill it with dry uncooked rice, microwave it to heat; or use a hot water bottle. You could also try heating something like, say, a large baked potato in foil and wrap it up next to the sandwich. Not to eat the potato (though they could) but as a cheap source of heat for the grilled cheese. A potato would hold heat longer than a thin sandwich.

Another way to get cheaper hot packs: they sell insulated totes for casserole dishes that also come with the microwavable hot packs. They come in various sizes and shapes. I have several of them (use for potlucks). The whole tote, dish, and hot packs are cheaper than the $60 mentioned upthread! Also, the totes themselves could work as a lunch box, or just take the packs out and use them in whatever your child already uses.

chamonix
08-21-2011, 10:43 AM
To keep the sandwich from turning soggy, wrap in foil or wax paper, do not use a plastic bag or sealed tight Tupperware.

Does the school offer microwaves for student use? Our school's lunchroom has multiple microwaves the kids can use, but that might be unusual.

Bell30012
08-21-2011, 10:51 AM
Okay, I bought one of these plus a thermos. We found them at Target for about $14. They work great. I love to send things like a couple slices of pizza or a personal pan pizza. Sometimes I put Chef Boyardee products in a thermos and send bowl & spoon. My DD8 loves a hot meal instead of the usual.

http://ep.yimg.com/ca/I/lunchboxshop_2170_35568742

aprilgail2
08-21-2011, 11:05 AM
Does the school offer microwaves for student use? Our school's lunchroom has multiple microwaves the kids can use, but that might be unusual.

That would never fly around here- insurance regulations and the unions would never stand for kids being able to make themselves a hot lunch LOL--I couldn't even imagine the line when 150 kids are trying to use a microwave in the 18 minutes they get to eat their lunch

MomofKatie
08-21-2011, 12:36 PM
I do what a lot of others suggest- prep a thermos with boiling water, then put hot food in it. Put thermos in insulated lunch tote, and make sure to keep hot items seperated from cold. Everything stays the temp it should until lunch.

DD likes to bring warm lunch from home- soup, leftover Chinese takeout, or casserole type things. She says things stay nice and warm when we use the pre-warmed thermos idea.

chamonix
08-21-2011, 12:37 PM
Yes, I know it's unusual. It's a small school and there are several microwaves (enough so kids don't have to wait too long to use one). There are no union issues, and no hot lunch provided except on Wednesdays when they order in pizzas as a fundraiser thing. It's a small private school that gives kids a lot of independence and autonomy over themselves. They can also order delivery food whenever they want as well! Much different than a large public school...but since the OP didn't say what kind of school her kids attend I thought it might be worth mentioning in case her school did have microwaves and she just wasn't aware of it. :goodvibes

Hellothemouse
08-21-2011, 12:49 PM
When you preheat the thermos with boiling water and then put in hot food how long does the food last and stay warm in it? Like will it last for 4 hrs?

MomofKatie
08-21-2011, 01:25 PM
When you preheat the thermos with boiling water and then put in hot food how long does the food last and stay warm in it? Like will it last for 4 hrs?

I try to prep and fill her thermos right before she walks out the door for the bus. So I'm usually putting food in it at 8am. She ate at around noon last year, so it stayed warm for 4 hours. This year, she doesn't eat until about 1:30, so we'll see how well things stay warm for over 5 hours.

scrapquitler
08-22-2011, 01:59 PM
When you preheat the thermos with boiling water and then put in hot food how long does the food last and stay warm in it? Like will it last for 4 hrs?

I grew up taking hot items to school for lunch in my thermos, and it was always still warm at lunch time. I remember taking pasta dishes, macaroni and cheese, hot dogs (mom left boiling water in the thermos with the hot dogs in it, and the bun separate), casseroles, chili, soup, etc.

Jeniferdwn
08-22-2011, 04:06 PM
I bought the Funtainers by Thermos. They are expensive, about $15 each for a drink bottle and a hot food container. BUT....they work! My kids take a bottle of water each day for the bus. They fix them around 6:30 am and keep it all day and then on a hot humid bus and when they get home they still have ice in the bottle. I have used the hot food container myself. I fixed some noodles (like the Ramen noodles) at 6:30 and when you open it at lunch time, it is still steaming hot. Worth spending the extra dollars.

Bell30012
08-22-2011, 10:07 PM
My DD8 spends half the week at her mother's and half at my house. One of her favorite things about going to school from my house is the lunches I pack. I try to be very creative. I've done hot dogs in the thermos with all the fixings and buns just in her insulated bag. I've done soup which was boiling hot when she left... Still hot at noon when she ate it. I've even sent pot roast and veggies.

I put notes in her lunch bag and do all kinds of silly things that she loves. My daughter's school offers lunch but it is boring cafeteria food. Wait until she sees the ear of corn I'm putting in her thermos one day this week. A little cup of butter and a salt pack... She'll love it. Now what to put with it.
:confused3

HM
08-29-2011, 12:13 PM
I have a couple of insulated containers that say Campbells Soup on them. They are fairly flat and round. I imagine you could put a sandwich that has been cut up in one of them to keep warm. It's meant to be used for soup type items, but I've used it for veggies and nuggets before.