Today’s wide-mouthed thermoses open up a whole new world of lunchtime options.
This September, try a different approach to your child’s school lunch. Thermos lunches are fresh and convenient, and open a whole new world of lunch possibilities for your child. Plus, they’re green. Many schools are now asking students to bring “litter-less”, or “waste-free” lunches – which means no garbage is generated.
There are so many benefits to a thermos lunch:
• Your child gets variety in her daily lunch box
• Your child gets a warm meal at lunch, especially nice during winter
• You can pack leftovers that you know your child likes
All of this means your child is more likely to eat her lunch instead of picking at it, fueling her for an afternoon of learning and activity.
Choosing a thermos
Choose a stainless steel thermos to avoid the toxic chemicals BPA and phthalates contained in plastic thermoses, both of which have detrimental effects on young, growing bodies.
When you’re choosing your stainless steel thermos, go for quality. Make sure the company you purchase from does third party testing and has high standards for product safety. Klean Kanteen prides itself on product safety and uses 18/8 food grade stainless steel. It makes a wonderful wide mouth thermos in three different sizes, 12 oz, 16 oz and 20 oz. Thermos brand also ensures excellence by testing for quality throughout the entire manufacturing process. The company makes thermoses in a variety of sizes, and with many different designs to intrigue little eaters. Check the internet for other brands.
Packing your thermos
Before you put hot food in your thermos, warm the thermos up. The easiest way to do this it to boil water, pour it into the thermos, cover it and let it sit for 10 to 15 minutes. Discard the water and add warmed food. Lunch will be just the right temperature when your child is ready to eat it.
So what do you put in that shiny new thermos you have just purchased? Here are some ideas: pasta dishes, soups, chili, stews, stir fry, boiled eggs, meatballs, bean patties, rice dishes, kebobs and boiled eggs. Or try out some of the delicious, kid-friendly recipes in the box at right.
Perfect for chilled foods, too
The nice thing about a thermos is that it not only has the ability to keep meals hot, it can also keep them cold – which is great for warm months. To chill the thermos before use, put it in the freezer overnight. The next morning, fill it with whatever chilled treat your child likes. This could include: yogurt, fresh fruit and granola (send granola in a separate container to be added at lunch), cottage cheese and fresh fruit or avocado, pasta salad, fruit salad, or bean salad.
Have fun with your child’s school lunches this year by using a thermos. In addition to its green benefits, it is the perfect way to make sure your child is well-nourished.