Posted: Nov 21, 2013 8:00 AM
Are school lunches from a Thermos really a thing of the past? Not with these warm and yummy take-along meals.

bowl of chicken noodle soup


Soup is the quintessential meal you think of to fill up your kids’ Thermos. And why not? It’s warm, comforting and healthy. Instead of giving them the canned varieties, get skilled on a few great homemade soups such as chicken noodle (a classic kid favorite) or creamy tomato bisque. Don’t forget to pack a few crackers in the lunchbox for dipping!

bowl of chili


Chili is yummy, hearty and can be a total kid-pleaser come lunch time. Instead of making a five-alarm chili that would bring down even the firehouse crowd, make a kid-friendly version using ground turkey, black beans, canned diced tomatoes, mild green and red peppers, corn and whole grain wagon wheel pasta.

Bonus!^ If you DIY soups, you can chock them full of healthy veggies and omit overloading them with salt as many of the canned varieties do.

plate of macaroni and cheese


Speaking of pasta, I don’t know a kid out there who doesn’t love some variety of the stuff. From spaghetti to mac ’n' cheese tossed with broccoli, pasta is a fabulous Thermos filler that kids will gobble up at lunchtime. When creating your weekly dinner menu, consider how you can use leftovers like ravioli and pasta primavera for warm and cozy lunchtime meals for your kids.

casserole dish


A warm casserole is another crowd pleaser that can transfer over to a warm lunch for your kids with the help of a Thermos. Again, this can make lunch-making easy on you as you can use last night’s dinner leftovers. When planning dinner menus, make your kids’ favorite casserole dishes — from cheesy chicken, broccoli and brown rice to Mexican enchiladas.

bowl of oatmeal


Breakfast for lunch? Why not? Oatmeal is hearty, healthy and filling. Pack a small baggie of fresh berries or raisins and walnuts in the lunchbox so your child can toss them in, stir and enjoy.

sloppy joe sandwich

Sloppy Joes

Kids love Sloppy Joes. So why wait for dinnertime to serve them one of their favorite messy meals? Pack a bun separately and plenty of napkins, too!

Kid's Konserve stainless steel thermosPack a cool Thermos

Thermoses have come a long way since we were kids. Now they are insulated, leak-proof and BPA-free. We love this sleek stainless steel line from Kids Konserve for just $17. Pack your kid a cool Thermos and they'll be just as excited to eat a hot lunch as you are to prepare it.

More kids' lunch ideas

Ideas for kids' lunches
Easy and healthy kid-friendly bento boxes
Roasted tomato and grilled cheese sandwich