Posted on March 19, 2018

25 Hot Lunch Ideas for Thermos Funtainers

This post may contain affiliate links and ads. Read our disclosure policy here.

Hot Lunch Ideas for Thermos Funtainers

Now that I have two kiddos in school, I certainly find myself packing my fair share of lunches. Sandwiches are, of course, a staple. Peanut butter and jelly, ham and cheese, etc are typical sandwich combos that my kids will eat. I loved the idea of sending them to school with a hot lunch, but I figured it was harder than it sounded.

I was wrong!  It’s ridiculously easy to send kids off with a lunch that is still warm or even hot by noon!  I picked up a Thermos Funtainer for each kid and try to use them in rotation with our usual sandwich fare.

Hot Lunch Ideas for Thermos Funtainers

How to Prepare Lunch in Thermos Funtainers

If I am cooking their lunch up in the morning, I place the hot food in the Funtainer immediately after cooking. If I am sending them off with leftovers (more common) like pasta, I heat the food up super hot in the microwave and then dump it in the Funtainer.  Food placed in the Funtainer when it’s piping hot should stay hot/warm until lunchtime!

A great tip for foods that tend to get a little soggy like chicken nuggets – put a paper towel or napkin in the bottom of the Thermos to absorb some of the moisture.

Food Safety for Hot Foods

Hot foods need to stay hot in order to prevent possible bacteria from forming which can, in turn, cause a foodborne illness. Make sure you pack hot foods at at least 165F internal temperature. If your food does not contain liquid (for example soup or stew), it should be eaten within about 2 hours cut down on the risk of bacteria forming.

Your best bet is to pre-heat the container with very hot water, pack food when it’s piping hot, and not letting the food spend more than 2-3 hours in the “bacteria danger zone” of 40 – 140F.  Source:

Hot Lunch Ideas for Funtainer

1. Buttered Pasta
2. Pasta with Marinara
3. Mac and Cheese
4. Soup
5. Grilled Cheese
6. Pizza Rolls
7. Hot Dogs (optional: send hot dog roll)
8. Chicken Nuggets
9. Bagel Bites
10. Mashed Potatoes with Toppings
11. Ravioli
12. Meatballs
13. Chili
14. French Toast Sticks
15. Oatmeal
16. Casserole (dinner leftovers work great!)
17. Chicken Pot Pie
18. Tuna Casserole
19. Shredded BBQ Chicken or Pork (optional: send hamburger bun)
20. Fish Sticks
21. Scrambled Eggs
22. Taco Meat (and send tortilla wraps or taco shells)
23. Pork Fried Rice or White Rice
24. Baked Beans and Cut Up Hot Dogs
25. Pot Roast

What hot lunches do YOU send with your kiddos?


25 Hot Lunch Ideas for Thermos Funtainers

Other posts you might enjoy…

DIY Dollar Store Homework Caddy for Back to School Free Printable Weekly Schedule SetThanks a LatteRidiculously Easy Instant Pot Recipes for Busy School NightsFree Key to Success Teacher Printable SQUAREcrayon jar teacher gift idea 10 Essential School Supplies You Should Consider Buying Wholesale Free Printable Chalkboard signs Last day of School 111 Things to Bring for the 100th Day of School Lunchbox Hacks for Back to School First Day of School Chalkboard Sign 25 Quick and Easy Breakfast Recipes for Busy School Mornings last day of school best things to buy during back to school sales Pencil Bouquets Teacher Gift


  • Reply Heather Hearn August 18, 2018 at 5:06 pm

    I just bought a thermo & my kid started school this week. Thanks for the ideas!!!
    Other ideas on my list:
    Chicken Alfredo Pasta, Pig in a Blanket, Quesadillas, Breakfast Sandwich

  • Reply Miah October 12, 2018 at 8:14 am

    I always run a cup of hot water through the kureg and let it sit for about 10 minutes to pre-heat the thermos before we add our warm food.
    My kids top request is spaghetti o’s with meatballs, but we do a lot of leftover pasta dishes.

    • Reply mamacheaps November 5, 2018 at 11:18 am

      Pasta is definitely a fan favorite over here! :)

  • Reply Jane November 4, 2018 at 3:35 pm

    We do the same with the hot water warm up before adding the food. In addition to most of the items listed, we also warm leftover pizza cut into strips to fit in the thermos.

    • Reply mamacheaps November 5, 2018 at 11:18 am

      Yum!! Pizza is a great suggestion!

  • Reply Maria December 11, 2018 at 3:29 pm

    I love using the thermos in winter . Some of my kids favourites are steamed dim sims with a little soy sauce or 2 minute noodles. In summer I use it for frozen berries with yoghurt.

  • Reply Jenny December 24, 2018 at 8:02 am

    I find that chicken nuggets when placed directly in the thermos when hot, become soggy and unappetizing by lunch time, as they’re essentially steamed for a few hours. Same thing happens with sweet potato fries, and any of the Dr Praegar Veggie littles. Anyone have suggestions on keeping finger food crunchy??

    • Reply Anna January 26, 2019 at 11:59 pm

      I have found the best way to keep the nuggets from getting soggy is to line the thermos with paper towels to absorb the moisture

      • Reply mamacheaps January 27, 2019 at 5:32 pm

        Great tip!

      • Reply Jodi May 2, 2019 at 12:47 pm

        I’ll have to try the paper towel thing. Do you still heat the thermos with hot water first and then dry it and line with paper towels before add food? So they actually stay hot?

        • Reply mamacheaps May 3, 2019 at 11:14 am

          Yup!! I still do the hot water and let it sit for several minutes. Then I dump the water, dry it out, stick a paper towel inside, add the hot nuggets. Works great.

    Leave a Reply

    Back to top