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Easy Thermos Funtainer Hot Lunch Ideas
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.
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: USDA
Top Funtainer Hot Lunch Ideas
1. Buttered Pasta
2. Pasta with Marinara
3. Mac and Cheese
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
14. French Toast Sticks
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?
You can usually find some great deals on popular Thermos Funtainers during the end of summer, when the back to school deals are bumping. Honestly though, even when they are not on sale, you can usually pick up a new Funtainer for less than 20 bucks. They hold up well to regular use – we have had the same Funtainers for several years now and they still work great.
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