Get fresh ideas (both hot and cold!) to pack in your kids’ thermos for a nutritious take-along lunch.
As much as we love sandwiches for lunch, they can get a little boring! Enter the thermos. It opens up so many options for fresh and exciting healthy lunches! We find it much easier to pack their lunches with fruits and veggies when we utilize a thermos for lunch. We’ve gathered up lots of hot and cold options for your kids’ lunchboxes!
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Kids love mac and cheese! Our homemade version makes it a much healthier meal option- plus you can add veggies to boost the nutrition! The best part is that it is quick and easy to throw together on the stovetop.
The kids will love this Veggie Stuffed Chow Mein because it’s yummy noodles and veggies with a delicious sauce! How can you go wrong with that? Plus it’s crazy fast to throw together and super customizable.
Grilled cheese and tomato soup is a classic combination. You can mix things up by packing this creamy, flavorful soup up with a side of croutons, crackers, or even quesadillas (which tend to travel better than grilled cheese).
Curry is one of those foods that is almost tastier as leftovers! My kids love when I pack up leftover curry in their lunchbox. Sometimes we skip the rice and pack some naan triangles for dipping. Yum!
We’ve all had breakfast for dinner.. why not breakfast for lunch? We love this recipe that can be made in the Instant Pot (super fast and easy on busy mornings!) and also has eggs making it a hearty, protein-rich lunch. Pack dried fruit, berries, coconut, granola, or whatever toppings your kids like on the side. You can also send them with regular oats, cream of wheat, or whatever hot breakfast cereal your kiddos like!
Heat up leftover Sloppy Joe mix and keep it nice and warm in the thermos until lunchtime. Pack bread or a hamburger buns on the side for them to assemble when it’s time to eat! Try other hot sandwich fillings like barbeque pork or hot turkey.
Smoothies are great, nutrition-packed lunch option for kids who tend to leave their fruits and veggies uneaten! Whip up a smoothie in the morning and pack it in a thermos where it will stay fresh and frosty until lunchtime.
These cold pasta salads make such great lunches! With veggies, carbs, and protein all packed in one dish it’s a quick and easy lunch option. Just add a fruit to round it all out.
It’s easy to throw a yogurt tube into the lunchbox.. but much more economical to buy a large tub. And much healthier if you make your own! Pack the yogurt and fruit in the thermos and add granola or nuts on the side so that your kids can assemble their parfaits at school.
Kids love to dip! Try packing warm dips, like this Healthy Spinach Artichoke Dip, queso, or bean dip. Or cold dips like yogurt ranch or hummus! Serve with plenty of veggies and bread or crackers for dipping. Yum! My kids love sugar snap peas, mini bell peppers, cucumber, cauliflower, cherry tomatoes, and mini naan bread or wheat crackers.
This thermos is perfect for kids, with a handle that makes the lid super easy for them to get on and off!
Some other great thermos options:
- Raspberry Quinoa Smoothie
- Blueberry Coconut Milk Smoothie
- Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Shake
- Green Peach Smoothie
- Breakfast Casserole
- Zucchini Chocolate Chip Baked Oatmeal
- BLT Egg Muffin Cups
- Peanut Butter Banana Oatmeal
- Strawberry Overnight Oats
I'm a registered dietitian, mom of 4, avid lover of food and strong promoter of healthy habits. Here you will find lots of delicious recipes full of fruits and veggies, tips for getting your kids to eat better and become intuitive eaters and lots of resources for feeding your family.Learn More about Natalie