Lunch Box Ideas: Things to put in a thermos

Hey! I’m back to share with you what I packed for my son’s school lunch the past week. This week I focused on things to pack in a thermos. At first I was a little nervous to send a thermos in the lunch box because I wasn’t sure if the food would stay hot and I wasn’t sure if my son would think it was cool (he’s a little sensitive to that right now). Well, we had great experiences with the thermos and my son loved each lunch I packed. WIN! There are a few tricks for making the thermos work and I’ll share those at the bottom of the post, but first I’ll share what we packed.

You can check out other ideas for packing a lunch box in the links below.

Lunch Box Ideas week one

Lunch Box Ideas week two



Day one:

Thermos idea: Leftovers

We packed leftover Hawaiian haystacks (recipe here), I put the rice and chicken in the thermos and added the rest of the toppings in a small tupperware on the side. He also had a banana and strawberries.



Day Two:

Thermos Idea: Soup

I packed him creamy chicken noodle soup that we had dinner the night before, pieces of rosemary bread, strawberries, and carrots.



Day 3:

Thermos Idea: Smoothie

Don’t forget that a thermos isn’t just for hot food! We packed a berry/peach/spinach smoothie (don’t forget a straw), a sandwich, grapes, and carrots. (Here are some tips for making smoothies)



Day 4:

Thermos Idea: Corn on the cob

My son was most excited about this day. He loved having corn with his lunch! This would work with any steamed vegetable, I think we’re going to try broccoli next. He also had a pita sandwich, watermelon and yogurt.



Day 5:

Thermos Idea: Chicken Nuggets

You can pack any hot lunch favorites in the thermos. I added a little ranch to a small tupperware to dip the nuggets (not pictured), cucumbers and bell peppers, raspberries, pear, and a string cheese.


Adding food to a thermos is fun and adds a whole bunch of new options you can add to a school lunch (or your lunch!). The first step is to choose a good thermos. I’ve read a bunch of reviews of thermoses and not all are created equal. Here is a great article on some of the best thermoses out there. Also, it’s probably best to do a test run of the thermos on the weekend to see if it keeps food warm and to make sure your kid can open the thermos when lunch time comes around.

Before adding food to the thermos add boiling hot water to the thermos and close the lid. Let it heat up the thermos for 5 minutes, dump the water, give it a quick wipe with a paper towel and then add the food and close the lid. Make sure the food you are adding is also piping hot. You want the lid to be tight, but not so tight your child can’t open it so loosen the lid a tiny bit and tip it to make sure nothing spills out. Pack it in the lunch box and you’re good to go.

Linked up with Posed Perfection and Saving 4 Six.



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  • These are fabulous ideas! Thank you! My daughter is 12 and she is a very picky eater so I pack her lunch every day! She is also a vegetarian so I am always trying to come up with new ideas! Blessings! SusanReplyCancel

    • Melissa Hadfield

      Thank you for the comment, Susan! I’m glad I could help with some ideas for your daughter.ReplyCancel

  • Maribel

    Great ideas! How old is your son?ReplyCancel

    • Melissa Hadfield

      Thank you, Maribel! He is 6 years old and in first grade.ReplyCancel

  • Kennette Goodman

    Great blog! Great ideas! Can’t wait to share with my girls.ReplyCancel

  • Carrie

    I love these ideas! Could you tell me what the little cupcake-holder things are that you use the hold the veggies and fruit? Where do you get those?ReplyCancel

    • Melissa Hadfield

      Hi Carrie, thanks for the comment! I bought those reusable cupcake holders at Target’s dollar spot, but I think you can find them in the baking section of most stores. They usually come in a pack of two. They are my very favorite thing to use for packing lunches because they are perfect portions and I don’t have to spend money on ziplock bags!

      I’m also going to be writing a post on everything I use to pack lunches, so that should be coming sometime this week! 🙂ReplyCancel

  • evelyn negron


    Thanks for such great lunch ideas. I do have a question about the chicken nuggets in a thermos. How do you prevent them from ending up soggy?


  • brenda

    Although this post is about 3 years old…it’s good info. I have 2 questions…I see another gal asked this…wasn’t answered…so I’ll try again. Nuggets….how do you prevent them from being soggy?

    also….looks like your thermos is a shallow one…which I like…that brand is it? can you provide a link possibly?ReplyCancel


MyMommyStyle Meet Camille

Hello! I am Camille, a wife, mother of four, Disney obsessed, certified teacher, and reality optimist. Motherhood comes with its ups and downs, and I hope while you're here you'll find something that makes your #momlife easier!


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