With temperatures in the single digits, warm food like soup or oatmeal are great lunch alternative to sandwiches. Plus, it is a great way to change up the lunch packing routine and use up those left overs in the fridge!
I have compiled some of our favorite warm lunches and how to pack them, so they stay warm.
Soup is our go-to lunch food in the winter. I plan soup for dinner the night before and simply send the left overs with everyone the next day. To keep the soup warm until lunch, I follow these steps.
- Invest in a quality container (the one pictured above is our favorite and it keeps the food warm until lunch)
- Fill your container with hot water (boiling or from the coffee maker) and let stand while you heat the soup
- Heat the soup on the stove top or in the microwave just before you leave
- Empty the boiling water from your container after 5-1o minutes and fill with the soup
Pair with a small container of fruit and crackers and you have a healthy and warm lunch to-go. Pictured here is chicken noodle soup with a side of apple slices, cinnamon crackers and one homemade pop tart.
- PASTA AND MAC ‘N’ CHEESE
I also like sending pasta and mac’n’cheese. Especially when the kids have a long day. I always send a side of veggies as well, but fruit or salad would be fun, too.
- Pre-heat your container with boiling water if using a Thermos or simply unpack your container if using a special bento container like the one pictured.
- Heat leftover pasta on the stove top or in the microwave. Add a little extra sauce or 1 TBS hot water before placing in the warm container.
- If packing mac’n’cheese, prepare just before packing for best results. I found that the organic brands hold up the best in a thermos.
Pair with a side of fruit or salad or if your container has more than one compartment, pair with warm veggies.
My kids love oatmeal and it is a great alternative to sandwiches for lunch. One of my kids eats lunch at 10:30 am and oatmeal is always a welcome treat!
- Pre-heat your container
- Prepare oatmeal according to instructions
- Add 1 TBS hot milk or water to the oatmeal
- Place in container and top with fresh fruit
I normally don’t pack sides when I send oatmeal since our containers hold a generous amount.
What’s your favorite food to pack for lunch in the winter?