Children can be picky eaters. When it comes to packing a school lunch, most parents opt for sandwiches, pudding or fruit cups, and other non-perishable items. Many cold foods can be kept cold by the use of an insulated lunch box or by using ice packs. To provide your child with variety or for a child who may not enjoy cold foods, you can opt to pack a warm lunch for your child. With preparation, you can help keep your child's lunch warm until it is time to eat.
Use a thermos. Pack foods such as soup, macaroni and cheese, or chili in a thermos to keep them warm until lunchtime.
Heat the meal in the microwave to make it hot. Wrap the hot food in aluminum foil after microwaving it to help keep the heat in. Place the wrapped food inside your child's lunch bag. This will work for foods such as pizza, which can be eaten cold, warm or at room temperature.
Use a small cooler and warm water. Instead of placing ice packs in a cooler, fill a water bottle with hot water. Place the food -- packaged in plastic bags -- on top of the hot water to help keep it warm.
Use an insulated lunch bag with gel heat packs. Pop the heat packs into the microwave. This will help to keep the entire container warm until lunch.
Things You'll Need
You should only attempt to keep lunch foods warm if they can be eaten warm, cold or at room temperature. Attempting to keep foods warms that must be eaten warm may result in food poisoning. Aluminum foil, a thermos and hot packs do not have the same effect as heating foods in a microwave, on a stove or in an oven.
For the health of your child, pack warm foods in separate containers from foods that are meant to be kept cold.