Healthy and hot lunchbox recipes for kids this winter
Brrrr, is anyone else feeling COLD right now? Yep, winter has landed in Queensland, and we are all looking for ways to keep warm.
An easy way to beat the chill is by enjoying hot food! But how do we get hot food to school for our kids? Food jars are the latest trend on the lunchbox circuit. And these nifty jars open up a heap more lunchbox recipes that are healthy, nutritious and … HOT!
By combining the double-walled insulation of a thermos flask with the accessories of a snack jar, you can provide a healthy lunch box for kids that is warm and yummy. And they are sure to have the hottest lunch on the playground. Literally.
Expert tips for food jar success
Jodie Topsfield from Coastal Kidswear has tried and tested every lunchbox in the market. And she also co-runs the huge Facebook lunchbox ideas group b.box lunchbox ideas. So, suffice to say, she knows quality lunchboxes and what to put in them.
“My favourite kids lunchbox item this winter is certainly the insulated food jar. It’s proving to be incredibly popular with parents wanting healthy lunchboxes and easy lunches for their kids,” says Jodie.
For food jar success, Jodie recommends the following:
- Always aim to fill the jar to the brim. Insulated food jars work best when they are full – it is best not to have too much air circulating as it will cool the food quicker. They come in several sizes, so choose the right size for your child’s appetite.
- For best performance, warm the jar first: fill the stainless steel base with hot water for 5 – 10 minutes, then pour the water out before filling it with delicious hot food.
What hot meals go well in a food jar, and what meals are a fail?
Leftovers from dinner that are suitable for reheating are perfect for food jars. That pasta bake or vegetable curry you had the night before? Just refrigerate overnight, then in the morning, warm the jar, reheat the food and add to the food jar. Soup also stays delicious and warm, providing a hot and healthy school lunchbox for kids with minimal preparation each morning.
A food jar can also work well for hot meals such as sausage rolls and healthy chicken nuggets. Cook them in the oven whilst having breakfast and then pop them in the food jar, along with a little tub of sauce.
“It can be helpful to pop a bit of paper towel in the bottom to absorb excess moisture,” recommends Jodie. “And put the lid on as quickly as possible so the heat stays in your food jar.”
Other great foods for the food jar include Mac ’n’ cheese, noodles, and fried rice.
Of course, the versatile food jar works the other way as well – keeping pasta salads, yoghurt and chopped fruit beautifully chilled for healthy summer lunchboxes for kids!
Three hot and easy lunchbox recipes for kids that work well in a food jar
This tasty fried rice for toddlers that uses leftover rice from the night before. Serve with steamed green vegetables. If desired, shredded chicken or bacon can also be added to the fried rice.
This delicious kids’ pasta recipe is quick, easy and fuss-free. It’s a meat-free take on a family favourite and sure to be one of the kids’ favourite lunchbox recipes!
This butternut pumpkin soup is easy to make and healthy and nutritious too. Make a big batch ahead and freeze in portions for an easy peasy hot school lunchbox.
Which insulated food jar is best for kids?
There are several fantastic food jars to choose from. Here are two of Jodie’s favourite food jars:
- New dishwasher-safe paint
- 400ml capacity
- Vacuum-insulated, double-walled stainless steel
- Scratch and dent-resistant finish
- Wide mouth opening – easier to get food in and out!
- Flip-up handle – easy to carry and gives extra leverage when opening
- Removable (and replaceable!) silicone seals for easy cleaning – no hidden nasties!
- 5 hours of warming, 7 hours of cooling
- Silicone bumper base – extra protection against drops, rubs and scruffs (keeps him lookin’ mighty fine!)
b.box food jar
- Insulating double-walled stainless steel
- Removable handles and bumper so kids of all ages can style their food jar to suit
- The carry handle provides leverage for small hands to open independently
- Included spork utensil tucked away into the bumper
- Dishwasher and steriliser safe
- BPA, Phthalates and PVC free