Monday, March 5, 2018

Thermos for the lunchbox

I happened to post a photo of my kids eating out of their Thermos Funtainers at the Zoo the other day and had a few friends asking questions about them, so I thought I'd share all the deets here. (I'm not getting paid to talk about these, I just really like them.)

I bought three of the Thermos Funtainers (one for each of my kids) because their short, squat shape makes them ideal for little (and big) hands to scoop all the way to the bottom. 

They're so well insulated that we're even able to use them to take ice cream on picnics. I just open up the Thermoses and put them in the freezer for a few minutes to get really cold before I scoop in the ice cream. Our ice cream has always remained solid until we're ready to eat it, even a couple of hours after packing it. A label on the Thermos says it will keep food chilled for up to seven hours, but I haven't tested our ice cream for that long. 

My daughter also loves taking stuffed Cheese and Spinach Tortellini to school in her Funtainer for a hot lunch.

This is the fresh pasta I get, which you can find in the refrigerated section of the supermarket. I like that it's a vegetable and protein source for her. 

One pasta packet lasts for a week of lunches for my daughter, costing less than a dollar a day for a hot lunch. The pasta is so filling, she doesn't need much else in her lunchbox. I've been steadily reducing the add-ons since I started packing the pasta, and now she just takes a yoghurt for brain food and one other item for morning tea - either fruit, or a piece of baking or a few crackers.  

To prepare the pasta, I peel open the corner of the pasta packet and scoop out 1/5th of the pasta, cooking it in a small saucepan of boiling water in the morning. I run a glue-stick over the edge of the pasta packet to re-seal it. This glue un-peels and re-sticks easily, so one glue application lasts the whole week. 

Once the pasta has finished cooking, I pour the boiling cooking water into the Thermos Funtainer to warm it up, and then tip the water out and pour the pasta into the now-warmed container. 

With the lid on the Thermos Funtainer, the pasta stays hot until my daughter is ready to eat it at lunchtime. I also pack a small fork for her to scoop the pasta out with. It only takes a few minutes to prepare the pasta in the morning, and most of that time I'm able to do other things while I wait for the pasta to cook.  

I haven't used the Thermos Funtainer for hot food for my other kids yet, but I imagine that as the weather turns colder, we'll be looking to bring soups or leftover curries to our various homeschool activities. 

My friend bought a similar type of Thermos from Mitre 10, and was using it for all sorts of hot meals while we were camping over the summer holidays. 

The Thermoses are really sturdy, but surprisingly light. So if you're kids are getting sick of the same ol' sandwiches for lunch, you might want to try getting them a Thermos Funtainer or similar short, squat shaped Thermos to pack hot or cold food into.

I've seen them for sale on Amazon, and also in Spotlight stores (and the Spotlight webstore) here in New Zealand. I'm sure there are other places you can find them too, so hunt around for the best deal.

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