Young Girl eating soup

Comfort food to-go

Nothing is quite like a piping-hot bowl of soup on a cold winter's day. But how do you pack soup for school without it turning into a cold and messy proposition?

An age-old problem

Undoubtedly, soup is a delicious and nutritious lunch option. But if you're packing your child's lunch in the morning, even boiling-hot soup will cool by lunch. If your little one doesn't have access to a microwave, or if you're concerned about bacteria proliferating before the lunch bell rings, then cold or lukewarm soup simply isn't an option.

Solution #1: A high-tech container

You don't have to settle on a thermos-like container that won't keep food warm for more than an hour or two. Many products now exist to keep food adequately warm for up to 12 hours at a time, which is important for both convenience and food safety. We especially like the Stanley Classic Vacuum Food Jar, available on Amazon, starting at $25. The container is stainless steel so it's free of BPA and it holds heat extremely well. Not only that, the lid doubles as a soup bowl for ease at mealtime. If you can't stomach spending $25 on a container to send (and lose) with your kid, look for other products made of stainless steel to help with heat retention.

Solution #2: A locking lid

Of course, sometimes school cafeterias have microwaves available to their students. If your child can use a microwave at school, or if the soup doesn't need to remain warm, try to find a container with a reliable seal to avoid spillage. We especially like Glad's Soup & Salad Containers for this purpose. They close tightly, hold just the right amount of food and they're microwave-safe, too. And at about $4 for a package of five, they're one product that your child can lose without too much pain in the hip pocket.

Make it a meal!

Once you've settled on a soup container, make it a jealousy-inducing, memorable meal for your child. Create a smorgasbord of toppings for the soup by filling several Glad Mini-Round Containers with grated cheese, green onions, oyster crackers and bacon bits. You can also include a half-sandwich, salad or chopped fresh fruit for a tasty complement to the savory soup. Don't forget to pack napkins and a spoon, too.

If you need more inspiration, check out some of our quick and easy soup recipes that are sure to satisfy even the biggest appetites. And remember that soup is a fantastic way to plan ahead because it freezes and reheats easily!

More from Quick & Easy Recipes

Cabbage roll soup
Easy spicy beef pho
Hearty vegetable and fresh herb dumplings

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