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?
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.
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.
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.
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!
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