A Matter Of Degrees
There's nothing more irritating than spending precious time in the morning preparing a delicious hot or cold lunch for your child, only to have it come home with them again that afternoon with complaints of the food not reaching the desired temperature and the result being "too hot" or "too cold".
Keep hot lunches warm and fresh lunches cool with these great Supermum ideas. Trust us, your kids will be thanking you (and you'll be thanking us!) at the height of an Aussie summer or winter!
How to keep school lunches warm
- The first thing to do is wrap the hot lunch in aluminium foil to help trap the heat and slow down the cooling process.
- An easy way to keep hot food warm until lunch time is to invest in an insulated heated lunch box or bag that is specifically designed to keep school lunches at the desired temperature. You'll find a bunch of these products on the market, ranging in size, shape and design.
- Finally, for hot foods like soup, stew, rice, noodles and pasta, you can use a thermos to do all of the hard work for you. Simply fill it with almost-boiling water and let it stand for about five to 10 minutes, then drain, dry and fill with the hot meal. The thermos should help keep your child's lunch warm for longer.
Of course there are many risks involved when attempting to keep hot food warm for hours during the day. Consider whether it's safe to store that particular food item at the temperature you've achieved. Never pack food for your child that may be unsafe to eat come lunch time.
How to keep school lunches cool
An Australian summer isn't too kind on fresh school lunches either. How many times have we heard our children complain about soggy salad sandwiches and melted chocolate biccies in their lunch box? Well, follow these great ideas to keep your kids' lunches fresher for longer.
- Always encourage your child to store their lunch box (and school bag) in a cool, dark place away from direct sunlight.
- One super easy way to keep your child's lunch box cool on a hot day is by freezing a water bottle the night before, wrapping it in a light tea towel to soak up the condensation and popping it in your child's lunch box along with the food items you want to keep cool. It will effectively work as an ice pack and make an esky out of the lunch box!
- Alternatively, purchase a specially designed cooler bag or mini esky for your child to take to school. These come with extra insulation or in-built ice packs to help keep lunch items cool.