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“My kids are going back to school, the cafeteria is closed, and I’m feeling guilty making sandwiches for my children every day.” “Is it normal to be on a pretend work call, hiding in my closet, hoping my kids will somehow miraculously learn how to make and pack their lunch?” “I’m talking to my lamp more than usual.” This is the chatter that that team at LunchBreak is hearing from our fellow parents, along with, “I want to serve my kid a hot lunch, but how do I pack it for school?” Don’t worry; we got you, and we’re here to help.

Hot lunches are the best lunches. While making (and packing) lunch can be a complicated dance, or more of a modern dance that involves twirling in circles and opening and closing cabinets and refrigerators, finding a way to get a hot and healthy lunch to the school cafeteria can be challenging.

Thankfully, there are tons of great ways to make this happen. From recyclable containers to those made from durable stainless steel, there are plenty of options out there that will please your children and help elevate lunch boxes from the bottom of the backpack. Here are LunchBreak’s picks for the best ways to pack hot lunches for kids.

1. Find Eco-Friendly & Local Lunch Boxes for Kids

The first step is to start looking for a cool, eco-friendly lunch box that your child will love bringing to school each day. And if you’re all about supporting local, small businesses, we have the lunch box that takes going green to the next level. The Go Green Lunch Box, created by our neighbor in Manhattan Beach, is the perfect way to reduce the excess trash thrown away in your kids’ lunches. Another tip? Beware of kitschy cartoon characters or other designs that might go out of style in a hurry. Attempting to pawn off your childhood Jem and the Holograms Gi-Joe lunchboxes as family heirlooms for your children to use isn’t right. Plus, make the process easier by getting your kid involved in picking out something that has their favorite color or a fun design that they love.

2. Choose a Kid-Friendly Bento Box

Is your kid someone that cares more about the snacks than the actual meal itself? Or perhaps they enjoy a more tapas-centric dining experience? Using a kid-friendly bento box is perfect if you’re looking to provide a plethora of snack choices around their hot meal. They’re not only durable and built to last the entire school year (or more), but you can send both hot and cold foods in the same box. Then you don’t have to worry about that dreadful ‘find the right size lid’ game that your Tupperware cabinet likes to play on you every morning while running late.

3. Consider a Stainless-Steel Thermos

While using a stainless-steel thermos is great for beverages, you can also use it to ensure your child gets a hot lunch. Soups, stews, pastas, and chili all stay nice and warm with no need for additional heat up. It also offers a great old-school take on the plop it all in and go methodology. Add a little chicken, mashed potatoes, and green beans, and your kid will have their very own reconstructed chicken pot pie. They’ll love it, we promise! Pair with a recyclable bento box filled with toppings, crackers, and more for a delicious and nutritious meal.

4. Go Back to the Basics With A Stainless-Steel Bento Container

Basic doesn’t always mean boring, especially when it comes to hot lunches for kids. If you have a kid that hates when their food touches or maybe just likes a sandwich and a side of something crunchy, stainless-steel bento boxes are a great option. The two-section container keeps the food apart AND keeps their meal extra hot and fresh for lunchtime. Fun fact: We’re pretty sure these are the same containers that Special Forces use on their missions. And by ‘pretty sure’ we have no idea.

5. Microwave & Dishwasher Safe Lunch Boxes & Containers

If your child’s lunchroom has a microwave for student use, or if your child is able to bring in their own microwave and hide it under their desk, then your options for sending a hot meal open up considerably. Microwavable lunch containers are a great way to include healthy items that heat up well (and taste good, too!). There are all different sizes and kinds on the market, so choose one that suits your needs.

And, any good parent knows, you don’t just use something once. So, choose items that are dishwasher safe and recyclable to make cleanup easy.

6. Personalize It!

Lunchtime should be fun! If all you can find is a basic lunch box, take time to personalize it. Add stickers, your child’s name in fun letters, or whatever else they really enjoy. The more they make it their own, the higher the chance they’ll love taking it to school each day.

We Make Hot Lunches an Easy Task

We’re parents, too, so we get it. The scariest thing about packing lunches for your kids is when that container finally makes it home after spending eons tucked away in the back of a cubby or locker. And that’s usually when some sort of alien life form has taken up residence inside. Yuck! Sometimes we choose to nurture that creature, but without the proper data, it’s best to stay safe and clean out the entity.

Any resourceful parent knows you don’t just use something once. At LunchBreak, all of our school lunch containers are recyclable. This means that there’s no need to bring home that scary container once it has been kept locked away for who knows how long. Most school cafeterias have recycling bins, which means your kids can just clean it out and toss it in there when they’re done.

If something does manage to make it back, we’re happy to take the containers and recycle them for you. Just place them in your delivery bag, and we’ll pick them up on our Sunday delivery. They’re also microwave safe and BPA-free, so it’s easy to heat a quick and delicious lunch.

We feel good about the process. You feel good about the process. And there’s no guessing game of what-is-growing-in-there for anyone. Score!

Check out our website now to learn more about LunchBreak and why it is the best option for getting your kids a hot and healthy lunch without the hassle.

-Team LunchBreak