Winning the Lunch Box War


If I realized how many mornings I would be battling my kids over their school lunches, I might have reconsidered being a parent of three. Well, no, not really, but I certainly didn’t foresee the lunch box battles I have with the kids’ school lunches. It’s quite different from the dinner battles. My husband and I solved that years ago. One dinner, one meal. Don’t like it? Go to bed hungry. But, the lunch box war is quite different as this is a portable meal, that has to travel well and stay fresh.

For years I did sandwiches. Then the lunch boxes would come home with the bread pieces inside. I then used tupperware and meat roll-ups. But that grew old, too. Not to mention, it’s not enough to satisfy a 10-year old growing boy.

All three kids have different taste buds and cravings. I found I was making three different lunches and no one was ever happy. Until last year.

We had an old Spiderman thermos. Middle Child requested soup for lunch. We experimented. I filled his thermos with hot soup. He loved it. He reported back that it was nice and hot and when he opened it up at lunch time.



But he hated the Spiderman thermos. Not cool for a second grader. And it was a little small. He could definitely eat more soup than I could pour in.

This year I invested in two new thermoses. Bigger thermoses.

I bought this Thermos King Stainless Food Jar. It holds 16-oz of liquid inside (versus the 10-oz Spidey held for us). I found them at Target, on sale for $16 each. Their website says they are sold-out, that’s why I’m linking Amazon.

No, this is not a paid endorsement by Thermos, Target or Amazon. I’m not getting any kickbacks from Amazon if you buy it since I’m in California and they dropped us CA Bloggers because of our sales tax internet laws. Don’t get me started on that one.

I’m writing about this thermos because I love it so much.


The cool factor is way up for the boys: it’s rugged, it’s blue and it has a cool foldable spoon tucked inside. Every week, I make a giant batch of chicken noodle soup for Middle Child, with lots of carrots, celery & chicken that he loves. Sometimes I mix it up and add white beans, lentils or yellow split peas. It’s always loaded with lemon juice and nice and warm when he opens it up for lunch. Yes, he ate soup when it was 100ºF out last week. He loves his soup that much. And I’m all for it because it’s good for him.

The Professor is not a soup lover. He’s happy if I fill his thermos up with whatever leftovers we have from dinner the night before. Today it was ground beef kabob and rice. Sometimes it’s spaghetti, salisbury steak, salmon & brown rice… can you see what I’m talking about?

I had to search a little to find a lunch box that will fit this wonderful thermos, and I scored at Wal-Mart. They were only $8 each. I don’t have a picture of that, sorry.

We are on week 3 of school and I don’t stress over the lunches anymore. As long as I’m stocked with soup and leftovers, the boys are happy.

And my Princess? She’s into PBJ right now and wants it every day. YES! And to make it healthy, it’s on high fiber bread, organic no-sugar added peanut butter and this week I made strawberry jam using stevia. My girl eats everything. She’s awesome.

Click here for more lunch box tips!

How are your school lunch box battles going?


13 Responses to Winning the Lunch Box War

  1. S.V. at #

    That is a pretty awesome thermos. I would have the same issues when I would pack lunches for school and camp it's the endless battle. We buy lunch at his new school and they have like 6 different options for lunch daily that he can pre-order so he always gets what he wants, but I will have to keep it in mind for other times as we could use a good thermos in this house.

  2. It's funny, but I've been meaning to write this post for awhile. I sat down this morning with a blank head, but packing up lunches reminded me how much I love our new thermoses. You just have to be creative and figure out what works for your family, even when your creative juices are not flowing.

  3. Hats off to you. I'm still engaged in that battle and soup isn't the answer.(Tried it). I've resorted to the smorgasboard. An energy bar, packet of grapes, shredded cheese, sliced tortilla and a treat. Or corn chips, salsa, homemade muffin, applesauce, etc. At least then the uneaten item makes its way back unharmed and shows back up in the lunch tomorrow when the lunchbox owner will be "more in the mood" to eat. 🙂 Love the thermos pics. Makes me want to make soup for dinner!

  4. I am in LOVE with Thermos! My kids had chicken soup with dumplings yesterday in theirs, but we also do pasta, chili, and brown rice and apple cereal. I recently posted some of my kids favorite school lunches on my blog {and easy b-fast ideas} LOL about your Amazon store! Mine is now defunct too 🙂

  5. this lunch box looks fabulous lovely box

  6. The Mom Chef at #

    I'm really against promoting one's blog in another blog's comment area, but you HAVE to go see what I just posted simply because this post is an answer to my prayer and the the whole premise of my blog's post. It's like this was the yin to my yang. I'm heading out to buy a thermos today, doggonit.

  7. Dzoli at #

    I do remmeber still my moms lunchbox wars;) But her rule was teh one you apply to dinner time.So ones we knew that..we did eat stuff(hear me stuff) ,when we got hungry:)

  8. Ann at #

    Great post! I love hot soup, coffee or chocolate on a trip. We're beyond the lunch box and hubby and I are retired, so we're home all the time, but they're great when you travel!

  9. Lilly at #

    What a great post!! I need a thermos!

  10. Christine's Pantry at #

    Great post! I love hot soup.

  11. Kim Bee at #

    My kids are older now so lucky to be out of this stage. They are at the local University and I have to say the meals there are better than home some days. They have some really creative and amazing chefs on campus and it's a culinary treat to eat there. Which is weird as I refer to our area as the culinary black hole. I love the thermos idea. I sent rice and pasta in my kids all the time. My son would also do soup and my daughter always wanted hot chocolate in one.

  12. I could eat soup everyday for lunch. Even when it's 100 degrees out. And my "professor" doesn't love soup either… Too bad he won't eat a PBJ everyday for lunch 😉

    That thermos looks amazing.

  13. Jessie at #

    Hello. this is Jessie here. We are a Chinese factory that supplies Thermos lunch box, lunch tote. We’ve been in this business for more than 10 years. Please visit our website: for more info. I’m sure you can also find something you interested in. Hope we can have a chance for business. Cheers.

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