Friday, September 19, 2008

Some Like it Hot (Or Cold)

The start of C's public school career a few weeks ago posed to me a dilemma that most unsuspecting moms don't usually encounter until they receive a menu from their child's school those first few days. You'd think schools would feed their students better, but these menus lists $3.00 lunches consisting of things that resemble second rate fast food. Chicken nuggets, corndogs, mini pizzas. Hello! I can get those things for much cheaper at Costco and "cook" them myself.

And so my research for the perfect lunch vessel began on the internet. I wanted to be able to pack both hot and cold items together in C's lunchbag. In my desperate search, I came across bento boxes large and small, tupperware type containers, and thermoses galore. I finally settled on this cute little food jar called a Foogo. I bought two of them.

Granted there are cartoon decorated Funtainers that function just as well, but I wanted to pick something that wouldn't make my kids become outcasts at lunch when they reach puberty. And for the money I paid for two Foogos, I expect them to last just that long, if not longer.

The Foogo containers are vacuum insulated, which means I can fill one with hot stuff and a second one with cold and place them side by side in C's lunchbag without one's hotness cancelling out the other's coolness. I tested to see how long it would keep milk cold, and after 6 hours, cold milk was still cold. I asked C if his food was still warm (or cold) when he opens them at lunch, and he tells me yes. You do have to prepare the containers the way it was meant to be prepared, and that means boiling hot water in the morning to heat up the insides of the Foogo, or putting in ice water and sticking the Foogo in the fridge overnight to get it prepared for cold foods.

These containers only hold 10 ounces each, just the right size for a small child. They are stainless steel, and although they're made in China like everything else, I don't think stainless steel can be laden with lead even if you wanted it to. These containers are great considering the recent BPA news, and for now will have to do. Any other options for bringing both hot and cold stuff together in a lunch box?


Wandering Chopsticks said...

Hi J/Doc J/SIS!
Welcome to the world of food blogs. :) I'm flattered my blog got you started. Guess I better finish up the series soon huh? :P

I've added you to the list.

Email me if you want a referral to sign up with my advertiser. Although you'll probably want a few dozen posts first so they can evaluate your blog before you ask to sign up with them.

What about making foods that can be eaten at room temperature? Are sandwiches too simple? And soy milk can be left at room temperature too.

Chubbypanda said...

Kudos to you for making your son's lunches yourself. It's sad that public schools consider mediocre fast food to be acceptable lunches. Not much has changed from when I was a kid...

shavedicesundays said...

Wandering Chopsticks and Chubby Panda, both of your blogs have been very inspirational to me. I think C got tired of eating sandwiches that entire first week. And Wandering Chopsticks, I sent you an email, and thanks for the awesome lead-in to my next post...