On cold winter days, we all enjoy a warming meal. You don't need to miss out just because you're away from home. Pack a homemade lunch into a thermal lunch box to keep food warm all day long.
Hearty vegetable soups are one of my winter favourites, but you can put more than soups into an insulated food pot. Hot chilli, spicy curries, healthy bean salads, homemade toasted wraps, or warm porridge for the kids to eat at school. A thermal lunch box will keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold so you can put whatever you want inside.
A warm packed lunch will brighten up your gloomy day. Here are five ideas to get you started.
5 Food Ideas for Your Thermal Lunch Box
Hot Oats and Porridge
If you have to leave home early for the morning commute or you just prefer to eat breakfast later in the day, then sweet or savoury oats is our top recommendation. Most recipes take just five minutes to prepare on the stovetop, or you can prepare the night before and reheat in the morning. Oats are a healthy source of both protein and fibre, so starting your day with hot oats will help you maintain energy levels. It's also a favourite for kids.
Warm Bean Salads
Bean salads aren't just warming, they're also healthy and filling. Plus, you can customise your recipe with your favourite types of beans and veggies. You're sure to feel full after a hot bean salad. Beans and legumes, such as chickpeas and lentils, are also safe to freeze so you can cook a batch at the weekend, freeze them in individual portion sizes and reheat on weekdays.
Also, check out this cold three-bean vegan potato salad for summertime.
A lighter alternative to your usual sandwich, you can fill a wrap with almost anything. Pop it in a sandwich grill or microwave and store it in a thermal lunchbox to keep it warm until lunchtime. If you're running late, you can pick up a tasty wrap from your local bakery and get it to take away in an insulated food pot. Because wraps are easy to eat with your hands and relatively mess-free, they're a smart choice of food for a thermal lunch box for kids. You can also substitute whole grain wraps for a gluten-free alternative, such as chickpea flour wraps.
Hearty Winter Soups
I know I said that you don't have to stick to soups; there's so much more that you can put in a thermal lunch box. But soups really are one of the best foods to eat when it's cold outside or when you're feeling unwell. They're super easy to make at home with whatever you have in your kitchen cupboard, or you can heat a ready-made soup if you're pushed for time.
Nutritious and delicious, buddha bowls are one of the best foods to put inside a thermal lunch box. Make yours with a mix of seasonal vegetables, your preferred types of grain, bean, or legume, and drizzle a tasty dressing on top. This is a lunchtime treat that’s guaranteed to satisfy your stomach and your taste buds.
Need a Recipe? Try this vegan buddha bowl with homemade tahini dressing
Helpful tips to keep foods warm in a thermal lunch box
- Preheat your insulated stainless-steel lunch box before adding food. To do this, fill your food pot with boiling water and let it sit for five to ten minutes. After preheating, immediately add the food and screw the lid on tight.
- Double-check that the lid is on correctly and tight before you pop it in your day bag. Your food will lose heat faster is the lid is loose.
- Always clean a thermal lunch box after each use as this prevents bacteria from growing—simply wash a stainless-steel insulated lunch box with warm water and regular dish soap.
Filling a thermal lunch box can make lunchtime the highlight of your day. Take one to work, school, on hiking trips, or chilly picnics, and you can enjoy your food at the right temperature.Shop now for a thermal lunch box for adults and kids in our FLASKE Collection.