Insulated lunch boxes

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Insulated lunch boxes

Postby crazymee184 » Wed May 29, 2013 10:07 am

Hi there!

I would like to ask advice on where could i get insulated lunch boxes for me to keep my home-made sandwiches/cooked food to be brought to school for lunch. It would be kept in my bag for about a few hours.

My situation is that my school doesn't have the option of a fridge or microwave for us to keep/re-heat our food. the food ingredients which need the heat is mostly ham, tuna and eggs too.

Really appreciate your help and thanks in advance!:D

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Re: Insulated lunch boxes

Postby Dora1 » Wed May 29, 2013 10:17 am

My DD brings fruits and sandwiches, onigiri, or fried noodles, fried rice, udon, or even cold soba for recess. I got a very small insulated lunch bag + box from lock and lock from Robinsons. It's quite small and sleek so it fits nicely in her school bag, and she doesn't eat much for recess anyway. It's abt S$20 for the small one with 2 small lock&lock containers and fork and spoon. I will buy small ice packs from Daiso and put them in if I bring cut fruits like rock melon for her. Alternatively, I freeze a pack of juice or ribena and it can act like an icepack for her. By recess, it has just melted nicely, and after recess, the weight is not there! I let her eat all her food cold cos I always pack fruits together with the main course, so cannot keep it warm.
Daiso also sells insulated lunch bags. They come in all sizes. I find the material not as good as the lock& lock one, but at $2, it's a steal! i use it to bring cut fruits for myself to work, as my office pantry fridge is a bit :sick:

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Re: Insulated lunch boxes

Postby crazymee184 » Wed May 29, 2013 12:32 pm

Thanks for your reply! That's a really ingenious idea of freezing the pack of juice to act as an icepack! I guess the lock&lock container that i have currently is those kind that's microwave friendly and not the insulating lunch box kind.

Yup the one from diaso sounds like a absolute steal! I shall go check it out and get a few too! Appreciate your help Ms Dora!:D

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Re: Insulated lunch boxes

Postby slmkhoo » Wed May 29, 2013 2:11 pm

crazymee184 wrote:Yup the one from diaso sounds like a absolute steal! I shall go check it out and get a few too! Appreciate your help Ms Dora!:D

Just be careful and take note how long the food stays cold. Cheaper products may not be as insulating. It may not matter if you only need it to stay cool for a couple of hours, but it may matter if you want it to stay cool for longer.

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Re: Insulated lunch boxes

Postby Dora1 » Thu May 30, 2013 8:02 am

Yup agreed. Anyway, I will not let DD bring perishables like yoghurt or even seafood (except fish cake) to school. If you go by NEA's guideline of food being consumed within 4 hrs at SG room temperature, the purpose of the thermal bag is just to prolong this 4 hrs. Try to limit food to those that are dry or seasoned. E.g fried noodles should be dry and not those with gravy. Onigiri are excellent choices too. Jap food are excellent choices as they are designed to be kept in a bento.
The Daiso bag should be paired with ice packs (or frozen juice) to keep cool as its own insulation is not that good.

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Re: Insulated lunch boxes

Postby crazymee184 » Thu May 30, 2013 9:35 am

Appreciate all your advices! I will certainly take note of the duration between when my food is prepared and the time it is consumed, usually it's about 4-5 hours in my experience. Yup i was thinking of dried food too like fried rice, bee hoon noodles which i can easily make in the morning before i bring to school.

I understand the need to bring along ice packs to keep the food cool due to the daiso bag being not that good in insulation, however if i were to be staying in air-conditioned room throughout the morning, together with the ice pack, would it be able to be kept longer?

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Re: Insulated lunch boxes

Postby slmkhoo » Thu May 30, 2013 10:42 am

crazymee184 wrote:I understand the need to bring along ice packs to keep the food cool due to the daiso bag being not that good in insulation, however if i were to be staying in air-conditioned room throughout the morning, together with the ice pack, would it be able to be kept longer?

Yes.

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Re: Insulated lunch boxes

Postby jetsetter » Thu Feb 12, 2015 8:40 am

Recently, I got hooked on preparing TLC bentos.

Per above discussion on ice-packs: May I know why we need to keep the lunch boxes cool? Shouldn't we buy thermal boxes to keep the food warm instead?

I need to keep my son's lunch warm for 4 hrs. But not sure if those Made-in-Japan stainless steel thermal boxes are too heavy. Anyone bought those?

I bought a thermal bag from Daiso yesterday to contain my lock&lock box...

How to prevent cut fruit from being "heated up" by the warm savoury food? I hv those bento boxes with partition, but it doesn't stop the rice from warming up my fruit...:(

Need to buy separate cooler bag? Any tips?

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Re: Insulated lunch boxes

Postby slmkhoo » Thu Feb 12, 2015 9:02 am

To keep hot food safe, it should be kept at 70C and above. For most small kids, this may be too hot to be safely handled, so I think most parents prefer to provide a cold lunch rather than a hot one.

If you want to provide both hot and cold food, I think you need to separate them. But won't that make it bulky and heavy for a young child to carry? I went the other way to save them carrying heavy lunchboxes - my kids only brought food that could be held at room temperature, and I told them to get used to the canteen asap. While overseas, the school they went to had a fridge and microwave oven, so that made the options wider.

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Re: Insulated lunch boxes

Postby ammonite » Thu Feb 12, 2015 11:02 am

jetsetter wrote:Recently, I got hooked on preparing TLC bentos.

Per above discussion on ice-packs: May I know why we need to keep the lunch boxes cool? Shouldn't we buy thermal boxes to keep the food warm instead?

I need to keep my son's lunch warm for 4 hrs. But not sure if those Made-in-Japan stainless steel thermal boxes are too heavy. Anyone bought those?

I bought a thermal bag from Daiso yesterday to contain my lock&lock box...

How to prevent cut fruit from being "heated up" by the warm savoury food? I hv those bento boxes with partition, but it doesn't stop the rice from warming up my fruit...:(

Need to buy separate cooler bag? Any tips?


I think you have to experiment with the weight to strike a balance. I only pack warm food occasionally and put it in a small thermos flask. Planning to buy the smaller Tiger soup thermos with wide mouth which is just right for a young child. It is not heavy. You can then add a separate tub of fruits. Put both into a small bag.

Temperature wise, I bring it to boil and then let it cool to just a little warmer than what he normally takes before closing it. No tasting in between or everything may go bad.

On hot days, cold food may be preferred though. If starting with cooked food, let it cool completely if possible before closing to prevent condensation. I will usually put the food under the fan while they are having breakfast and cover it up when ready to go.

(ps a friend does pack hot meals for dc's lunch and she uses Tiger tiered vacuum flask. Very good, I used it as well previously for myself. But I think it is too heavy for lower primary children.)

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