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How to Find the Best Kids Thermos That Your Child Will Love

By Ryan | Gear & Stuff

May 24
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Ensuring that your kid has a fresh, hot lunch is difficult when he’s away from home. Buying food on the road is expensive and unhealthy and a homemade lunch is much better, but it doesn’t taste as well when it’s completely stiff and cold.

One of the best solutions for that is a thermos – cheap, efficient and easy to use, even for a kid. If you want the best for your kids, as I do, you want to find the best kids thermos that they will love.

Today I will run down everything you need to know about thermoses for kids and take a look at 5 of the best products on the market.

For adult, take a look at our article about The Best Insulated Food Container for Your Camping Trip

**Below, you'll find our more detailed reviews, but you can also click the links above to see current prices or read customer reviews on Amazon.


Things to Look for When Buying a Kids Thermos

Insulation

best kids thermos 5From Amazon

From Amazon

Not all thermoses have the same level of insulation, and some are better insulated than others. The better insulated a thermos is, the longer you can keep food in it and the safer it is.

Since you’re buying a thermos for your kids, I suggest buying one with the best insulation possible. You don’t know when they’ll get hungry so it’s a good idea to have a thermos that will keep the food nice and warm/cold for them for a long time.

Size

best kids thermos 1

From Amazon

The size of a thermos is something I think is important for two reasons. First, the weight – you don’t want to overburden your kid if he or she doesn’t need a lot of food. Secondly, there’s capacity – you need to make sure that the thermos will be able to hold everything you need to pack for your kid.

You should also consider if the thermos has a few separately insulated compartments if your kid needs more than one meal. 

Safety

Being safe is far better than being sorry, and you need to make sure your kid is safe enough. Even adults can get hurt when using a thermos so I think safety should be even more paramount when the product is intended for your child.

Firstly, you need to make sure that the thermos is made out of safe materials. Next, make sure that it’s easy to open and the liquids or hot food inside it is difficult to spill by accident. Finally, make sure that it’s insulated properly and the food won’t get spoiled inside it in a couple of hours. 

Durability

best kids thermos

From Amazon

Lastly, you need to make sure that the thermos you’re buying is something you won’t have to replace in a week. This is also important for safety and I suggest you spend as much money as you think is needed, don’t be stingy. Buying cheap and flimsy products will not get you anywhere.

Thermoses made of plastic can be quite durable, but I suggest that you should buy a stainless steel thermos. Make sure the thermos is double or even triple-walled for added durability.


The Best Way to Use Kids Thermoses

best kids thermos

From Amazon

Thermoses are a bit trickier to use than most people think and you need to careful when using them if you want them to work correctly and for the food to remain safe. Here are some tips on using your kid's thermos correctly.

  • Read the instructions carefully – Don’t assume anything about the thermos you just bought and read the instructions that came with it carefully. That’s the first thing you should do before ever putting it to use. Consider all the other tips that I will present here as rough guidelines.
  • Always pack in some liquid – A thermos can work its magic only if there is some liquid inside it as well. Make sure you pack some in, even if it’s just water. Without liquid, the food won’t stay safe for more than a couple hours.
  • Don’t pack hot and cold foods together – While a thermos can keep hot food hot and cold foods cold, don’t pack the two together since that will create a mess and spoil both. Do this only if the thermos has two or more separately insulated compartments.
  • Do not put food back in – Once a thermos is opened and the food is taken out of it, you shouldn’t put the same food back in to save it for later. You should either eat it all or throw it away, since putting it back and eating it later puts you at risk of disease. Make sure you stress this to your kid, so they don’t make a fatal mistake.
  • Make sure the temperature is right – For hot foods, the temperature needs to be 165 F or above, while for cold foods it needs to be 40 F or below. If the food is not sufficiently hot or cold, it might get spoiled while in the thermos. If it’s not cold or hot enough when you open it, throw the food away.

Follow the tips I outlined, and you should be able to make full use of your thermos.


The 5 Best Kids Thermoses on the Market

best kids thermos kitty

From Amazon

This is a great, colorful and safe thermos that’s easy to use and quite efficient at keeping food or drinks cold - it can keep cold for up to 12 hours.

However, you will find that it can only keep cold – hot liquids can’t go into it, which is a huge shame. That makes it useless in the winter.

I think it makes up for that shortcoming with a decent capacity of 12 ounces and great, solid construction that won’t fail you. It’s made out of stainless steel, inside and out. The lid is made out of plastic, though, but it is easy to use, and it has an integrated straw for extra comfort.

Sadly, the cute picture wears off after a dozen washes or so, but you can always get some cute stickers to replace it.

Overall, I’d grade it at 4.4 out of 5.

Pros

  • Made out of sturdy stainless steel.
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    It can keep food cold for up to 12 hours.
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    Easy to use lid with a pop-up straw.

Cons

  • The picture wears off quickly
  • The lid is made out of plastic
  • Can’t be used with hot liquids
best kids thermos 4

From Amazon

This is a cute little thermos that can contain about 11 fluid ounces and comes with a few great features. The best part about it is the included spork, which is super easy to use for even the smallest of kids and completely safe! That certainly saves you a bit of money and effort.

The thermos can also come in a wide variety of cute animal designs, and you should pick the one your kids will like the most! I found that mine liked the cute little doggy the most.

Overall, it is durable, but the top and bottom are plastic, so it’s difficult to tell if it will break. It doesn’t keep food warm or cold for that long, but it’s a positive that it can work with warm food. The lid is a bit hard to remove for smaller kids, but kindergarteners and older kids shouldn’t have a problem with it.

The appropriate grade for this one is 4.3 out of 5 in my opinion.

Pros

  • Comes with a plastic spork.
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    The body is made out of stainless steel.
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    It comes with a wide variety of cute designs.

Cons

  • Can keep food warm/cold for only 7/5 hours.
  • The lid and bottom are plastic.
  • The lid is a bit difficult to remove for smaller kids
best kids thermos minion

From Amazon

This is a sleek-looking thermos with a colorful picture of the famous and popular Minions on the front of it.

I don’t want to start off with a negative, but it must be mentioned first – it can’t be used with hot foods or liquids, which is a shame. However, it can keep cold for quite a while – 12 hours to be exact. It works marvelously in that regard.

The body of this thermos is made out of stainless steel, and though the rest is plastic, it is quite durable. It is a bit difficult to wash though, I’ll give it that.

Considering everything, I’d rate this product a 4.3 out of 5.

Pros

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    Features a safe push-button lid and a pop-up straw.
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    It can keep cold for up to 12 hours.
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    Durable overall.

Cons

  • Not able to be used with hot liquids.
  • The top and bottom are plastic.
  • Slightly difficult to wash
best kids thermos batman

From Amazon

The best part about this thermos is the incredibly solid, stainless steel construction that makes it exceptionally sturdy. It is also incredibly safe and easy to use since the exterior will stay cold no matter what you put into it.

You can use this thermos with hot liquids and foods as well, which is good and something you would want. The bad part is that it has a capacity of only 10 ounces, making it one of the smaller products out there.

It also can’t keep the contents hot or cold for that long. In total, it keeps for only 5 and 7 hours respectively, which I can’t say is that great.

The worst part is that it’s a bit difficult to open so the little ones might have some trouble doing it.

The rating I’d give this thermos is a solid 4.3 out of 5, which I think is more than fair.

Pros

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    It’s made out of solid stainless steel.
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    The exterior stays cold and safe.
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    Incredibly easy to use.

Cons

  • The capacity is only 10 ounces.
  • Keeps cold/hot for only 7/5 hours in total.
  • It’s a bit difficult for the little ones to open
best kids thermos 6

From Amazon

I found this to be one of the most durable and effective thermoses for kids on the market, but it had some significant flaws as well.

The feature which caught my eye at first was the double wall, which is what makes it so sturdy. It also has a huge 14-ounce capacity, another great upside to it. It can also keep both hot and cold food, which is useful.

Sadly, it does have some significant flaws. It doesn’t keep cold or hot for that long, and it is bereft of a good handle, meaning that kids with small hands won’t be able to hold this large thermos well.

It is also quite difficult to clean, which might lead to food contamination issues.

My overall rating for this thermos would be 4.2 out of 5 and no more than that.

Pros

  • Made out of stainless steel with double walling.
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    14-ounce capacity.
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    Completely leak-proof.

Cons

  • It can only keep cold for 8 hours and warm for 6 hours.
  • No good handle, difficult for little hands to hold.
  • Stains easily and is difficult to wash

The Best Kid’s Thermos Out There is…

I know that buying the best stuff for your kids is always a parent’s biggest concern and that’s why I wrote this article. I hope it helped you get what’s best for your children and that they will have a nice warm homemade lunch on their next trip.

As far as I’m concerned, the best thermos here is #5 - The Food Jar Company product with its superior capacity and incredible durability. Despite its flaws, I think it’s my choice for the best – but it might not be yours.

That’s all for today, but I will be writing more helpful articles in the future, so watch out for that. You can share this article if you liked it and I hope I will see you here again in the future!

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About the Author

Hi, I'm Ryan Smith, a solo traveler, and founder of MrAbroad.com with a bunch of friends. I love going outside, reading books and talking to people.