We recently dropped the now-super popular Yumbox Zuppas, so we thought we’d share some tips for how to prep them properly, and inspiration for recipes you can fill yours up with – courtesy of our lunchbox go-to, Kylie from Kidgredients.

As we start to head into the colder months, the yearning to pack something toasty warm in your kids’ lunchbox starts to increase. Sandwiches are replaced by soups, pasta takes the place of mini pizza. But, the question remains: how do you keep it warm until lunchtime?

We’ve already talked all about the incredible superpowers of the Yumbox Zuppa in a previous blog post (read it here) so this time we’re sharing some inspiration for foods you can pack into them. And who better to turn to than Kylie from Kidgredients?

In her blog post listing not one, not two, but FIFTEEN warm food recipes that are perfect for your kids’ Yumbox Zuppa, Kylie also shares her tips for keeping your insulated food jar clean and safe for multiple uses.

It’s important that you keep your Zuppa bacteria free until well after your children have emptied it out, so ensure that food isn’t ever hotter than 4 degrees celsius or colder than 60 degrees celsius if you’re planning on storing it for an extended period of time (around two to four hours, Kylie says).

But how? For cold food, make sure you take it straight out of the fridge and pop it into an insulated cooler bag (inside your Yumbox Zuppa) with an ice pack. For hot food, pack it when it’s way too hot to eat – more on that here.

Also, Kylie says it’s important to make sure you properly prep your insulated food jar to keep it clean and in good condition. She suggests:

Step one: Fill the thermal container with boiling water.

Step two: Close it and leave it to sit for five minutes.

Step three: Empty and refill with boiled water.

Step four: Meanwhile, prep the food by heating beyond hot. Reheat in the microwave or on the stove until near boiling.

Step five: Pour the boiling water from the thermos and fill immediately with the hot

When you do pack your insulated food jar, fill it right up! Kylie says that a full food jar will retain heat the best, as there is no airspace that will quickly chill the food.

And, as you might have already figured out, it’s important to remember that some things certainly do better than others when kept in an insulated food jar for an extended period of time. Crunchiness will quickly turn to sogginess, so Kylie recommends filling your insulated food jars with things like leftovers, pastas, soups, noodles, rice and soups.

Check out her blog post for all of the recipes, and even more tips on how to properly prep and pack your insulated food jar, right here.