How many of us have packed a hot thermos of soup or chili for our kids to enjoy at school, only to learn later that they were unable to open the jar or that that the food was cold by lunchtime? The ideal kid-friendly thermos as any parent would agree is one that keeps food piping hot for at least 5 hours, is shatter proof and is easy to open.
At the beginning of school this year, I purchased a Thermos Thermax 16 oz stainless steel food jar for $29.99 at my local Fred Meyer. What caught my eye with this particular thermos is that it had a dual lid system, with an inner compartment that stored a nifty foldable spoon and a place to stash packets of salt or ketchup. Both lids seemed to unscrew very easily and appeared they would work well for my child. Of course, the real test is when the container is filled with hot liquids, and the gasket expands to create a tight seal that is tough to loosen. Did the Thermos Thermax Food Jar live up to my expectations of a kid friendly thermos? Keep reading and find out!
This model of stainless steel food jar holds 16 ounces of liquid, which is about 6 ounces more then those squatty food storage systems that we normally see on the shelf at those back to school sales.
The Thermos Thermax products features a double wall vacuum insulation, an unbreakable interior and exterior, and an extra wide mouth that makes it easy to fill and easy to serve. It also has a foldable camp-like stainless steel spoon that tucks into an inner lid, and is very lightweight and portable. The overall design is very compact and we were pleased to discover that it fit easily into a lunch box, leaving plenty of room to spare for fruit, crackers, and other foods.
Ease of use
When I pack hot soup or stew in a thermos, I always fill it first with boiling water to preheat the container, then pour out the water before refilling it with the stew. I discovered that the wide mouth opening was very easy to work with, and allowed for plenty of space for me to ladle in the food.
To close the thermos, I loosely screwed on the cap. Worth noting is that the cap took four turns of the wrist to screw on, unlike previous models of food containers we’ve owned in the past that closed with a single turn. The extra deep screw threads seem to allow for a better seal and make the lid much easier to back off when it is reopened several hours later.
The first time my daughter used the thermos, she reported back that the lid didn’t require any extra “oomph” to be removed but came off as easy as unscrewing the lid of an opened peanut butter jar. This was a definite plus for her.
On the down side, although it’s really a minor down side, we discovered that the foldable spoon wasn’t very practical for eating soup. The bowl of the spoon is quite shallow and doesn’t hold much more than a 1/2 teaspoon of liquid. It’s certainly fine for stews and definitely convenient, but is not the right utensil for liquids.
Does it keep food hot?
Keeping foods hot is the whole purpose of using a thermos in the first place. According to my daughter, the Thermos Thermax definitely lives up to their claim. Regardless of the food we pack, whether it’s chili, stew, soup, or a hot dog in boiling water, the food is still hot ~ not merely warm ~ at lunchtime.
Sometime last month, my daughter had forgotten that I had sent her to school with chicken soup, something we didn’t discover until 4:00 that afternoon when washing out her lunch box. I opened the thermos to discover that the soup was still quite warm, nine hours after it had been packed. This is pretty impressive in my book!
Price & Availability
$29.99 seems to be the standard list price of the Thermos Thermax 16 oz food container, though sports shops do seem to price it a bit higher. While this certainly is on the higher end of the food container spectrum, the Thermos products are know for their quality and longevity. Having had other Thermos brand products in the past, I anticipate my daughter may be taking this Thermos with her when she head off for college in about 5 years.
The Thermos Thermax 16 ounce food container is a product that is easy for kids to open and delivers hot food as promised. I give it 5 stars.