As the weather turns colder, we are making a list of our favorite hot lunches to send with your kids to school! Whether they are packed in a good ol' fashioned thermos, or you up your game with a lunchbox featuring a built-in hot food compartment (check out our favorite one here,) a hot meal is one way you can send a little comfort from home on a chilly fall day!

Here are our favorites!

1. Oatmeal

Oatmeal isn't just for breakfast! It's such a filling food that sticks with kids all day long! Check out this super filling and delicious peanut butter banana oatmeal recipe from Five Heart Home. It's quick and simple, two of our favorite things:)

2. Mac and Cheese

What kid doesn't love mac and cheese? One our our favorite versions from Weelicious uses butternut squash to elevate it to a whole new level of healthy and yummy! Your kid will be the envy of the lunch table when they score this all-time favorite kids meal in their lunchbox!

3. Tomato Soup

Tomato soup and grilled cheese are a super simple comfort food that is quick and simple! Making your own tomato soup is easy and so much healthier than the canned versions. Make a big batch and freeze individual portions for a quick warm-up when you need it! Pinch of Yum has one of our favorite versions ever. Click on the picture below to get the recipe!

4. Sloppy Joes

Sloppy joe sandwiches don't have to be greasy and packed with added sugar. Try this Ellie Krieger recipe, which is packed with lean ground beef, vegetables, and beans. This recipe is one of our favorites and is a hit with both kids and adults! Unless your kids like a little kick, we suggest leaving out the jalapeno for a super kid-friendly version :) Send the filling in a thermos to keep it warm and let your child build their own sandwich with a whole wheat bun and pickles. So yummy!


5. Meatballs

If a kid can eat something with a toothpick, it's almost guaranteed you will see a clean plate! These turkey meatballs are a fun lunch idea that is packed with protein and will keep your kids going all day long.  Or, make an awesome spaghetti and meatballs that stays warm all day long in a thermos. Pack a second one for yourself - it's a good one!

6. Chicken and Rice Soup

This chicken and rice soup from Two Peas and Their Pod is great for lunch or a quick weeknight dinner. To make it easy, use rotisserie chicken or leftover chicken from another meal. And make sure you make a huge batch of this soup, it freezes beautifully! 

7. Crock Pot Turkey Chili

Make this Skinnytaste crock pot turkey chili for an easy weeknight dinner and you've got lunch covered the next day! We are huge fans of Skinnytaste and have found tons of kid-friendly recipes over the years on this site. Serve with tortilla chips to scoop up all the good stuff, or with cornbread for a super filling lunch! 

What other hot meals do your kids love in their lunchbox? Share your ideas with us in the comments! We would love to add to our list:)