Cooler Kid Food in an Instant

We parents are mega multi-taskers.  Just yesterday, I was “making” (I should call it microwaving) my son lunch while holding the baby on my hip, talking on the phone to the realtor, policing my two-year old in time-out, and cleaning the counters.  As is common with me when I’m juggling this many tasks at once, at least one of those tasks is bound to drop.  In this particular case, it was the mac & cheese in the microwave.  I was in too big of a hurry to set the timer so it cooked for far too long, resulting in super-hot, spongebob-shaped noodles.

If this happened with my big kids, I’d probably add some milk to cool it off but my little guy makes enough mess with his lunch already – soupy, cheesy, pasta would only increase my clean-up later.  So I reached for one of my favorite cheap tricks.  Plastic ice cubes.

I’m not exactly sure what there were intended for (who would want a big hunk of plastic in their glass?), but at our house we use them as instant coolers.  When food is too hot I grab a few of these from the freezer and toss them in.  They don’t water-down the food like regular ice cubes and they offer an instant cooling effect that saves me from loads of “Mom, can you blow on this?” questions.

My favorite part is that they’re cheap – really cheap.  I bought a whole big bag of them at the dollar store for…well, a dollar.  They’re not just for hot foods, of course.  We’ve used them for lunch boxes, sport bottles, first-aid ice packs, and baby teethers.  Plus, they’re dishwasher friendly.  Just toss them into the utensil basket and you’ll be good to go.  It’s a cheap and easy trick that makes a big difference at our house.  Just thought I’d pass it on.


  1. Sue Barnes

    Wow…. never thought of that! Great tip. Thanks!

  2. We use the oranges in your picture above anytime a kiddo gets a booboo. My 8 year old just runs to the freezer, pulls one out and brings it to the sibling that’s hurt before they’ve even realized what’s going on. Perfect for that!

    Thanks for the tip about using them to cool down food, though. Never woulda thought of that! :)

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