Pros / This thermos seals tightly to prevent leaks and spills.
Cons / The outside can scratch and dent easily.
Verdict / The Reduce Vacuum Food Jar is a good choice for school lunches because it holds food for a single serving, includes grips for easy opening and keeps food warm for six hours.
The Reduce Food Jar thermos is a good single-serve option, especially for sending young kids with a hot meal for lunch or keeping baby food warm. The rubber grips on the outside are perfect for little hands to hold on to while eating from it and keeping it from slipping or wiggling on the table while you’re holding it.
The manufacturer doesn’t give a claim for how long the Reduce keeps foods or drinks cold, but it does claim to keep everything hot for six hours. We put this to the test and found on average both food and drink cooled down by 64 degrees after six hours. This is the most heat loss of the food thermoses we tested, but it was still warm enough to safely eat the chowder, soup or pasta we tested with. In fact, one of our testers uses their Reduce often for making oatmeal at work and has found it still hot and enjoyable up to six hours later.
This food jar holds 12 ounces, which is enough for a single serving of food, and plenty for small children that want a hot lunch at school. While talking with several moms we found that older children tend to want more than 12 ounces of food, so we suggest the Zojirushi food jar, which holds 25 ounces, if you have a junior high or high schooler that needs more.
As part of our testing we tipped, shook, jostled and bounced the Reduce thermos to see if the lid remained sealed and prevented leaks. We found that this food jar is very secure and didn’t show any signs of leaking. This gives us reassurance that when placed in a child’s backpack that the Reduce will stay closed until lunchtime.
The Reduce Food Jar is made with recycled materials and is BPA free, so it’s safe and eco-friendly. The stainless steel walls are well insulated, so even when filled with water heated to 188 degrees F, the outside of this thermos stays cool to the touch. The steel body is not scratch-resistant, though, so it marks easily and won’t withstand a lot of impact damage. Also, the body of this food thermos isn’t dishwasher safe, so you must wash it by hand with a non-abrasive cloth. You can wash the lid in your dishwasher, though.
One drawback we noticed while testing the Reduce is the mouth is a little small, so it’s difficult to pour food into the jar without spilling a little around the rim and outside of the thermos. This can be avoided by using a funnel. The threads for the cap are on the outside of the mouth, which we found easier for cleanup compared to the few thermoses that placed their threads on the inside of the mouth. However, there are a few lips inside the jar that look like threads and tend to create a bump when you try to spoon food out.
This food thermos is basic but practical, offering insulation for hot foods and drinks. It seals well to prevent leaks during travel. It holds enough food for a single serving and the rubber grips help keep it stable while in use and give little hands enough grip to easily open it. It isn’t dishwasher safe and the outside is prone to scratching and dents, but overall, it’s a decent choice for a food jar.