2016

Camp Lunch Inspiration

Summer is in full swing here and we've been busily shuffling kids here and there. Summer is our busiest time because we're getting ready for the Back to School season and we've got amazing things in store for LaLa Lunchbox users this year. Stay tuned! 

In the meantime, I'm still packing lunches daily. If you missed our post about making summer lunches easier, have no fear, here you go. The kids are still picking their foods with the LaLa Lunchbox app, making my busy life easier, and we're incorporating loads of delicious summer produce. We post daily pics on Instagram, so go ahead and check that out for some fresh ideas every day. If you're here looking for a little inspiration, take a peek below at some of the recent camp lunches: 

banana sunflower seed roll ups, carrots, apple, figs and cookies.

banana sunflower seed roll ups, carrots, apple, figs and cookies.

DIY yogurt parfait: yogurt, berries and cereal, plus grapes, nectarine, snap peas and a sweet chocolate treat. 

DIY yogurt parfait: yogurt, berries and cereal, plus grapes, nectarine, snap peas and a sweet chocolate treat. 

Cheese blintzes, nectarine and plum, strawberries, broccoli and a sweet chocolate treat. Does your kiddo have a summer birthday? We absolutely love the cards from  Lunchbox Love  - and not just for birthdays! They're regular accompaniments to lunches all year round here. 

Cheese blintzes, nectarine and plum, strawberries, broccoli and a sweet chocolate treat. Does your kiddo have a summer birthday? We absolutely love the cards from Lunchbox Love - and not just for birthdays! They're regular accompaniments to lunches all year round here. 

pancake sandwiches with sunflower seed butter, watermelon, cherries and carrot fries. 

pancake sandwiches with sunflower seed butter, watermelon, cherries and carrot fries. 

prosciutto toast sandwiches, cherries, broccoli, avocado and snap peas. 

prosciutto toast sandwiches, cherries, broccoli, avocado and snap peas. 

nectarine and blueberries with chocolate hummus and dried apple snacks for dipping, plus ham and snap peas. 

nectarine and blueberries with chocolate hummus and dried apple snacks for dipping, plus ham and snap peas. 

leftover chicken cutlet, guacamole, broccoli, carrot ribbons, grapes and cantaloupe. 

leftover chicken cutlet, guacamole, broccoli, carrot ribbons, grapes and cantaloupe. 

Winter 2015-2016 School Lunches

This time of year, there's a general feeling of UGH in the air when it comes to school lunch. Believe me, I feel it too. I pack lunches at night to save time and energy in the morning, and while it works well for us, there's still no magic fairy packing lunches for my 3 kiddos. If you're looking for a bit of inspiration to get you out of the winter school lunch blahs, look no further -- here are some of the lunches that have been fueling us through winter.  

For daily pics of our three lunches, head over to Instagram and for a look at even more options, check this out. These lunches have been chosen by my kids - and here's what's amazing: when you give kids the power and responsibility to choose, they really do rise to the occasion. Check out these lunches! If you're looking to simplify your lunch-packing life, here's what will make that a reality. Trust me on this. 

hummus with pita and carrots, apple, arugula with lemon and chocolate covered blueberries

Yogurt, "tuxedo banana," raspberries, broccoli and cookies

chicken, cucumbers, mango, golden berries and raspberries and a chocolate truffle

spinach and potato pierogies with sea salt yogurt for dipping, pea shoots, raspberries and dark chocolate

leftover pizza on a lollipop stick, raspberries, mango and chocolate covered blueberries

chicken sausage wrapped in puff pastry, mango, clementine, blueberries and cookies

black beans and brown rice, raspberries, golden berries, apple, green beans and cookies

breakfast for lunch: mini waffles and mini maple syrup, mango, yogurt and blueberries, peas and a cookie

egg, clementine, apple, green beans, rice cakes and cookies

eggs, broccoli, raspberries, coconut date roll, toast sticks, clementine, carrots and a mini no-bake (egg-free) chocolate chip cookie dough bar

banana sunbutter dog with jam, cara cara orange, broccoli, strawberries and homemade granola bar

ham, date, pea shoots, broccoli, blueberries and granola

pancakes, "tuxedo banana," carrots, strawberries and a brownie bite

macaroni and cheese, raspberry and carrot "wands," clementines, fig bars

leftover pasta with turkey meatballs, zucchini, peas and cookies

arugula salad, chicken cutlet, raspberries and brownie bites

cheese and crackers, carrots, blood orange, apple and a chocolate

salad with goat cheese, leftover pasta with tomato sauce, mango and a brownie bite

Looking for lunch containers for your school lunches? Check out our favorites

2016 Lunch Resolutions

Let’s face it: lunch packing can be a real drag. If your family's eating has gotten off course and you're cobbling together whatever you can muster for lunches but yearn for varied and healthful meals for your brood, you're not alone, and it's time for a reboot

school lunch

Lunch should provide the energy that kids need to make it through what often feels like a long day. But unless those lunches are also tasty, they will come back wasted and uneaten at the end of the day. I don't know about you, but when my kids are starving, the cranky factor goes through the roof and pretty much immobilizes them.  And seriously, how disgusting is that sandwich after it’s been sitting in that lunchbox for 8+ hours?! Packing lunch also requires getting groceries and having a plan so that you're prepared, but browsing the aisles with multiple meals and multiple family members in mind can quickly feel like a cringe-causing chore. 

meal planning for kids

I'm a firm believer in getting the kiddos involved from the get-go for smoother family sailing and created the LaLa Lunchbox app to make this a reality. Here's why: 

LaLa Lunchbox meal planning screen

1. It takes the stress off of you. Woo hoo! No more arguments in the morning because you ran out of your son's favorite turkey and have exactly 8 minutes to figure out lunch before you all have to leave the house. Pass the iPhone, iTouch or iPad to the kids and watch how fast they choose their lunches for an entire week! When the kids plan their own meals (with as much or as little input from you as you'd like), there's no mystery in "what's for lunch." You can even pack lunch at night and gain an extra ten minutes in the morning. Hello, coffee! LaLa Lunchbox is designed with four categories so that kids develop an understanding of what comprises a balanced lunch. 

2. It saves you time. Scratch the meal planning chore off of your list! LaLa Lunchbox is completely customizable, so if you don't see what you want in the Food Library, you can add it at any time. By the same token, you can remove anything you don't want from the Food Library. We've created this feature to make LaLa Lunchbox available to all regardless of dietary lifestyle. 

manage the Food Library easily

3. It saves you money. Remember how awful it felt to throw out a perfectly good sandwich that was uneaten? When your child chooses, she is less likely to waste food and more excited to eat what she has chosen.

4. It’s an inspiring way for them to try new foods. Picky eaters beware! When kids are at the wheel, even the pickiest among them is more likely to try something new. Radishes anyone? 

5. It helps their organizational skills. Planning ahead is an incredibly useful skill! Get them started early. 

Sounds great, right? Don't just take our word for it... see what others are saying. And then pass the meal planning baton to your kids. Download LaLa Lunchbox today and let the kiddos kick their school lunches into higher gear! Your entire family will thank you. 

Happy lunching!

 

p.s. Here's a list of our favorite lunchboxes. And if you're looking for nut-free lunch suggestions, look no further