camp

Tips for Easy Summer Lunches

The weather is warm, the sun is shining for longer, and people everywhere are outside with smiles on their faces. I love you, summer! Whether your kiddos are headed to camp this summer or they'll be enjoying unstructured days, they'll still need to eat lunch. Every day. Look, I realize it can be stressful to continue to pack lunches in the summer after school has ended. I'm right in the trenches with you. Below are some tips to make that task slightly easier so you can kick back with that glass of wine and listen to the crickets. 

1. Produce is your best friend. 
My kids tend to choose more produce-heavy lunches in the summer, probably because summer produce is so ridiculously delicious (I'm looking at you, nectarines, plums, watermelon, melon, strawberries, cukes and green beans!). Lunches that showcase the colorful bounty of the summer are a treat for the eyes, the mouth and the stomach. So don't sweat it if you don't want to pack some elaborate lunch. Let the fruits and veggies do the heavy lifting for you. Plus, have you read this post about how many fruits and veggies your kids should eat every day? Eye opening. 

produce lunch

2. Prep fruits and veggies ahead of time. 
Adding lots of fruits and veggies to your kid's lunchbox is a hundred times easier if they're sliced, cut, peeled and ready to go ahead of time. Pick a day, set aside 30 minutes and get friendly with your cutting board and your favorite knife. Trust me, you won't regret this. The lunch below took all of five minutes to throw together because I had already sliced everything except the salami. 

summer lunch 1

3. Be adventure-ready! 
Some kids love unstructured time but some kids need their days to be more carefully planned. Whichever category your kids fall into, having a lunch that's already packed will make getting out the door much smoother. Best way to do this? Pack lunches at night. Whether your kids are choosing their own lunches or you're the one deciding what they'll eat, lunch packing goes much better with wine than it does with coffee. Plus, if you're packing leftovers, doing it at night makes sense, right? 

lunch 3

4. Don't forget breakfast! 
Who doesn't love breakfast for lunch? Whether it's waffles, crepes, eggs or a yogurt parfait, there are loads of foods that are delicious and fun for breakfast AND lunch. Below are three examples of brunchy lunches that my kids love. 

brunch lunch 1
brunchy lunch 2
brunchy lunch 3

Whatever you pack, be sure to include an ice pack to keep lunch contents safe and cool for the day, as well as a big container of water to keep kids well hydrated. 

For daily lunch inspiration, be sure to follow us on Instagram. Happy lunching! 

You might also like: 
Strategies to Get More Veggies in That Lunchbox
Lunchbox Favorites
Meal and Snack Planning at Your Fingertips

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. 

Camp Lunches

We've still got a few weeks of camp lunches to pack before the busy back to school season is upon us. The reality is, kids eat lunch every day – so whether I'm packing lunches for my three to cart to school, to camp or just to the park on a day when nothing is scheduled, I'm always on the lookout for lunch inspiration. I've been checking out this Insta account and of course this one and I'm looking forward to seeing loads of back to school posts on this one very soon. 

In the meantime, here are some of our recent camp lunches that have fueled my two older kids through days of nature camp, art camp and STEM camp and my youngest one through carefree days at the playground and the park. We update our school lunch gallery regularly (and have organized it into dairy, egg, nut butter, vegetarian and meat lunches to make browsing easier) so keep checking back for ideas there. 

fresh mozzarella sandwich kebabs, celery, apple and popcorn

fresh mozzarella sandwich kebabs, celery, apple and popcorn

waffle with mini maple syrup, raspberries, frozen peas, mango

waffle with mini maple syrup, raspberries, frozen peas, mango

chicken, pasta, cherry tomatoes, green beans, orange

chicken, pasta, cherry tomatoes, green beans, orange

eggs, green beans, roasted sweet potato chips, mango and raspberries, dark chocolate with pretzel

eggs, green beans, roasted sweet potato chips, mango and raspberries, dark chocolate with pretzel

waffle with sunbutter and cinnamon, granola, egg, crackers, banana and raspberries

waffle with sunbutter and cinnamon, granola, egg, crackers, banana and raspberries

ham and cheese sandwich kebabs, carrot sticks, apple, dark chocolate with mint

ham and cheese sandwich kebabs, carrot sticks, apple, dark chocolate with mint

cheese tortellini, green beans, pink grapefruit, raspberries and dark chocolate with pumpkin seeds

cheese tortellini, green beans, pink grapefruit, raspberries and dark chocolate with pumpkin seeds

yogurt with honey and vanilla, blueberries, wax beans, egg, sugar plums, dark chocolate with pretzel

yogurt with honey and vanilla, blueberries, wax beans, egg, sugar plums, dark chocolate with pretzel

various eggs, crackers, plum, cucumber with herb salt, grapes, Annie's fruit gummies

various eggs, crackers, plum, cucumber with herb salt, grapes, Annie's fruit gummies

cheese and crackers, nectarine, strawberries, pumpkin seeds, Annie's granola bar

cheese and crackers, nectarine, strawberries, pumpkin seeds, Annie's granola bar

waffle with mini maple syrup, Applegate chicken apple sausages, egg, apple, grapes

waffle with mini maple syrup, Applegate chicken apple sausages, egg, apple, grapes