The time has come for my LaLa Lunchbox Meal Planning App review. I’m not being paid or otherwise compensated for my opinions, but I wanted to get this info to anyone who packs lunches for their kiddos. It’s a game changer!
The beginning of this school year was my five year old, John’s, first year of kindergarten. That meant it was our first year of eating breakfast and getting ready in time to catch the school bus, and of course — our first year of packing school lunches. Never fear! I was armed with pinterest pages and instagram sites full of ideas. I bought cute sandwich cutters for PB&J’s, cute cheese cutters for homemade lunchables, and stocked up on cute containers (purchased in doubles, so my forgetful John would be covered if he left anything at school). We were ready!
Except our school is nut free, John “doesn’t like cheese and crackers at school, only at home,” and almost every delightfully shaped object came back home. One day, he said, “I really just want regular ham and cheese sandwiches everyday.” Oh, defeat.
I made ham and cheese sandwiches everyday. I threw in whatever fruits and veggies we had, and they usually came home. Eventually, the sandwich started coming home, with fewer and fewer bites taken out of it.
I knew how to send healthy lunches.
I didn’t know how to get my five year old to eat those healthy lunches.
Enter LaLa Lunchbox!
Download the app to your smartphone and your child has the ability to pick pre-loaded foods from different categories (fruit, vegetable, protein, snack) they would like to see in their lunch. You can control the food options — my first mistake was failing to remove “watermelon” from the list when I first gave the app to John, but then we had a nice talk about seasonal foods in Michigan (watermelon is not around in January).
As you can see, John chose six items (SIX ITEMS!? you might say, but fear not! you can change this number!) for this lunch, with an apple and a banana as two of his choices. Here’s where we can get creative. I love the Bentgo Kids Lunchbox (found here) because the compartments are the perfect size for a lower-elementary sized tummy. I take John’s choices and fit them into our lunchbox the best way I can. I don’t add anything extra, because I want him to eat the balanced meal he chose.
Here’s what the above plan looks like in the Bentgo and ready for school:
All together we had yogurt (protein), cauliflower (vegetable), dried apples (fruit), banana (fruit), pretzels (snack), and a graham cracker (snack). I always send along a water bottle with his lunches. And guess how much of this came back? Nothing! (Even if he just preferred to look at the banana monster… okay, buddy).
(Also: do you love that little card above the banana? It’s a Lunchbox Love card, and you can find them at sayplease.com.)
I have been giving John the app to plan his meals on the weekends. The app organizes all of the selections into one grocery list for you, so you don’t have to sift through each day to figure out what to buy.
My favorite takeaway from this whole app (besides organization, hooray!) is that John really has a say in the lunches he eats, and he begins to understand how to put healthy meals together.
If you’re on board and want more, there is a Breakfast app as well! Exact same concept. Pro tip: maybe remove bacon every once in a while, unless you want to start out every single day as a fry cook.
That’s it for our review! Will you be grabbing a LaLa Lunchbox app or two? Join me in lunch planning fun.