This week we talk to Beau Coffron, the man behind the amazing Lunchbox Dad blog. As well as holding down a fancy pants job, Beau took it upon himself to
shame encourage other parents to make their kids’ lunchboxes fun, and interactive experiences. We tracked him down to get the skinny on what really goes on in chez lunchbox.
Hi Beau. Tell us about Lunchbox Dad and what made you start blogging about creative lunchboxes…
“I was looking for a way to connect with my daughter when she started kindergarten. I saw some moms online making fun lunches and I thought, “Hey, I’m a dad why can’t I do that?” So I started making her creative lunches every Monday for school. They are a surprise each week. Once I started making them I decided to write down the recipes and take pictures. From there it turned into a blog to share some of the recipes with other parents and hopefully inspire them. Then it just expanded from there on social media, TV, etc. My kids and I have had a bunch of fun with it and it is one of my daughter’s favorite times of the week!”
What essential kit does every parent need to make their kid’s lunchbox totally amazing?
“You have to have a good reusable lunchbox. It doesn’t have to be expensive but something practical. It also helps to have cookie cutters to use on sandwiches. I also always have toothpicks which help make some of the details of my lunches. Other than that, a bunch of fruit and vegetables. It doesn’t have to be complicated to make a lunch for your kids fun.”
Waaa! I don’t have time to be spending hours every day making fancy lunchboxes for my kids! Are there any timesaving tips and tricks you can share?
I already mentioned cookie cutters. Those are the biggest. If you are just starting out use those on sandwiches and see how it goes over. You can also get vegetable cutters online. These can make some really fun small shapes. Also use leftovers. Stuff like chicken and pasta can make some easy and healthy lunches. It also helps to spend a few minutes at the beginning of the week and cut up food that will keep in the fridge for a few days. This way you can save time at night during the week.
What’s in your fridge right now?
“My fridge is actually really empty right now, I need to go shopping! Normally I always have whole wheat bread, fruit, and vegetables. I also have things like meat cheese to make sandwiches and also peanut butter and jelly. We have tons of eggs from some family members who have chickens. We also have leftovers, filtered water and some more odds and ends.”
Do you ever cheat and not give your kids a funny lunchbox? If so, do you find a tiny rebellion on your hands?
“No, my daughter knows that she usually gets the lunches once a week. My son isn’t in school yet so his are a bit more sporadic. Other days of the week there lunches are more normal but we still try and make them balanced and healthy…and food that they will eat!”
Do all the parents at your kid’s school hate you because they have to compete with you and your fancy lunches?
“To be honest with you I know some of her friends know about her lunches but I have only heard about one or two parents. I’m not even sure the school knows about the attention her lunches have received.”
What did YOU eat for lunch today?
“Oh today was a weird day. I got home for lunch late so I just had some leftovers heated up in the microwave. I had pork, rice, and some strawberries. Basically whatever was easy to grab.”
What blogs do you read?
“I mainly read food and parenting blogs. A few are puzzlingpostdad.com, modernfatheronline.com, howtobeadad.com, and you can go to bentobloggersandfriends.blogspot.com to see many of the food blogs I read.”
What’s next for Lunchbox Dad?
We will see. I have enjoyed appearing on some TV shows and would like to do more of that. Most of all, I want to keep showing my kids that I love them and hopefully encourage other parents to connect with their own kids.
What’s the best advice you have ever gotten when it comes to feeding kids?
My wife and I have always lived by the advice that our kids eat what we eat. When it comes to meals, we don’t make special food for our kids. Whatever we make, we all eat. This has saved us from so many headaches.