Back to school season is in full swing (raise your hand if your little one is already there!) and the frenzy of packing school lunch looms large. Parents vow at the beginning of every school year to be more organized and better at meal planning but getting started and staying the course can be overwhelming.
There’s no shortage of meal planning printables out there; sheets of paper for you to handily jot down what you’ll pack for lunch and the groceries you’ll need to make that happen. But in this 21st century era of reusing and recycling, it’s important to get beyond printing one more piece of paper that’ll just get tossed after your groceries are purchased and lunches are packed. The LaLa Lunchbox app takes care of your meal planning and your grocery list without wasting any paper. Guess what else it helps your family waste less of? Money and food. This app is the only meal planner that specifically and intentionally invites kids into the process of choosing their meals with a fun and engaging interface. There are loads of healthy options available – and a completely customizable food library – and the choices that kids make become a grocery list that’s available immediately on your phone, not on paper. We’ve heard dietitians tell us year after year to get kids involved in the process of choosing their lunches and here’s why: they’re more excited to actually eat what they’ve chosen, so less food is needlessly thrown out, and your grocery dollars are well spent.
Kids can plan lunches on an iPad and the grocery list automatically appears on a parent’s iPhone. They’ve just added new dietary-specific bundles of food (nut free, gluten free, dairy free, vegetarian and kosher) curated by well-known dietitian Holley Grainger, which makes finding something delicious to pack for lunch even easier for parents who have to accommodate special diets. Over time, kids will learn about the components of a healthy meal, organizational skills and meal planning – important life skills – plus they’ll be exposed to a variety of foods to help them get out of a picky eating rut. Win-win. The concept of putting meal planning power in the hands of kids isn’t revolutionary, but doing it with fun technology is just plain smart.
LaLa Lunchbox is available for free on iTunes. Come back and let us know what you think!