If you are a parent and have spent anytime at all on social media then you may have come across viral internet sensation, Lunchbox Dad, in your travels.
For those of you don’t know who we’re talking about, let us introduce you.
Meet Beau Coffron, a married dad to three kids from the San-Francisco Bay area who works full-time but somehow still manages to make time to create the most incredible lunchboxes for his kids that you may have ever seen. No really, ever.
Beau is currently in Australia to launch Sunraysia’s new nationwide Lunchbox Love initiative, encouraging Aussies to take lunch-making to new heights, adding love back into their children’s lunchboxes this New Year.
We were lucky enough to interview Lunchbox Dad and find out what makes this guy tick. Hint: it’s pretty much his kids… #dadoftheyear
- The first question I have to ask you is ‘why??’ What motivates you to spend so much time on what is, arguably, one of the most mundane of all the parenting chores?
I would argue that what some might see as mundane I see lunch making as something that can be fun. Yes, I know many parents consider it to be boring but what I try and do is encourage parents to be a bit more creative and have a good time with it, because it just might bring your kids and you a little closer together. That is what happened with my kids and me. I make creative lunches not only to help introduce healthy foods to my children, but also because it is a hobby that helps show my kids love in a different sort of way.
- Do you have any artistic or chef training?
None whatsoever. Unless you count an art class I took one night in 4th grade. I can barely draw stick figures.
- How do you have time to prepare such amazing lunchboxes?
I have a full-time job, am married, and have three kids. I have to carve out the time and make it a priority. Usually that is on Sunday nights. Some people choose to go to the gym, watch TV, spend hours on Pinterest, or hate on me on Facebook. I choose to do this.
- What time saving tips can you share to help us, creatively challenged parents?
Well first check out my blog lunchboxdad.com and also Sunraysia’s Facebook page. My blog lists most of my recipes. Sunraysia’s page has some new lunchbox notes to download that I love because it makes it easy to add something simple and special to your kids’ lunch. After that I always recommend that parents start by simply using cookie cutters on sandwiches. It only takes a few extra seconds and many people already have them in their kitchens.
- Are you able to share with us what your preferred brand of bento box is?
It all depends on what lunch I’m making. There are many great ones out there but I usually use either Easy Lunch Boxes or Planetbox. Yubo also makes some fun customizable lunchboxes.
- Have you created a parenting rod for your own back? Have you ever just made a sandwich with the crusts cut off and your kids are super disappointed?
I run out of time and energy sometimes too. I’m a real parent just trying to do my best just like most of the parents out there. I only makes these once a week and the rest of the week is a combination of what we have already in the fridge and leftovers from the night before. My kids get that. Sometimes lunches fail and I use ingredients that my kids won’t eat. One time I made a princess lunch where the head fell off before lunchtime at school. When my daughter came home I found out she thought it was a decapitated princess. She ate it anyway she just thought it was weird that I would send it.
- What are your most popular lunchbox combinations?
I would say my Minions and Star Wars lunches are some of my most popular. I am training my kids up to be Star Wars geeks and I make no apologies for that.
- Where do you get your inspiration?
Straight from my kids. I try and pay attention to what they are reading and watching and build the lunches off of that.
- If someone was starting out, what are your top 5 products that they should begin with?
A great lunchbox, sharp knives, toothpicks, cookie cutters, and the lunch recipes that I created for Sunraysia. Those should be up on their Facebook page and website.
- What are some of the messages you have given your kids in their lunchboxes?
Normally for the notes that I have given my own kids we keep what is said in the family. I rarely ever show those on my blog. However they basically consist of me telling them that I love them, that I’m thinking about them, and that they should try their best. Of course I have to throw in a cheesy dad joke now and again as well.
- How has it helped you bond with your children?
Not only has it helped me pay more attention to what they are watching, but it also gives us some great conversations after school on Mondays as well.
- Are you just in charge of lunch boxes in your family or do you do dinner too?
My wife and I pretty much split responsibilities for lunch and dinner. We try and work together to make sure everything gets done. My daughter loves to cook and bake as well. Her dream is to be a YouTube cooking star. Of course she would also like to be an engineer in Paris who lives in a castle. She is keeping her options open I guess.
- What would you suggest for fussy eaters?
My son is pretty fussy and what we do with him is to give him a couple options. For example I might ask him whether he would like grapes or apples in his lunch. This lets him play a part in the process and he gets to feel like the choice is his.
“Because of the unique 200ml pouch format of Sunraysia’s Organic 100% Juice Pouches, the juices can be easily moulded to fit in any lunchbox, and when frozen can be used as your own personal ice pack, so when it comes around to lunchtime, your child’s food is not only cool and fresh but they can enjoy a delicious icy pole or slushy in the Aussie summer heat,” says Lunchbox Dad.
Sunraysia’s Organic 100% Juice Pouches come in seven flavours, are 100% natural, Australian certified organic and produced without harmful chemical pesticides, fertilisers, added sugar or preservatives.
To download the Sunraysia Lunchbox Love Notes & find out more, click here.