Welcome, TLT’ers, to the 2012 edition of “It Takes a Village to Pack a Lunch!”
For newcomers to this blog, this is my third annual series of posts, shared on an ad hoc basis throughout the month of September, designed to help parents with the sometimes challenging task of packing healthy and creative school lunches on a daily basis.
In the past I’ve hosted reader exchanges of lunch ideas, shared round-ups of clever and sustainable lunch gear, and enlisted other bloggers to motivate and inspire you. And this year I have a lot more in store!
Today’s theme is “Lunchbox Inspiration,” a few useful sources to get you thinking outside the (lunch) box.
It’s a good idea to get kids involved in school lunch planning to ensure the packed food actually gets eaten, and here’s a high-tech way to do just that. The LaLa Lunchbox iPhone app allows each of your kids to create a unique monster avatar and then plan a week’s worth of school lunches. Parents set the template for a standard lunch (i.e., how many fruits, how many vegetables, etc.) and can also edit the list of lunch items, including adding new foods that aren’t pre-programmed into the app. Once your kid has made his or her selections, a weekly shopping list is generated for you to take to the store. Neat!
Red, Round or Green Monday Menus
Blogger Bri of Red, Round or Green is known for sharing delicious, healthful recipes throughout the year, but right now she’s offering her readers a special bonus: six weeks of free, weekly lunch box menus! She’s about halfway through the series, posted each Monday, and has already shared eighteen new lunch ideas in categories like Easy Bites, Mini-Meals, and my favorite, Stuff in Other Stuff.
And speaking of Bri, here’s a recent article about lunch box packing in which she and I (along with Jeanne of The Jolly Tomato) are quoted, and here’s a great post Bri wrote last year for this series to get you “strategizing” about lunches more effectively.
Kelly Lester, CEO of EasyLunchboxes, has been a friend of TLT since the very beginning. In addition to selling her wildly popular lunch box system, Kelly has acquired a big fan base among bento lunch packers willing to share their ideas, recipes and tips. Kelly’s compendium of lunch box blogs will keep you surfing — and inspired — for hours!
A Special Offer from The Six O’Clock Scramble
Finally, I wanted to share an item which appeared with perfect timing in my inbox today. Longtime TLT friend The Six O’Clock Scramble, a wonderful meal planning service for busy families, has a special offer going on right now. For every meal-planning subscription purchased through the end of September, you also receive a printable chart of The Scramble’s 25 Mix and Match Healthy Lunch and Snack Ideas, plus you’ll be entered into four weekly drawings for a variety of items that will help with lunch packing, including gear, food items and a cookbook. You can sign up here.
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What are some of your go-to sources for inspiration when you hit a lunch rut? Don’t leave a desperate mom or dad hanging – let us know in a comment below.
[Blogger disclosure: I did not receive any compensation from any of the companies or individuals mentioned here.]
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