Nicknamed “The Lunchbox Dad,” Beau Coffron changed the lunchbox game with his creative bento boxes. Now, parents everywhere can create these easy and fun lunches for their kids that make “their lives easier and kids’ lunches exciting”. How cool is that? Well, lucky us, we got the chance to sit down and have a quick chat with Beau on all things lunches and family.
You have really thought outside of the lunchbox! What was your inspiration behind Lunchbox Dad?
I was looking for a way to connect with my daughter when she started school a few years ago. I saw some moms making fun lunches online, and I thought, “I’m a dad, why can’t I do that?” So I tried it out, and my daughter loved it. She gets a fun lunch every Monday that she is in school. We both have had a ton of fun with it.
You have an incredible community following online. How has this following affected both you and/or your business?
It has been so great getting to know other people and especially parents who resonate with what I’m doing. The overall response has been positive but, of course, there are those who will find something negative in everything. I have a great time interacting with those who follow me on social media and those who leave comments on my blog. I try and respond to everyone who leaves me a note. I have also been able to connect with a number of other bloggers who have since become my friends.
Tell us about the process of creating a lunchbox!
I usually make them on Sunday nights. There isn’t really a science to it. I just pay attention to what my kids are watching or reading. Sometimes I’ll see food in the store that inspires me for a certain theme, but mostly I just use what I have in the kitchen. One of my goals is to inspire other parents to try this at home, so I do my best to use ingredients that many people have or can easily get at the store. I try and make the meals balanced and healthy, but I have to throw in a little treat every once in awhile. I top everything off with a note that I write to her to remind her that I am thinking about her and love her.
Has this venture altered the way you view the world as a dad?
I don’t know if it has altered it as much as helped solidify how important dads are in their lives of their kids. Through this adventure, my kids and I have grown much closer. I have also paid much more attention to what shows and books they are watching/reading, and this helps me guide them in making good choices with this.
Any tips for aspiring lunchbox parents?
Start simple. I always encourage parents just to try using a cookie cutter on their kids’ sandwiches. If they want to get fancier I put step-by-step directions for all of my lunches on my blog. If all else fails I welcome them to ask me questions.
What is one thing that has surprised you in this venture?
The one surprising thing is that people always claim that no one has time for this. I counter by saying we all make choices with our time. Some parents watch TV, go to the gym or read a book at night. I choose to do this. I work a full-time job and have three kids. All of that comes before I work on lunches or my blog. If you spend a few extra minutes on making school lunches you might be surprised about how easy it can be to make them special.
You work a lot with your daughter. How do your kids influence you and your venture?
They influence it in every way. I never want them to be forced into anything. There are plenty of ideas that I have had that they are not into. When that happens, I just let the ideas go because this is all about our family, not exposure online. If it isn’t good for them, I would drop the whole thing in a second. They also have their own ideas that I try and help them accomplish. Of course, when it comes to lunches specifically, they make lots of requests.
What’s next for Lunchbox Dad?
Well, the school year is starting soon, so things are going to get busy once again. I have a few new companies that I am working with so there will be some exciting things coming out this Fall! You will just have to check in to find out.
Checkout Lunchbox Dad: http://www.lunchboxdad.com/
**All pictures VIA Lunchbox Dad’s Instagram