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Apps We Love: Planning Lunch With Your Little Monster

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Between Nicholas Day's family cookbooks, tips for trying new foods, Amanda's kids' lunches, and eating by example, we talk a lot about eating with and cooking for kids here on FOOD52. Today we have a digital solution to your lunchbox woes: LaLa Lunchbox, a new app for iPhone (download it here) that brings parents and kids together to plan and pack lunches.

With the philosophy that kids who plan their own meals grow up to be better eaters, LaLa Lunchbox combines adorable graphics with truly helpful tools for busy families. Kids feel empowered because they get to choose their own meals, parents save money (the app generates a grocery list for you -- no more wasted, unwanted food), and everyone saves time -- both in the mornings when packing lunches and at the store.

It's interactive, it's educational, and it can be 100% personalized to your pantry. You can easily add your kids' favorite dishes -- whether that's mac and cheese or pickled ramp and cream cheese sandwiches -- to the database, and you can share your children's lunch ideas via Facebook, Twitter, or email. ("You'll never guess what our oldest picked for lunch -- maybe yours will like it too!")

Kids are involved in LaLa Lunchbox literally from step 1: lunchbox personalization! Each child picks a monster -- cute little bug-eyed creatures in bright colors -- and a lunch box color, then labels it with their name.

Then the lunch packing begins! Meals are divided into 4 categories, and items in each category are dragged into the monster's mouth to add them. After your child chooses a day's meal, the app has a helpful option to replicate that meal for the next day. Perfect for the kid who wants PB&J and an apple every day of the week!

Are you not a sandwich type? Do you make big batches of soup to dole out over the week? You can easily add custom food items in LaLa Lunchbox -- just snap a photo of what's cooking and it's automatically added to the database of food items!

And finally, that grocery list. Your weekly shopping is a breeze with automatically generated lists based on your child's picks.

LaLa Lunchbox is all about valuing food and giving kids the voice they deserve to grow into adventurous eating adults. (You can follow them on Twitter and Facebook as well!) What are your strategies for planning lunch with your kids?

Tags: Food Biz, Kids