Most parents would be familiar with Internet superstar, Lunchbox Dad Beau Coffron, he of the edible lunchbox masterpieces that make my kid’s sambos look spectacularly unappetising … embarrassingly so.
San Francisco-based businessman and father-of-three Beau has been in Australia to help launch Sunraysia’s Lunchbox Love campaign and their healthy new range of delicious all organic juices, to encourage families to get creative and add a little love into their children’s lunch boxes as they head back to school.
And just in time to put the pressure on me to “lift my game” in the school lunch department, our very own interviewer extraordinaire, Raffles, sat down with Beau over a couple of Sunraysia juices to talk about fun and nutritious school lunches and to pay out on mine. Over to the boys…
Beau, Welcome to Australia. You’re from San Francisco, right? My friend lives there and I’ve never been. Would you recommend visiting? Oh, and what’s the food like?
San Francisco is a great place. I would definitely recommend going there. And the food is great.
Right, I’ll work on my mum to take me.
What made you start making Bento lunch boxes?
It was about three years ago when my daughter started school and I was looking for a way to connect with her and show her that her dad was thinking about her. I saw mums making bento lunch boxes and thought I could do that too. So, on the first Monday of school I surprised her with a Hello Kitty lunch and she liked it, so we decided to make it an every week thing. From there I started my blog to record our lunches.
Your blog is so, so cool. I love it.
A lot of kids eat junk food at school but my mum won’t let us. What do you think is so important about having nutritious food in school lunches?
It is very important. I make nutritious lunches to help build strong bodies and because I want my kids to eat things that will help their brains work really well while they’re at school to help them focus and learn more. I don’t want them to be hyper on sugar and junk food.
That’s what mum says.
What are the most important components of a good bento lunch?
Great question. First you need a good lunch box.I like Easy Lunchboxes and they’re available here in Australia. Then you need some healthy food. I like to use lots of fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grains. That’s a great place to start. You can freeze a Sunraysia 100% natural organic juice pouch and add that to help keep things cool as well as providing a healthy cold drink. (Note: You can also head to Sunraysia Australia’s facebook page to download adorable notes to add a little extra love to your kids lunchbox)
They’re really yummy. I really like the apple guava one.
My mum makes a pretty good lunch but they are nowhere as epic as yours. How do you find the time to create them?
I make them on Sunday nights after the kids go to bed so my kids can take them on Monday morning. I put them all together and pop them in the fridge.
Mum needs to lift her game!
How do you come up with all your cool ideas?
I get all my inspiration form what my kids are watching and reading at the time.
That’s epic I think I should get my mum to make me a Harry Potter or Kung Fu Panda one.
Bentos come from Japan, have you been there?
I’ve never been and would love to go because I love sushi and Japanese food. Hopefully I can go one day and take my kids with me. Do you think they’d like it?
Yes, you’re kids would love it! I’ve been and my favourite part was eating!
Are you inspired by the food of other countries?
Sometimes but generally what I like to do is use foods that my kids really like that are healthy and I try to get them to try new things that are just around. I did do a big sushi lunch box one time for my daughter and she liked that a lot. One rule in our house is that if we serve something the kids need to at least try it – if they don’t like it it’s ok.
We have the same rule. Luckily I like just about everything because my mum loves cooking stuff from all over the place.
I love your Big Hero 6 and Chewbacca Bentos. What is your favourite ever Bento you made?
Great question. I would probably have to say my Chewbacca one is my favourite because I’m a big fan of Star Wars.
Cool. Me too!
What about your kids – which did they like best?
My 9-year old daughter would probably say the Frozen themed lunch I made. My son would probably say one of the super hero lunches like Ironman.
My little sister would go nuts for a Frozen lunch! But then she’s already pretty nuts.
What about an Aussie themed lunch box next?
That would be great.
It would have to include Vegemite. Have you tried it?
I haven’t but you know its one of my goals while I’m here. Do you like it?
I do but the secret is to use loads of butter on your toast and only a smear of Vegemite!
Will you teach me to make a Bento lunch?
I will today! I’ll teach you how to make two.
Awesome! Thanks so much for talking to me today.