NAME LaLa Lunchbox
WHAT Let your children help plan what’s in their lunchboxes.
HOW MUCH Free, in-app purchases
COMPATIBLE WITH iPhone, iPad and iPod touch with iOS 8.0 or later.
WHAT’S GOOD Parents may know how to prepare healthful lunches for kids, but frequently those lunchboxes come home barely touched. This app makes your child a part of the lunch-planning process, helping to assure that the food chosen will be eaten. After downloading the app, go to settings, where you can add choices to the four food categories (fruit, vegetable, protein, snack) or limit items in the default database. Then have each child in the family create a lunchbox and monster avatar. (The app can be shared and synced on multiple devices.) Kids select from one to eight lunch items a day by dragging and dropping pictures of their choices into their monster’s mouth. Favorite meals can be named and saved, which makes repeating them easy. Selected foods automatically create grocery shopping lists, organized by week and food category. Need help deciding? Check out “inspirations,” a group of photos of lunch ideas and combinations. Parents also can select gluten-free, kosher, nut-free and vegetarian menus for children who require special diets, but these require in-app purchases.
WHAT’S NOT There doesn’t seem to be a way to set limits on the number of items chosen from each food group, which means a child could pick six snacks for lunch. The $2.99 price for each of the special diets seems high.
BOTTOM LINE Your kid may become part of the clean-plate club by using this app.