Disney Dad of the Year: Disney-theme lunches will make you both hungry and jealous!

Credit: Lunchbox Dad

There’s just something about knowing that a meal was made with love, whether it be a hot meal served up at a family member’s table or a lunch packed with love and sent to school or work with you. The thought and care behind the items that fill a lunchbox or table often make more of an impact than the food itself.

When it comes to planning and care when packing lunches, Beau Coffron, the creative mastermind behind the blog, “Lunchbox Dad”, takes first prize. This Disney Dad packs Disney character lunches for his kids. What began as a dad having fun while doing a chore (packing kids’ lunch boxes for school) has resulted in thousands of views, a blog, conference keynote speaker sessions, television appearances, as well as the culinary masterpieces themselves: themed lunches featuring Marvel heroes, Disney characters, and other beloved popular characters.


Credit: Lunchbox Dad

You’ve likely never seen anything quite like these themed lunches. Fruit and vegetables cut into Disney characters,  cohesive themed side dishes, fruit, and dessert all are components of these perfectly themed and delicious-looking lunches. No random additions here; each item is perfectly planned and themed to create a balanced and beautiful lunch. After just a few minutes of browsing his blog, it’s evident how much time and care Coffron invests in this labor of love.

Not only are lunches expertly themed, but they also include a variety of foods from day to day. We aren’t just talking chips, fruit, and a sandwich, folks! These kids’ lunches feature a variety of food. Pasta salad, roast chicken, rice, charcuterie-style meats, and cheese and sushi are just a few of the variations you will notice when browsing the blog. Talk about keeping lunch interesting! The Lunchbox Dad is up to the challenge!


“Turning Red”-themed lunch/Credit: Lunchbox Dad

Coffron enjoys creating characters and scenes from movies in his kid’s lunches. It all started with a themed Hello Kitty lunch he sent to school with his daughter and continued on to include his two sons in the coming years. His advice to parents who want to follow in his creative lunch box footsteps? Start small, have fun, and get creative!

These lunches are delicious and I would be so excited to nosh on one for my midday meal any day. A Finding Nemo-themed box features goldfish, shells, and cheese macaroni, dried fruit cut into the shape of Nemo, and a sea turtle-shaped side of broccoli and snap peas as a side. An adorable smiling Donald Duck is composed of a sandwich, Jell-O, grape tomatoes, strawberries, grapes, and blueberries–just to name a few of the delicious components.


Credit: Winnie the Pooh-themed lunch/Lunchbox Dad

We aren’t the only ones loving these cute and creative lunches. Coffron has been featured on ABC’s Georgia Morning America and on NBC’s The Steve Harvey Show. His luxe lunches trended to #2 on Buzzfeed.com, and he has wowed readers on sites like Yahoo, Today, Fox News, E!Online, and CNN.

Related: Dad who sang “Ave Maria” like one of the Three Tenors at Disney’s Grand Floridian shares a new video to bring smiles

As Disney fans, we are always searching for ways to keep the magic alive between Walt Disney World vacations. You don’t have to be at a theme park bound to join the fun. What better way to bring the Disney magic home than to amp up daily lunches with a little pixie dust! If you are missing the magic of Walt Disney World dining and standbys like Crystal Palace, Cinderella’s Royal Table, and Chef Mickey’s, enjoy a different kind of character dining at home!

Related: Disney Meals to Make at Home In Winter

If you are missing the Parks, put a vacation spin on your lunch. Maybe you want to pack an attraction-themed lunch;  Pirates of the Caribbean-themed lunch anyone? How adorable would a Peter Pan’s Flight or a Space Mountain-themed lunch be? Or maybe a lunch that pays homage to a favorite Disney Park. Who wouldn’t love to open their lunch box to find an Animal Kingdom-themed lunch complete with the Tree of Life and animals?


Credit: Lunchbox Dad

Are you missing a home away from home–your favorite Disney Resort? Put together a Mardi Gras (Port Orleans Riverside), African Savanna (Animal Kingdom Lodge), or South Seas (Polynesian Village Resort) inspired lunch for the next day.

If vacation is all about the food for you like it is for so many of us, take the time to channel your favorite Disney foods in a lunchbox. Sure, you can’t pack an actual Dole Whip for your child, but how doable would a Dole Whip-shaped and themed box be? With some shaping and layering, you could easily style colored fruit slices (mango or cantaloupe) atop an expertly shaped sandwich to depict a fresh Dole Whip in a cup.

Related: 50 Snacks You MUST Try at Disney World if You’re a True Disney Fan

If going full Lunchbox Dad mode on the regular seems daunting to you but the concept sounds fun, consider making it a fun surprise in the days leading up to a holiday season (how about a Santa or Halloween-inspired Jack Skellington character meal?), or even the days leading up to a Disney vacation. What better way to spark joy in your child’s school day than a lunchtime reminder of the magic that awaits them on an upcoming Disney vacation? Maybe you’ll choose to pack a Mickey or Minnie lunch or a character from your kids’ favorite Disney film. We are in love with this Mirabel Encanto box! Talk about character dining, this box is next level!


“Encanto”-themed lunch/Credit: Lunchbox Dad

Coffron recommends securing some cookie cutters to use on sandwiches, fruits, and vegetables to cut into fun shapes. If you are afraid to go full-out gourmet right away, starting with some adorably-shaped lunch components is a great idea. If you’re ready to up your game a bit, visit Lunchbox Dad online for ideas and tutorials. Who knows–Lunchbox Dad may just have a tutorial for a lunch inspired by your kid’s favorite Disney character, Disney princess, or Star Wars character. Coffron posts recipes and videos for themed lunches he packs.


Credit: Lunchbox Dad

Above all, it’s the thought that counts. This Disney dad knows how much handwritten notes mean to his kids, so he makes an effort to include them in their lunch every week. A note to your child is an easy addition to a lunchbox that goes a long way to convey your love in school lunches!

About Katie Chapman

Hey There! I am a Georgia native with a passion for writing, traveling, cooking, decorating, pugs and of course all things Disney. Growing up in South Georgia just a few hours from Walt Disney World made for a magical childhood. Some of my best memories were made on Main Street U.S.A. with my sister watching SpectroMagic nighttime parade or beside my grandparents, parents and extended family at Chef Mickey’s celebrating on a family vacation. Epcot was my favorite park from a young age and I credit it with my interest in and love for international travel. As a kid I loved meeting characters and watching films around World Showcase and could spend hours exploring each of the countries in Epcot. These days, my husband and I get away to explore a new country whenever we can and even incorporate trips to The Disney Store and Disney Parks around the world in our travels. One of our travel goals is to visit every Disney Park in the world. I love writing about Disney restaurants, park tips, Disney outfit inspiration and Disney history. Pocahontas is my favorite Disney Princess (90s kid here!) but Mr. Toad is my spirit animal. When I’m not at Disney I’m reading about park history, watching Disney documentaries and shopping vintage Disney merch for park outfits. I never pass up a reservation to Ohana, an empty seat on Living with the Land or a Violet Sake.