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Dad's Amazing School Lunches Look Like Characters from Disney, 'Star Wars' and More

His labor of love began as a way to connect with his oldest child, and now it helps him bond with all three of his kids, ages 11, 8 and 4.
Credit: Lunchbox Dad
Lunchbox Dad, Beau Coffron, has been creating whimsical lunches for his kids for six years.

Beau Coffron has catapulted school lunches to the next level.

Coffron, the father of three behind the Lunchbox Dad blog, designs crazy adorable meals. It all started after he sent his daughter to kindergarten with a Hello Kitty-themed lunch six years ago.

(Editor's note: Lunchbox Dad is a partner of Grateful.co, which is part of the USA TODAY NETWORK.)

As his family grew to include two sons, the lunches evolved into a wider variety of pop-culture characters.

He has sent his kids to school packing edible depictions of "Guardians of the Galaxy,""Star Wars" and "Ant-Man and the Wasp."

To celebrate the new #ChristopherRobin movie coming out, here is one of my #WinniethePooh lunches! It is complete with a #Pooh book sandwich made with turkey, cheese, bread and tortilla for pages. Will you see the new movie🍿 with your kids this weekend? We hope to! . . . #christopherrobinmovie #winniethepoohandfriends #tigger #piglet #eyeore #disney #disneyfan #disneyfood #disneyart #disneygram #instadisney #poohbear #bento #bentobox #lunch #lunchideas #backtoschool #schoollunch #lunchbox #foodie #foodart #foodartist

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With the current heat wave where we are at I really wish #Elsa was here to bring a little relief! Maybe even just a mobile snow flurry like she gave #Olaf in the summer? Anyway, here is my #Frozen lunch to bring cool thoughts. This definitely was one of my daughter’s favorite lunches of all-time! . . . #disney #disneyfan #disneyart #disneyfood #frozeneverafter #disneyworld #epcotcenter #norway #anna #sven #foodart #foodartist #bento #bentobox #disneyeats #disneygram #instadisney #instafood #foodstagram #foodblogger #foodie #disneylife #disneyprincess

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Some dads have sports; this dad has artfully packed school lunches

These lunchtime masterpieces may make parents who shove a sandwich, chips and fruit in a bag and call it lunch feel lazy.

Coffron, who makes the unique creations once a week for Monday lunches, realizes the intricate meals may not be for every parent.

But his labor of love began as a way to connect with his oldest child, and now it helps him bond with all three of his kids, ages 11, 8 and 4.

"It helps me pay attention to what they're into and what's going in their life. I think, 'What are some lunches I can make for that?' And that gives us something to talk about. It has brought us all closer together." he said.

And it's not like Coffron has a bunch of extra time to make the works of edible art. The 40-year-old married dad works full time in social media in the Oklahoma City area.

Once all the ingredients are assembled, a typical themed lunch takes about 20 minutes to prepare on a Sunday night, he said.

Credit: Beau Coffron
Beau Coffron of Lunchbox Dad says creating special, surprise lunches for his kids once a week has brought them closer together.

The special lunches have been a success with getting his kids to like new foods

Coffron said he has given his oldest, who's entering the sixth grade, the option of no longer taking her Monday character-themed lunch to school.

"I've told her if she ever feels like she doesn't want them anymore, it's not going to hurt my feelings. But she still wants to. So until then, or until she goes away to college, I'll keep making them," he said.

A bonus of the hours and hours he has spent on making lunches over the years is that his children have expanded their palates.

For some lunches, he has used fruits and vegetables that his kids have declared they didn't like but ate once artfully displayed, including snap peas, broccoli, kiwi, mango and dried fruits.

Have you seen the new #JurassicWorld yet? I just saw it last weekend because I’m always up for #dinosaur movies! Here’s one of my #Dino lunches that might spur on some ideas for meals for your own kids. Nothing like a #Triceratops sandwich right? It’s complete with a #strawberry volcano and Dino egg! . . . #jurassicpark #jurassicworldfallenkingdom #dinosaurs #dinosauregg #foodart #foodartist #bento #bentobox #foodphotography #foodblogger #foodpics #foodiegram #instafood #sandwich #lunch #lunchtime #lunchideas #lunchbreak #volcano

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What’s your favorite #Pixar movie? Summertime has me thinking about the ocean and beaches which gets me thinking about #FindingNemo! This is an older lunch but it’s still one of my favorites! You can find the ingredients on my blog at lunchboxdad.com. . . . #disney #disneyart #disneyfan #disneyfun #disneyfood #disneyland #waltdisneyworld #foodie #foodblogger #foodart #foodartist #bento #bentobox #instafood #foodiegram

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Little things you can do to make your kids' school lunches special

To be a hero to your kids when it comes to school lunch, you don't need to make a masterpiece.

All you need to do is pack a note, Coffron said. With every special Monday lunch, he includes a note taped to the inside of his kids' lunchboxes.

"I really think that my son likes that more than the lunch," Coffron said.

Another simple trick? Use a cookie cutter.

"Just use it on bread or sandwiches or fruits or vegetables. Cut them into fun shapes for the kids. It's a great way to start," he said.

Recreate the lunches: Coffron includes recipes, directions and videos for the lunches he makes on his blog, Lunchbox Dad.

It’s not easy being green! Since it’s #Friday I thought I would flashback to one of my most popular lunches: Kermit the Frog! I’ve always been super happy with how this one turned out and also that my daughter ate the entire thing. You can see all the ingredients over on my blog at lunchboxdad.com. . . . #foodart #instafood #foodblogger #foodphotography #foodstagram #kermit #kermitthefrog #disney #disneyart #disneyfan #disneyfan #disneyfun #disneyfood #disneyland #disneyworld #waltdisneyworld #bento #bentobox #foodie #foodiegram #foodpics #foodartist #foodstagram #flashbackfriday #fbf #green #muppets #muppetbabies #muppetshow

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My family has been dreaming of going to #DisneyWorld, so I made my kids Minnie and Mickey Mouse #Halloween themed lunches today! See how I did it on my blog at lunchboxdad.com. #Disneyside #Magickingdom #disneyland #mickeymouse #motivationmonday #mondaymotivation #bento #foodart #foodstagram #foodie

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