Foodie Tuesday: LaLa Breakfast

Last week on Foodie Tuesday I reviewed LaLa Lunchbox, a fun app that makes planning lunches into a game, engaging kids in the process and helping parents plan ahead for meals. This week I take a look at the company’s newest app, LaLa Breakfast, which promises to help families “Wake up to stress-free mornings” and make “planning healthy breakfast for your kids hassle-free and fun, while saving you time and money.” After a stellar 9/10 rating for LaLa Lunchbox, I’ve got big expectations for LaLa Breakfast.

Will this app satisfy your my appetite or leave me hungry for enhanced features? Keep reading to find out.

Like the article? You should subscribe and follow us on twitter.

Getting Started

Launch the app and land on the Home Screen, the place where all your children’s breakfast plates will be kept. Here you can create, edit, delete and view the breakfast plates. LaLa Breakfast is set up exactly the same as LaLa Lunchbox, so users can hit the ground running and kids can get busy planning breakfasts just like they do lunch. If you’re new to the LaLa apps, they’ve smartly provided a Guide button, which you can tap for a short tutorial.

Just like LaLa Lunchbox, your kids set up their own monster avatars and create breakfast plates for them.

Just like LaLa Lunchbox, your kids set up their own monster avatars and create breakfast plates for them.

Another smart move by LaLa Breakfast is getting the kids involved in meal planning. By turning breakfast into a game, you’re more likely to get cooperation and cleaned plates from your children. Morning can be the most stressful time of the day, waking everyone up and getting the kids off to school. Using this app helps parents plan ahead so mornings go more smoothly and kids are less likely to throw a tantrum at the breakfast table, because they chose the foods on the plate.

Customizing Settings

Before you hand over the iPhone and let the kids start planning their breakfasts, you’ll want to access the settings and create parameters to Manage Food Items. It’s not terribly difficult to figure this out on your own, but still it would be nice if the app prompted first time users to do so. You might not realize that you can mange the number of items the kids can add to their breakfast plates, as this information is hidden towards the bottom of the screen.

Go to the Settings to manage the food items your child has to choose from for their breakfast plate. Portions are denoted by the Number of Items in Breakfast Plates, which requires a bit of scrolling down the page.

Go to the Settings to manage the food items your child has to choose from for their breakfast plate. Portions are denoted by the Number of Items in Breakfast Plates, which requires a bit of scrolling down the page.

Just like with LaLa Lunchbox, the app endeavors to help kids learn to plan healthy, balanced meals by categorizing plate components into four areas: Eggs, Produce, Grains and Proteins. Within each category, you (the parent) can cross out selections that aren’t available, limiting what your child sees on the screen as breakfast options. It’s quick and easy to manage the items based on what’s in the fridge or cupboard.

You can manage the food choices your children have to pick from by selecting a category and then crossing out unavailable items.

You can manage the food choices your children have to pick from by selecting a category and then crossing out unavailable items.

Looking for a food item in the list (like banana nut bread) and don’t see it? LaLa Breakfast lets you customize the app by adding your own food items in the settings. Simply type in the food name and upload a photo from your photo library. The creators of this app have done a good job of keeping things simple and easy to provide a hassle-free user experience for busy families on the go.

Planning Breakfast

Now that you’ve got the parameters set up, it’s time to set your kids loose planning breakfasts for the week ahead. Your child selects the appropriate monster avatar with his/her name on it and the familiar “lunchbox” appears with four compartments: Eggs, Produce, Grains and Proteins. The small fact that they didn’t even go to the trouble to feature a breakfast plate in the design brings to mind one big question, why two apps — LaLa Breakfast and LaLa Lunch? Why not integrate breakfast and lunch into one app? Will dedicated LaLa Lunchbox users resent this?

Planning breakfast becomes a fun game when kids feed their monsters to create a breakfast plate, left. To make planning ahead easier, the app has buttons for repeating meals or using favorite meals, right.

Planning breakfast becomes a fun game when kids feed their monsters to create a breakfast plate, left. To make planning ahead easier, the app has buttons for repeating meals or using favorite meals, right.

To plan breakfast, your child must select a category, and then feed his or her chosen food items to the monster by tapping or dragging the food item into its mouth. The monster quickly gobbles it up, and cute animations like this really make the app sticky. LaLa Lunchbox also provides buttons for using the same meal again or quickly accessing favorite meals to make planning more efficient.

The Grocery List

The Groceries section makes shopping easier by arranging breakfast items in the four app categories and grouping them in servings. You can also check off each lunch component as you toss it into your cart. Grocery lists are organized by week, and you can browse through the weeks by tapping the calendar button in the top right corner.

Use the grocery list to shop on the go, checking off items as you drop them in your cart. One of the functions of the sync feature is to combine display grocery lists of breakfast and lunch in each app.

Use the grocery list to shop on the go, checking off items as you drop them in your cart. One of the functions of the sync feature is to combine display grocery lists of breakfast and lunch in each app.

One of the functions of the app’s sync feature seems to be displaying both breakfast and lunch grocery lists no matter which app you’re using, LaLa Breakfast or LaLa Lunch. This is the area that could use the most improvements, though. Because the grocery lists are not truly combined, parents must scroll the screen, taking note that there are two apple servings in the breakfast grocery list and one apple serving in the lunchbox list. Providing a function without considering if it’s truly helping users shop more efficiently impacts the usefulness of this app.

Conclusion

If you’re already a fan of LaLa Lunchbox, you’ll enjoy LaLa Breakfast and appreciate the ability to plan yet another meal with your children. The kids will love playing a part in the process and mornings will probably go more smoothly, with happy bellies and clean plates. LaLa Lunchbox is such a great concept, which created high expectations for the breakfast app. It’s hard to understand why they didn’t just add breakfast functionality to the lunchbox app. Also, the sync function is a bit buggy, popping up confusing messages when you add and delete information and it would be nice if it seamlessly synced all user info across both apps. At this point, LaLa Breakfast needs to think about how the app features can really help users plan, shop and cook more efficiently. At $0.99 it’s worth the price, and I look forward to watching LaLa Breakfast evolve with future updates.


Summary

A fun app that makes planning breakfast a game, engaging kids in the process and helping parents stay organized.

8