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September 2010

Laptop Lunch Times:September2010
September 2010


In this issue, you'll find:

  • From Our Desk to Yours...
  • Favorite Photo
  • Food for Thought: Broccoli
  • More Back to School Bentos
  • Green Opportunities
  • Laptop Lunches in the News
  • New Retailers
  • Back to School, Back to the Scramble!
  • What works...Success Stories
  • Featured Web site: GreenSchools.net

From Our Desk to Yours...


Summer is waning, signs of fall are beginning to appear, and many of our children have gone back to school. We’ve enjoyed using our Laptop Lunches this summer on picnics and hikes, and at the beach, summer camp and the office, and as we move indoors, we’re sure to find many more opportunities to pack our bento boxes. Look for some new Laptop Lunches options for work and travel this fall!

 

PARENT'S CHOICE AWARDS NOMINATION: We’re thrilled that Laptop Lunches has been nominated for Best Lunchbox for the SheKnows 2010 Parent's Choice Awards. The coveted award recognizes outstanding products and services in the parenting and pregnancy industry, based on functionality, quality, convenience and best bang for the consumer’s buck. Please help us win! Vote once a day through September 15th. Let your family, friends, fans, and followers know about this opportunity: www.laptoplunches.com/best-lunchbox.html. It takes only a few seconds. Really!

1. Click on the link above.
2. Enter your email address and add a password.
3. Click on FOOD on the left side of the page.
4. Click on the LAPTOP LUNCHES image, and click SUBMIT YOUR VOTE. It takes less than 30 seconds!


NEW BENTO SLEEVES HAVE ARRIVED: If you haven’t had a chance to check out our new bento sleeves, please do! Designed to keep food cold, these Bento Sleeves are ideal for use inside backpacks, brief cases, and travel bags. For more information or to buy now, visit http://bit.ly/Obentec-Bento-Sleeves.

NEW CASUAL LUNCH DATE: We’ve just added this cool new bento option to our growing product line at http://bit.ly/Obentec-Lunch-Date-Bento, and it’s generating lots of buzz! Ideal for adults and young adults alike, the exclusive bag is made of silky 100% post-consumer recycled fabric, and the matching bento set is sophisticated and fun. (Available through our online store only.)


NEW BENTO BAG STYLE: Our new bento bags are also available separately at http://bit.ly/Obentec-Bento-Bag. (Available through our online store only.)

NEW ORGANIC CLOTH NAPKINS: Your child is sure to get their groove on at school, at home, or on the go with the new tourquoise Fabkins Flower Power 3-pack. Their inner hippie will be "feeling the love" with these fun, trendy new designs. Now available in our Web store at http://bit.ly/Obentec-Cloth-Napkins.


NEW WEB SITE: Our new Web site with enhanced content, greater functionality, and improved navigations is almost ready to go, so be sure to keep an eye out for it in the coming weeks. We’re so looking forward to sharing it with you!



Amy and Tammy

Got a favorite photo to share?

Email it to us at [email protected], and we'll publish it here!

  • "Roll Up Sandwich" on a Sun Dried Tomato Tortilla with Chive Onion Cream Cheese and Turkey
  • Cucumber "Snakes"
  • Carrot Wedges
  • Pita Chips
  • Cucumber Dill Dip
  • Blueberries
  • Cantaloupe

First day of Kindergarten Lunch

"My son and I enjoyed a great time shopping at the farmers' market and deciding what to pack in his Laptop Lunch kit for his first day of kindergarten. We even worked together to assemble his lunch. He's very excited for lunch today! Thanks for a great product! "

                     -- Jayme, Wildomar, CA


Food for Thought: Broccoli

Photo Credit: Melissa Braun

Broccoli is a nutrient-rich food, surpassing any other vegetable. It provides many health benefits to those who make broccoli a part of their daily diet. This high fiber food has been shown to help reduce the risk of cancer and heart disease, aid in stomach health, and help prevent the development of cataracts and the common cold. It's high level of calcium supports strong bones.

Broccoli is a healthful addition to any vegetable stir fry and can easily be steamed and served with a dip or sauce. A saute of broccoli, garlic and olive oil is a quick and easy side dish with lots of nutritional value. Broccoli can also be eaten in pastas, sauces, soups, quiches, casseroles, and breakfast scrambles.

For more information on broccoli, visit: http://urbanext.illinois.edu/veggies/broccoli.cfm

Benefits:

  • Helps Protect Against Cancer
  • Boosts the Immune System
  • Shown to Reduce the Risk of Heart Disease
  • Excellent Source of Vitamins C, K and A
  • Excellent Source of Dietary Fiber
  • Good Source of Calcium and Folic Acid
  • Good Vegetarian Source of Iron

Photo Credit: Melissa Braun

More Back To School Bentos

Here are three more "back to school" lunches to help inspire lunch ideas for the new school year. To view the first three "back to school" lunches, visit the August Laptop Lunches Newsletter.

School Lunch #4

  • Whole Wheat Bagel with Cream Cheese and Berry Jelly
  • Apricot Halves
  • Blackberries
  • Sugar Snap Peas
  • Mini Bunny Cracker Cookies

 



School Lunch #5

  • Vanilla Yogurt with Strawberry Heart Cutouts
  • Kiwi Slices
  • Green Salad
  • Raspberry Vinegrette
  • Granola
  • Homemade Banana Bread

 



School Lunch #6

  • Celery Sticks with Almond Butter and
    Dried Cranberries
  • Edamame
  • Sesame Sticks
  • Cantaloupe
  • Mixed Nuts

 



Green Opportunities

Some earth-friendly tidbits that have landed in our office in recent weeks...

  • GREAT GREEN PROJECTS FOR THE HOME Are you looking to save energy and money? Are you considering ways to make your home more eco-friendly? There are many ways to create your dream green home.To learn how to reduce your environmental impact, visit: www.lowimpactliving.com/pages/green-projects/green-projects.




  • 10 THINGS TO BUY USED Before running out to the store to purchase something new, consider how you might reduce your environmental footprint by purchasing a used item instead. Here's a list of the 10 best things you could purchase used. Save money and support the environment in the process. To view the list, visit: http://earth911.com/news/2010/08/09/10-great-things-to-buy-used/.




Laptop Lunches in the News

ABC News

Back-to-School Lunches

August 16, 2010
With Stephanie Sy

Creative, fast and healthy ideas for the school lunch box with Catherine McCord, founder of Weelicious.com. To view the video, visit http://abcnews.go.com/Health/video/back-school-lunches-11413269.


Wandering Educators

Traveling and Eating with Laptop Lunch Bento Boxes

July 16, 2010
By L. Forteau

I have always loved bento boxes, but now we have something that is even MORE fun. We received a Laptop Lunches Bento Box for review. Laptop lunches are so much fun - they are an easy travel bento box. I took it to summer camp and it was wonderful. Everyone asked questions about it! Many were jealous. They had never heard of a bento box, let alone a LAPTOP LUNCHES BENTO BOX. I love it because you can travel anywhere with it. The water bottle is an ice pack! I got a cute purple Laptop Lunches Bento box, and it comes with its own carrying case. It isn't too big, but you can sure pack a nice lunch in there. It is reusable, so it can help to save the earth. To read the entire article, visit www.wanderingeducators.com/best/traveling/traveling-and-eating-laptop-lunch-bento-boxes.html.

 

WFMY News 2
Good Morning Show

Simplify And Spruce Up The Brown Bag Lunch

August 3, 2010
by Tanya Rivera

Greensboro, NC -- Back to school means it's back to packing lunches. If you and the kids just let out a collective groan, then pay attention.

Anne-Marie Scott from the Greensboro Children's Museum is here to save the day (or at least lunchtime.) Scott uses a system called "The Laptop Lunch".

It is a regular lunch box with mini bins for kid sized portions. The "Laptop Lunch" system comes with a chart that fits in your cupboard. It takes the guess work out of building a healthy lunch. The chart directs you to pick one or two items from each heading and it gives you choices.To view the video, visit http://www.digtriad.com/news/gms/article.aspx?storyid=146114&catid=67.

 

Lose Weight at Home

Eliminating Kids’ School Lunch Waste

July 24, 2010

When kids open their lunchboxes after a hard morning of the three Rs (readin’, ‘ritin’ and ‘rithmetic), they hardly expect to be learning about the other three Rs (reduce, reuse, recycle).

But parents can use the lunch they pack for their kids as a green lesson–if, that is, they can only hold off on the convenient but wasteful single-use paper napkins, plastic baggies and cutlery, and the pre-packaged foods and juice boxes.

We’ve all come to depend upon such throwaways to keep us moving speedily through each day, and it is difficult to resist those temptations jutting out at us in the supermarket aisles (especially if we bring the kids shopping with us!). But such conveniences come at an environmental cost as our landfills clog up with plastic and our garbage incinerators continue to belch out hazardous emissions.

So how are parents to “do the right thing?”

Enter Amy Hemmert and Tammy Pelstring, two California moms who were appalled to learn that a typical American school kid generates 67 pounds of discarded lunchbox packaging waste per school year. That’s more than 18,000 pounds yearly for the average sized elementary school. To read the entire article, visit www.bestwaytoloseweightathome.com/fat-burning-foods/eliminating-kids-school-lunch-waste-2.html.

 

New Retailers

Wegmans
50 Foundry Way
Malvern, PA 19355
(484) 913-9600
www.wegmans.com

Better Batter Gluten Free Flour LLC
1855 E. Pleasant Valley Boulevard
Altoona, PA 16602
(814) 946-0958
www.betterbatter.org

Whole Foods Market
250 7th Avenue
New York, NY 10001
(212) 924-5969

Home Natural
859 Bank Street
Ottawa, Ontario K2S 3W2
(613) 232-1888

Lifestyle Markets
2590 Douglas Street
Victoria, BC V8T 4N4
(250) 385-3389

Whole Foods Market
11700 Preston Road #714
Dallas, TX 75230
(214) 361-8887

Ashland Food Cooperative
237 N. First Street
Ashland, OR 97520
(541) 482-2237
ashlandfood.coop

ChildTrek
5738 N. 26th Street #2
Tacoma, WA 98407
(253) 230-5705
www.childtrek.com

Stylin; Mama, Baby and Tot
99 York Street
Fredericton, NB E3B 3N4
(506) 455-6262

Stylin; Mama, Baby and Tot
1 Market Square
Saint John, NB E2L 4Z6
(506) 657-6262

Health Span Naturopathic
1A Princess Anne Drive #106
Georgetown, ON L76 4W4
(905) 873-8729

Green in the Blue Ridge
6 South Randolph Street
Lexington, VA 24450
(540) 463-7500

Kid Surplus
64 Harvest Lane
Williston, VT 05495
(802) 764-1810
www.kidsurplus.com

Board & Basket
Shaw's Powerhouse Plaza
10 Benning Street
West Lebanon, NH 03784
(603) 298-5813

Whole Foods Market
278 Washington Street
Wellesley Hills, MA 02481
(617) 375-1010

Whole Foods Market
2118 Abrams Road
Dallas, TX 75214
(214) 824-1744

Finn and Izzy
2259 Oak Bay Avenue
Victoria, BC V8R 1G6
(250) 592-8168

Once Upon a Child
1285 Elgin Mill Road, E #13
Richmond Hill, ON LHS 1MB
(905) 508-0005

Jacks Toy Shop
528 Jersey Avenue
Jersey City, NJ 07302
(201) 332-8697
www.jackstoyshop.com

Retroactive Kids
4859 Rainier Avenue S.
Seattle, WA 98118
(206) 932-3154
retroactivekids.com

Whole Foods Market
731 East Blithedale Avenue
Mill Valley, CA 94941
(415) 381-3900

Whole Foods Market
1686 Boston Post Road
Milford, CT 06460
(203) 874-0883

Whole Foods Market
2001 15th Avenue W.
Seattle, WA 98119
(206) 352-5440

Briar Patch Coop
290 Sierra College Drive, Suite A
Grass Valley, CA 95945
(530) 727-5333

Reclaim, Inc.
855 Santa Cruz Avenue
Menlo Park, CA 94025
(650) 329-9480
www.reclaimhome.com

Peapods Natural Toys and Baby Care
251 Snelling Avenue S.
St. Paul, MN 55105
(651) 695-5559
www.peapods.com

CloseKnit
3058 State Route 28
Old Forge, NY 13420
(315) 369-6999

Learning Express
4339 Legendary Drive
Destin, FL 32541
(850) 337-8750

Nurturing Nature
5420 E. Broadway Boulevard, Suite 250
Tucson, AZ 85711
(520) 790-5910
www.nurturingnaturegoods.com

French Broad Trading Coop
90 Biltmore Avenue
Ashville, NC 28801
(828) 255-7650
www.frenchbroadfood.coop

Central Coop’s Madison Market
1600 East Madison Street
Seattle, WA 98122
(206) 329-1545
www.madisonmarket.com

www.rhfabrics.com


www.allergyapparel.com


Visit www.laptoplunches.com/retail.html for a complete list of retailers.

Want to see Laptop Lunches at a store in your neighborhood? Email us at [email protected], and
we'll give them a call.


Back to School, Back to the Scramble!
How Meal Planning Can Save you Time, Money and Your Sanity!

  By Aviva Goldfarb


Aviva Goldfarb is a mother of two and the author and founder of The Six O'Clock Scramble®, http://thescramble.com/, an online weekly menu planner and cookbook (St. Martin's Press, 2006). Aviva is the author of the new cookbook, SOS! The Six O’Clock Scramble to the Rescue: Earth Friendly, Kid-Pleasing Meals for Busy Families (St. Martin’s Press, 2010).


Have you ever found yourself staring into your refrigerator at 6:00, wondering what to make for dinner, while the kids are fighting, the dogs are barking and the phone is ringing? You probably never pictured yourself as the kind of mom or dad who would feed your family something out of a bag, a box or a can every night, or be on a first name basis with the pizza guy. Yet you only have about half an hour until meltdowns begin. What’s a busy parent to do?

I have found four simple strategies to help busy parents like us cook four to six nights per week, and actually save time and money by doing so. It may sound challenging (I know, because I used to think so too!), but with a little preparation and practice, making healthy and delicious homemade dinners can be even easier, faster and cheaper than ordering take-out.

Here are my tricks for surviving what I call The Six O’Clock Scramble:

1. Keep Meals Simple.

With our families’ busy schedules, most of us can’t afford to spend more than 30 minutes preparing a meal. I have developed a great collection of simple, healthy, delicious recipes that don’t take more than 30 minutes to prepare, and many only take 10 or 15 minutes. No matter what recipes you use, match a simple main dish with an easy and healthy side dish to balance out flavor and nutrition, and you’ve got yourself a great family dinner.

2. Get organized: Prepare a weekly menu.

When I first started trying to cook meals, I would walk the grocery aisles, letting items on the shelves inspire ideas for the week’s dinners. The problem was, I would often get home and realize I was missing key ingredients, so I’d have to go shopping again or change my dinner plans. And the amount of food I was throwing away, because I didn’t get around to using it, was appalling. Having a weekly menu and keeping a grocery list tacked to the refrigerator allows us to shop only once each week for ingredients, avoiding those last minute trips to the grocery store.

3. Keep your kitchen well-stocked.

With a well-stocked pantry, you can easily pull together an extra meal or two with any unused ingredients from the week’s meals, or throw together a quick meal on those nights when your evening doesn’t go as planned. Some of my favorite healthy and inexpensive quick meal essentials are canned beans (for burritos or taco salads), tortillas (my husband’s mantra is that everything’s better inside a tortilla), eggs (for easy omelets, scrambles or frittatas), and frozen vegetables and other healthy side dishes to round out the meal. What’s more, your grocery trips each week should be even faster if you are well-stocked with staples.

4. Involve kids in the kitchen.

If time allows. I like to let the kids help me in the kitchen. Sure, sometimes they get in my way, but cooking is a great way for us to spend time together. And here’s an added bonus for we parents of picky eaters: kids are far more likely to eat something that they have helped prepare!

If dinner has you feeling daunted or discouraged, don’t despair. Try to simplify your menus and recipes, plan ahead for a few meals before going to the grocery store, and always shop armed with a grocery list. Chances are you will enjoy the stress-free dining so much, you’ll want to plan your dinners before heading to the grocery store every week.

For a head start on getting healthy homemade dinners on the table, here’s a link to Aviva's menu and grocery list for this week: http://thescramble.com/sample.php.

 

To learn more about Aviva, her cookbook,
and
The Six O Clock Scramble,
visit her Web site at: http://thescramble.com/index.php.


Aviva has generously offered our readers $3 off when purchasing a 6-month subscription (or $6 off of a 12-month subscription, or $1.50 off of a 3-month subscription) through September 30th. To take advantage of this offer, enter promotion code LAPTOP at check-out. Thanks, Aviva!


What Works...Success Stories

"Hi! My name is Allie. I'm a 15 year old, vegan, and in grade 10. I just wanted to say that I LOVE my Laptop Lunch! I pack my lunch every day and I love the fact that the possible combinations are endless! My Laptop Lunch inspires me to eat healthy - while all my friends are eating burgers or pizza from the cafeteria, I'm enjoying my hummus and mini pitas with sliced red pepper and cucumber, and cranberries and walnuts. The portion sizes are perfect, even for a kid my age! All my friends are jealous of my awesome lunch container and always exclaim, "Allie has the best lunches!" I just thought I'd let you know that I love your products and that what you do makes a difference, even to teens. Thanks so much for all you do!"

        -- Allie, Ontario, Canada  

"I just received the Laptop Lunch I ordered for my daughter. I needed something to inspire our new vegetarianism and healthier foods kickoff for the new school year. It’s perfect, and I can reuse it. The problem is I don't have one for myself.”

        -- Lindsay, Riverside, CA

"We just love your Laptop Lunch bento boxes. Our two daughters attend a Montessori school here on the South Shore of Boston, and we are slowly filling the school with Laptop Lunches by giving them as cool and different birthday gifts. Their school, Inly School, strives to have trash free lunches. Thanks for all you do!”

        -- Jennifer, Scituate, MA

 

Do you have a success story or photo to share? Email it to us at [email protected].


Featured Web Site: GreenSchools.net


The Green Schools Initiative was founded in 2004 by parent-environmentalists who were shocked by how un-environmental their kids’ schools were. They mobilized to improve the environmental health and ecological sustainability of schools in the U.S.

At the Green School Initiative they believe it's essential to protect children’s health – at school and in the world beyond school – and work to catalyze and support “green” actions by kids, teachers, parents, and policymakers to:

  • Eliminate toxics
  • Use resources sustainably
  • Create green spaces and buildings
  • Serve healthy food, and teach stewardship

To find out more, visit www.greenschools.net

On this site:

  • Why and How to Green Your School
  • Environmental Issues Facing Schools
  • Opportunities for Taking Action
  • Resources
  • News on Green School Issues
  • The Green Cleaning Tool Kit

October Highlights

Pumpkin Recipes, Green Opportunities, and an Obentec Interview


Obentec

Comments, questions, concerns? Please email us at [email protected].

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© September 2010 Obentec, Inc.

849 Almar Ave., Suite C-323
Santa Cruz, CA 95060
831-457-0301

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