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August 2012

  August 2012  


In this issue you'll find:


What works...Success Stories

Helps To Pack Healthier Lunches

“I bought a Laptop Lunch kit for my son three years ago now.  We have used it daily during the school year and we love it!  Other parents have asked me about it, and I have been happy to point out how the design itself has helped me to pack healthier lunches for my son.”

    -- Eileen Grauer, Alexandria, KY

Food Stays FRESH!

“I have just recently been introduced to your products by a sweet friend.  I love the fact that lunch can be packed a day ahead and that
the food stays FRESH!!”

    -- Heather Snyder

Love, Love, Love Laptop Lunches! 

"I just wanted to say that I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE your products! Four years ago I finally ‘broke down’ and bought two of the Originals for my daughter and me. A year ago I upgraded to the 2.0 (Plum Dual-Compartment anyone!?!) and use it every day. After much begging on my daughter's part, and an awesome incentive offered by you, I paid forward her old Original and upgraded her to the new 2.0 too. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Laptop Lunches!!!”

    -- Mel, Springfield, MO

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


New Retailers

703 North 3rd Avenue
Wausau, WI 54401

Lassen’s Natural Foods and Vitamins
4071 E. Main Street
Ventura, CA 93003

Pan Handler Plus
40 S. Last Chance Gulch
Helena, MT 59601

LittleBits Toys
304 Washington Street
Wellesley, MA 02481

Love Whole Food
275 Williamson Boulevard
Ormond, FL 32174

Love Whole Foods Café & Market
1633 Taylor Road
Port Orange, FL 32128

Kradle’s Baby Boutique
226 5th Street
Courtenay, BC V9N 1J6

The Kitchen Experts
Coral Ridge Mall
1451 Coral Ridge Avenue #204
Coralville, IA 52241

Nantucket Bookworks
25 Broad Street
Nantucket, MA 02554

52 Church Street
Burlington, VT 05401

Brilliant Sky Toys
6864 Main Street
Wilmington, NC 28405

Goods For Cooks
115 N. College Avenue
Bloomington, IN 47404

Haus Werk
2919 Kavanaugh
Little Rock, AR 72205

Millers Cheese
485 Hwy 467
Vincent, AL 35178

3380 Langley Drive
Hebron, KY 41048

Blackhawk Hardware
4225 Park Road Shopping Center
Charlotte, NC 28209

Lourdes Hospital Gift Shop
1530 Lone Oak Road
Paducah, KY 42003

Saint Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor Gift Shop
5301 East Huron River Drive
Ann Arbor, MI 48106

St. Joseph Mercy Oakland
Grand Concourse Gift Shop
44405 Woodward Avenue
Pontiac, MI 48341

Write-Ons, Etc.
6201 North 7th Street
Phoenix, AZ 85014

Special Events Gift Shop
125 South Y Square
Selmer, TN 38375

House Blend
124 North Main Street
Dickson, TN 37055

Whole Foods Market
7401 France Avenue South
Edina, MN 55435

Whole Foods Market
810 University Drive
Coral Springs, FL 33071

Whole Foods Market
1300 E. 86th Street
Indianapolis, IN 46240

Whole Foods Market
629 Kailua Road
Kailua, HI 96734

Whole Foods Market
7350 Orchard Lake Road
West Bloomfield, MI 48322



From Our Desk to Yours

Happy August!

It’s August, a time to enjoy the last lingering weeks of summer and an opportunity to start transitioning back into the rhythm of the school year. In this issue we’ve got some terrific lunch ideas, suggestions for easing back into the school routine, and tips for getting more nutritional bang for your buck. Please let us know how we can best help you say good-bye to summer and hello to the new school year!

NEW 2012 CARRIERS: Be sure to check out our new bento carriers at and We hope you love them as much as we do!

BACK IN STOCK: As you may have noticed, we’ve had a number of items on backorder over the last few weeks. Many of these are back in stock, and the rest will be in and ready to ship next week. Summer sales have been stronger than expected, so we recommend making your back-to-school purchases as early in the season as possible at / 831-457-0301. We apologize for the inconvenience and thank you for your patience!

GARDEN BENTO LUNCH BOX: We have officially launched our new garden bento lunch box. How sweet is this cool garden color combo? To learn more, visit:

FACEBOOK PARTY: We’re having a party with Mabel’s Labels! Our very own Amy Hemmert will be live on the Mabel’s Labels Facebook Wall for a 1-hr “Ask the Expert” chat! Amy will provide creative lunch ideas, wholesome lunch tips, strategies for packing waste-free lunches, and tips for putting the fun back into your lunch-making routine. “Like” Mabel’s Labels on Facebook, and join the discussion on Wednesday, August 22 at 2 pm Eastern Time. Looking forward to seeing you there! To learn more about Mabel's Labels, visit

FACEBOOK SPECIAL: Be sure to check out this week’s Facebook Deal at


Enjoy the remaining days of summer!

From Your Kitchen to Ours

"I love my laptop lunchbox because it helps me eat "half-plate healthy." I fill half with veggies or fruit and put whatever protein or starch I want in the other boxes. It helps me stay creative and makes for fun meal planning."

    -- Marie, State College, PA

Food for Thought: Cherries

Photo Credit: Melissa Braun

Cherries are an antioxidant rich fruit, loaded with phytonutrients and a great source of natural melatonin. Cherries have been found to minimize inflammation, enough to reduce the symptoms of arthritis and decrease the risk of both diabetes and heart disease. The high levels of the flavonoid quercetin, found in cherries, helps prevent cardiovascular disease. Cherries have also been used to reduce pain, support joint health and help reverse gout.

Cherries are so easy to grab as a snack, or you can throw them into fruit salads for added color and nutrition. Cherries are a popular addition to pies, cobblers, and fruit tarts. Try adding cherries to muffin recipes, granolas or pineapple upside down cake. You might consider including fresh or dried cherries in salsa recipes, smoothies, and salads.

For 25 sweet and savory cherry recipes, visit:


  • Rich in Antioxidants
  • Helps Reduce Heart Disease
  • Excellent Source of Beta Carotene
  • Aids in the Prevention of Memory Loss
  • Acts as an Anti-Inflammatory
  • Good Source of Fiber
  • Helps Reduce Pain
  • Reduces Gout
  • Lowers Levels of Cholesterol

Photo Credit: Melissa Braun

This Month's Recipes: Back to School Bentos
Here are some ideas to help get you thinking of those first few weeks of the new school year.

Sweet and Nutritious Lunch

  • Peanut Butter Sandwich on Whole Grain English Muffin with Banana Slices
  • Banana Half
  • Lemon Cookies
  • Steamed Broccoli Pieces
  • Ranch Dressing for Dipping


Berries and Cream Lunch

  • French Toast Sandwich from Whole Grain Bread with Cream Cheese and Raspberry Jelly
  • Sunflower Seeds
  • Dried Mango Slices
  • Fresh Strawberries
  • Greek Yogurt


Pita Platter Lunch

  • Hummus Sandwich with Cucumbers, Tomato Slices, Arugula on Half a Whole Wheat Pita
  • Clementine Cutie
  • Pickle Halves
  • Red Pepper Strips
  • Coleslaw

In the Spotlight: An Article by Julie Cole of Mabels Labels Inc.

Top 5 Tips for a Successful Start this Back-to-School Season

About Julie Cole:
Julie Cole is the Co-founder of Mabel’s Labels Inc.
( and the proud mom of six. Read her blogs at www.mabelhood. com/JulieCole and Follow her on twitter @juliecole


1. Set up routines kids will stick to.

Tired of being a nag in the morning? Feel like a broken record, barking out things like “Don’t forget your lunch!” and “Have you packed your homework?” Stop the insanity. Set up a simple system that will get your kids out the door while keeping your frustration level down. At our house, we have a “Before School Plan,” a chart listing all of the kids’ morning duties. They mark off each duty as they complete it, and if they do them all without a verbal reminder, they earn a check mark in my wonderful and elaborate Check Mark Reward System. If you want to avoid messy charts taped to your wall, check out this little beauty. The “Ready, Set, Go Board” has visual cues that assist in self-organization.

2. Organization starts with you!

Everything has a home. Each child has a cubby for their agendas and homework. There is nothing worse than running around in the morning trying to find gym shoes. Avoid the chaos by designating a location for all school and lunch supplies. Do what you can the night before – pack lunches, lay out school clothes. I even put the cereal on the table!

3. Streamline lunch-packing

If you can pack lunches the night before, that’s the way to go. Freezing sandwiches to use throughout the week, or even making casseroles and soups on the weekend to throw into an insulated lunch jar, is a favorite with my kiddos. Got yourself a little juice addict? I say cut them off cold turkey style. Water is the best drink for kids at school, and it’s easier on the environment than the hundreds of little juice boxes you’d use in a year. If you have a child with allergies, be sure to put an Allergy Alert label on all of their reusable Laptop Lunch containers to ensure caregivers are aware.

4. Save money and time by planning ahead.

Shop off-season, clear out closets to assess what can be handed down and for goodness’ sake, label all clothing to make sure it comes home at the end of the school day. There is nothing more horrifying than the lost and found closets at elementary schools!

5. Top tip: Find yourself some helpers!

Don’t feel like dragging a toddler and baby to the bus stop every morning in the dead of winter so you can get your bigger kids on the bus? Yeah, me neither. An older kid who goes to the same bus stop is happy to do the morning pick-up and afternoon drop-off for a cool $20 a week. “Bus buddies” are a good investment for busy mamas. Another good investment is a homework buddy. Homework is often a time of conflict for parents and kids because we are too darn emotionally attached - things heat up when we get frustrated. I have a high school student come to the house, and my kids love having some time with their big kid friend. Homework is not something any of us dread anymore!

With the right support, routine, tools and environment – you can say you’ve done your part in setting your kids up for success while also saving yourself from back-to-school insanity.


Mabel’s Labels is the leading provider of personalized labels for kids and adults. Their custom labels include sticky labels for clothing, personalized stickers for tweens, school labels, name labels, iron-on clothing labels/name tags, book plates, label stickers/adhesive labels for the home, and children’s labels for look-alike items sent to school, daycare or camp. To learn more about Mabels Labels, visit:

To find out more about the "Ready, Set, Go Board," visit:

In the News

Washington Post

Need inspiration for your kids’ lunch boxes? Grab an atlas and get cooking

If you — or your kid — are blanching at the thought of yet another year of day-after-day brown bagged PB&J, perhaps this is the year to mix up the lunch box offerings a bit.

Of course, that’s an easy thing to say. It’s a lot harder to execute when the morning rush hits and getting the family out of bed and out the door has all the ease of a multinational military maneuver. And that is why the typical parent is unlikely ever to fully abandon that all-American sandwich.

But that doesn’t mean you can’t mix things up now and then. The trick is to have something from which to draw inspiration — and we don’t mean staring blankly into the refrigerator at 7 a.m.

Our advice? Look elsewhere in the world. Wherever you look, parents every day must figure out fun and healthy ways to feed the little ones. Their answers sometimes are startlingly different than our own, but often are easily adapted. It’s a simple way to get inspired, as well as to expose kids to new cultures.



FDA bans BPA in baby bottles

The federal government announced Tuesday that baby bottles and sippy cups can no longer contain bisphenol-A, or BPA, the plastic chemical which has been subject to years of scientific scrutiny.

The chemical industry's chief association, the American Chemistry Council, had asked the Food and Drug Administration to phase out rules allowing BPA in those products in October, after determining that all manufacturers of bottles and sippy cups had already abandoned the chemical due to safety concerns.

To read the full article, visit:


Mommy Poppins

School Lunch and Snack Tips and Ideas for Back to School

It's back to school time and so we are thinking about all those little details of preparing for the school year. Making healthy school lunches and snacks is a big one. We asked the moms of Mommy Poppins what their best tips for easy healthy snack options and school lunch recipes were and they came up with a bunch of really original school lunch box ideas, as well as some old standbys.

Read on to find out what we're putting in our kids' lunch boxes for school lunch and snacks:

To avoid the morning rush try to pack your child's lunch the night before, put it in the fridge in a small container for easy packing in the morning. You can also put non perishables like snack packs and juice boxes in their lunch bag as well.

Take your child shopping for their lunch food. At the store you can look at labels, and prices to help them decide what they would like to eat. This serves a double purpose of teaching your child to make healthy food choices and avoids you buying food that your child will refuse to eat.

To read the entire article with more tips and ideas, visit:

Green Opportunities

LEXICON OF SUSTAINABILITY – The Lexicon of Sustainability is a PBS Web series based on a simple premise: people can’t be expected to live more sustainable lives if they don’t even know the most basic terms and principles that define sustainability. Through these short films, the Lexicon of Sustainability helps people to pay closer attention to how they eat, what they buy, and where their responsibility begins for creating a healthier, safer food system in America. To view the videos and learn more about the project, visit:, and to explore the terms featured in the films, visit:

HOW TO MAKE HEALTHY EATING EASIER ON THE WALLET? CHANGE THE CALCULATION – According to a new study from some economists at the USDA, eating a healthy diet isn't necessarily more expensive than a diet loaded with sugar and fat. In fact, fruits and vegetables are often cheaper when you calculate the cost in a smarter way. To learn more, visit:

FREECYCLE – Do you have stuff you'd love to get rid of but don't want to just throw away? Are you looking for something used and maybe even free? Freecycle is a network of people giving and receiving their used items for free while helping to keep our landfills from overflowing. To post something to your local group, or to see what's available, visit:

Featured Web Site: Super Healthy Kids

Super Healthy Kids was created by two nutrition educators who want to make it easier to feed kids well, in less time, and with less complaint. It can be a challenge to feed healthy food to kids, but so rewarding.  Super Healthy Kids helps to simplify mealtime. They share great ideas to assist families on their journey towards better health.

The site offers a large collection of recipes, meal plans, and a free subscription to Healthy Shortcuts, a weekly e-mail newsletter with tips and ideas for healthy meals in a hurry.

To find out more, visit:

On This Site:
  • Recipes
  • Healthy Meal Plans
  • Weekly Newsletter - "Healthy Shortcuts"
  • Daily Blog
  • Good Eating Lesson Ideas
  • Printables
  • Healthy Tips, Choices and Ideas
  • Giveaways

Contact Us

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

View archived issues of this newsletter at

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© August 2012 Obentec, Inc.

500 Chestnut Street, Suite 250
Santa Cruz, CA 95060


Feel free to reprint or forward this newsletter with the following acknowledgment and contact information clearly visible: "Thank you to Obentec, Inc. for permission to use this copyrighted material. For more information, contact Obentec, Inc. by email at [email protected] or by phone at 831-457-0301, or visit their Web site at Reprint permission granted with this full notice included."