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October 2012

  October 2012  


In this issue you'll find:


What works...Success Stories

They Are The Greatest!!

“I have to tell you how much we love our bento lunch boxes. All the mothers in school rave about my daughter’s lunches. Now my son is starting this year with them. This is my 4th year ordering. They are the greatest!!”

    -- Linda Skarupa, Mechanicsburg, PA

Everything Stays Neat and Contained in One Box

“I want to let you know that I used to work at a preschool and kids brought Laptop Lunches Bento-ware all the time! The kids loved them, and us teachers loved them too because everything stayed neat and contained in one box. I can't wait until my daughter enters school so she can bring one too!”

    -- Natalie Joy, Seattle, WA

Wonderful Resource of Information  

"Thank you! Thank you for creating this website! I recently adopted my twin grandchildren-4 1/2yrs old and have been out of the school lunch routine for many, many years. Your ideas and menus are a tremendous help to me. I don't have much of an imagination as to what they want sometimes, and this is helpful. Thanks for a wonderful resource of information.”

    -- Chris, Grand Haven, MI

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

New Retailers

Kids Trading Company
3B 4621 Rae Street
Regina, SK

Whole Foods Market
2808 196th Street SW
Lynnwood, WA 98036

Mothering By Nature
255 West Indiana Ave. Suite 1
Valparaiso, IN 46383

Johnson Hardware and Furniture
111 S. Central Ave.
Sidney, MT 59270

Rosauers #39
410 S. 72nd. Ave.
Yakima, WA 98908

Whole Foods Market
3200 W. Friendly Avenue
Greensboro, NC 27408

Whole Foods Market
4301 NE Sandy Blvd.
Portland, OR 97213

Whole Foods Market
6350 West 3rd Street
Los Angeles, CA 90036

Whole Foods Market
687 South Coast Highway
Suite #101
Encinitas, CA 92024

Whole Foods Market
19340 Rinaldi Street
Northridge, CA 91326

Whole Foods Market
415 Centre Street
Jamaica Plain, MA 02130

Whole Foods Market
33 Market Street
Yonkers, NY 10701

Whole Foods Market
261 Waterman Street
Providence, RI 02906

Whole Foods Market
690 Stanyan Street
San Francisco, CA 94117

Whole Foods Market
18403 Blanco Road
San Antonio, TX 78258


From Our Desk to Yours

Thank You!

A huge thanks to you all for an amazing back-to-school season this year! We are truly grateful for all you do to support us and our healthy, waste-free lunch mission! Have a happy, safe, and very spooky Halloween!

TAKE YOUR PARENTS TO LUNCH DAY: October 17th is National Take Your Parents to Lunch Day. Parents, join your child at school, line up with a lunch tray, and learn about what’s being served in the school cafeteria. Visit to learn more about how you can get your school on board and make the most of this fun family day.

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


Happy Halloween!

From Your Kitchen to Ours

“I found out about Laptop Lunches Bento-ware through a Facebook friend when she posted a photo of her children's lunches. I bought a set and was hooked. That was 3 yrs ago. Now my second child will be eating lunch at school, and I purchased another set. Along the way I shared my Facebook photos of Laptop Lunches. My Facebook friends are asking about them and even purchasing because of the feedback I have given them about the great products!  Keep up the great work.”

    -- Eileen Kim, San Jose, CA

Food for Thought: Asparagus

Photo Credit: Melissa Braun

Asparagus has high levels of folate and Vitamin B1 which are good for the cardiovascular system. The anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties in asparagus can help fight several types of cancers. Asparagus is also an excellent source of Vitamin K, which helps strengthen bones. This low calorie vegetable is good for weight loss and acts as a fat burner.

Asparagus can be served hot or cold, raw or cooked. It can easily be added to salads, soups, quiches, sautés, scrambles and omelets. Try raw asparagus dipped in hummus, onion dip, ranch or other salad dressings.

For asparagus recipes, visit:


  • Excellent Source of Vitamins K, A and B1
  • Contains Anti-Aging Properties
  • Good for the Heart
  • Helps with Healthy Digestion
  • Helps Strengthen Bones
  • Reduces Inflammation
  • High in Antioxidants

Photo Credit: Melissa Braun

This Month's Recipes: Fun Foods

The following recipes and photos are reprinted with permission from Susan, author of the Sticky Gooey Creamy Chewy blog. For more of her writing and recipes, visit:

Whole Grain Krispie Granola Bars

The beauty of this recipe is that it takes very little time and effort to put together. Just mix the ingredients in a bowl, press into a pan, and bake. Any combination of fruits and nuts will work here, as will any kind of nut butter.

  • 1 cup shelled, sunflower seeds
  • 1 1/2 cups raw whole almonds
  • 2 cups old fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/3 cup toasted wheat germ
  • 3 cups brown rice krispies cereal (you can substitute regular rice krispies)
  • 1 cup dried apricots, diced
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup almond butter
  • 3/4 cup honey
  • 2 Tbsp maple syrup

Yield: about thirty 2-inch bars
  1. Heat the oven to 350 F. Toast the sunflower seeds and almonds on a baking sheet for approximately 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool. Chop almonds into small bits.
  2. Turn the oven temperature down to 325 F.
  3. Toss the nuts, oats, cereal, wheat germ, apricots, cranberries, salt and cinnamon together in a large bowl and set aside.
  4. In a small saucepan, heat the almond or peanut butter, honey and maple syrup until smooth and hot. Do not let it begin to bubble. Pour over the granola mixture and mix well. You want to get everything incorporated and ‘glued’ together without crushing the krispies. Clean hands are the best utensils for this.
  5. Turn into a 9×13 baking pan lined with parchment paper and press the mixture evenly and firmly, trying not to crush the krispies too much.
  6. Bake for 15-20 minutes, just until the bars start to color. Remove from the oven and cool. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for several hours until firm. Cut into 2-inch squares before serving. Bars will keep in the fridge for up to a week.

This recipe can be found at:

Creamy Cheesy Zucchini Pizza

English muffin pizzas are fast, easy, and super delicious. Plus, they’re a lot of fun! They make a great lunch for the kids, a quick weeknight dinner and a perfect, self contained nosh at parties. 

  • 2 English muffins, split and lightly toasted
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup diced fresh zucchini
  • 1/4 cup diced red onion
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 oz soft spreadable garlic and herb cheese, such as Boursin or Alouette brands
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese


Yield: 4 pizzas
  1. Preheat oven to 375 F.
  2. Heat olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat.  Add zucchini and onion, and sauté until tender and lightly browned.  Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Place toasted English muffin halves on a baking sheet. Spread each half with Boursin cheese and top with 1/4 of the zucchini mixture.  Sprinkle some mozzarella on top of each.
  4. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until cheese is melted and begins to brown. Serve immediately.

This recipe, along with other English muffin pizza recipes, can be found at:
In the Spotlight: An Article by Frances Largeman-Roth, RD

The Pumpkin Patch

About Frances Largeman-Roth, RD:
Frances Largeman-Roth, RD, is a New York Times bestselling author and nationally recognized health expert, who has helped thousands of women across America lose weight and feel incredible with her healthy recipes and smart diet and nutrition advice. Frances was the Food and Nutrition Director at Health magazine for nearly eight years. Prior to that, she was part of the editorial team at the Discovery Health Channel, and also held the post of managing editor at

Frances is the author of Feed the Belly: The Pregnant Mom's Healthy Eating Guide and co-author of the bestselling The CarbLovers Diet and The CarbLovers Diet Cookbook. She is currently working on a cookbook, which will be published in early 2014. Frances was the team dietitian for Sanjay Gupta’s 2011 CNN Fit Nation Triathlon Challenge. Frances earned her undergraduate degree from Cornell University and completed her dietetic internship at Columbia University in New York.

I’ve always had a lukewarm relationship with autumn. The colors are beautiful—no doubt—but the end of summer means the end of those long, sunny days, sprinklers, and ice cream. Fall brings its crunchy leaves, but also darkness at 4:30 p.m. and a need to layer up.

While I might have mixed feelings about fall, one thing I’ve always been able to get excited about are pumpkins. I love the annual trip to the pumpkin patch to pick out a nice big orange squash. And I also adore all things made with pumpkin—pies, cookies, muffins, pumpkin seed brittle. Pumpkin is wonderful for adding moisture to baked goods, and of course it’s insanely rich in beta-carotene and fiber, and low in calories. The only trouble is that the sturdy jack-o’-lantern variety of pumpkin is not the one that’s going to give you delicious results in the kitchen.

The type of pumpkin that will yield a wonderfully scary ghoul is not only bigger than what you’d want to use in the kitchen, it also contains a ton more moisture and is much more fibrous (aka stringy). Cooking pumpkins are fleshier and more dense, which makes for a great pie, but not for decorating your front porch.

You can find cooking pumpkins at your farmers’ market, farm stands, and even some grocery stores. Look for these varieties: Long Island Cheese, Cinderella (of course!), New England Pie, and Sweetie Pie. Some varieties, like Winter Luxury, are actually great for both carving and eating. And for show stopping jack-o’-lanterns, look for Aladdin, Howden, Rock Star, Wolf, and Magic Lantern varieties.

A nice cooking pumpkin will be in the 3 to 6 pound range. One small pumpkin should be enough to make a couple of pies. As a longtime canned pumpkin user, I was intimidated by the thought of making pumpkin puree from scratch, but I decided it was worth the extra work.

First, make sure to wash the pumpkin well with running water. Cutting through the pumpkin is tough work (use a serrated knife), but once you’ve managed that, it’s pretty smooth sailing. Scoop out the seeds (save them for later) and remove any stringy bits. You can roast (my preferred method), steam, or even microwave the pumpkin and then scoop out the flesh. Then just use an immersion blender (or food processor) to turn the cooked pumpkin into puree. Voila!

And whether you and your kids are choosing a pumpkin to cook or carve, make sure the stem is still attached and is dark green, which indicates that the pumpkin has been freshly harvested. The stem of the pumpkin is also called the “handle,” but you should actually never use it to pick the pumpkin up with. The color should be uniform, with no green areas. And check for soft spots—those could mean that the pumpkin was stored in a moist spot and could get moldy quickly.

Even though it means that winter (and its subsequent bulky layers) is approaching, I’m definitely looking forward to our upcoming visit to the pumpkin patch with my little goblins. At the very least, it means that our kitchen will soon be filled with the wonderful aroma of pumpkin-y goodness.

For more information about Frances Largeman-Roth, The Carb Lovers Diet Cook Book, along with her other books, visit

In the News

EScript - Smart Shopper Magazine

Put a Little Lovin' in the Lunch Box

PB&J every day? No way is that going to excite kids and fulfill nutritional requirements when they flip open the lunch box.

Bright colors, individual food containers filled with healthy fare and lots of variety are surefire ways your kids will eat right and have fun, too.

Thats the thinking behind Obentec, Inc., a company co-founded in 2002 by two California moms. Amy Hemmert and Tammy Pelstring, whose mission is to help families improve lunchtime nutrition while reducing waste. Their Laptop Lunches Bento-ware is based on the traditional Japanese lunch consisting of a food container that has divided compartments so one can pack different colors, flavors and textures of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and proteins for a well-balanced meal.

To read the full article, visit: Either sign in to see a custom issue or click on the link in the first paragraph to view the magazine anonymously.

WHAS 11 News

The Mommy Nest : Back to School

The Mommy Nest is ready to help you get your kids back to school! Products, contests, and more information can be learned at their Facebook page.

To view the video, visit:

Green Opportunities

TURNING THE MORNING BLITZ INTO SCHOOL-DAY BLISS – Are you finding mornings stressful? Is your morning routine working for you? Here are some tips to help establish a blissful morning routine. To read more, visit:

PLANT FOR THE PLANET COMBATS GLOBAL WARMING APATHY – When Felix Finkbeiner was only 9 years old he founded Plant for the Planet, a non-profit organization dedicated to planting trees and combating climate change. Now, four years later, he is a published author, has spoken at the United Nations and the organization has expanded to 131 countries. To watch a video of how Plant for the Planet became an international campaign, and to read more, visit:

CAN GOING GREEN IMPROVE BUSINESS PRODUCTIVITY? – Companies now have another reason to go green.  New research has found that companies which adopt eco-friendly green practices have employees that are more productive than those that do not. Employees in green firms are more motivated, receive more training and benefit from better interpersonal relationships. To learn more, visit:

Featured Web Site: Eartheasy

Eartheasy offers products and information for sustainable living to help people improve their quality of life. At Eartheasy, they look for solutions leading to a simpler, more self-sufficient way of living.

A higher quality of life means more time with family and friends, a lower cost of living, a toxin-free home and yard, access to wholesome food and safe drinking water, and more time spent in nature.

Sustainable living is about respecting the limits of the earth's capacity to provide. At Eartheasy, they believe we can enrich our lives and ensure a healthy future while also reducing our impact on the environment.

To find out more, visit:

On This Site:
  • Products for Sustainability
  • Energy Efficient Lighting Guide
  • Sustainable Seafood Guide
  • Raised Garden Bed Guide
  • Featured Articles
  • Articles on Sustainable Living
  • Sustainable Giving

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Laptop Lunches Bento Lunchboxes

© October 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."