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December 2012

  December 2012  


In this issue you'll find:


What works...Success Stories

Such a Great Product

“I'm a food scientist, grad student and mother, and these have been awesome for our family! It is making eating healthy, with all that we juggle, much easier. Thank you for making such a great product!”

    -- Melissa, Oregon

Used It Every School Day Since Kindergarten

“I bought my son's Laptop Lunchbox when he started kindergarten in 2006. He has used it every school day since. Before he started middle school this year, I asked him if he wanted a new lunchbox. He asked me what was wrong with the one he had. I said 'it's seven years old, don't you want something
new?' To which he replied 'that wouldn't be very green of us!'"

    -- Amy & Andrew Flynn, San Anselmo,CA

Great for a School Fundraiser

“I LOVE this! I think it would be great for a school fundraiser. Please no more wrapping paper. Let's get people to eat portion controlled, good food.”

    -- Sandy, Seattle, WA

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

New Retailers

Main Street Kitchens
24 South Main Street
Hanover, NH 03755

Alfresco Casual Living
320 South Main Street
Stillwater, MN 55082


From Our Desk to Yours

Happy Holidays!

2012 is coming to a close, giving reason once again for us to sit back and reflect on the busy year we’ve had! New additions to our product line, new packaging, new team members and, most importantly, wonderful new and seasoned customers and friends. We wish you all a very happy and healthy holiday season!

DO TELL!: 2013 marks the 10-year anniversary of this newsletter – and we’re changing it up! Please take a quick minute to let us know what changes you’d like to see in 2013 at It only takes a minute, and we would SO really appreciate it!

WELCOME: We’d like to extend a warm welcome to Cheris, the newest member of our team. Cheris grew up in the mountains of California and relocated to Santa Cruz to attend the University of California at Santa Cruz. She fell in love with the area and has lived in Santa Cruz for over 10 years now. In her free time, she enjoys reading, archery, disc golf, and playing with her dog. Welcome aboard!

BACK IN STOCK: We are so truly happy to announce that ALL products are back in stock – just in time for the holiday season! Help your family stay on track in 2013 with our bento boxes, bento kits, and bento buddies, available at There’s something for everyone!

LUNCH DATES ON SALE: As we move into the new year, we’re phasing out some older styles to make room for the new. We have a few Lunch Dates in both colors still in stock at
20% off -- while supplies last! (Coupon = LUNCHDATE20)

STOCKING STUFFERS: Got a bento fan in your family? They’re sure to love our terrific stocking stuffers at Stars, hearts, and bento dividers to spice up all their mid-day meals!

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

IN GRATITUDE: Did you know that maintaining an attitude of gratitude can improve psychological, emotional and physical well-being? Adults who frequently feel grateful have more energy, more optimism, more social connections and more happiness than those who don’t. Kids who feel and act grateful tend to be less materialistic, get better grades, set higher goals, complain of fewer headaches and stomach aches and feel more satisfied with their friends, families and schools. Our very own newsletter editor, Wendy Siegel has just published a very cool gratitude journal called The Gratitude Habit. Be sure to check it out at Congrats, Wendy! We are grateful for all that you do!


Enjoy the holiday season!

From Your Kitchen to Ours

“My kindergartner loves mini pitas and will eat anything inside! These are stuffed with turkey, salami and veggies. The box came back empty so it was a winner!”

    -- Nicole Brandow, San Luis Obispo, CA

Food for Thought: Cranberries

Photo Credit: Melissa Braun

Cranberries are high in fiber and vitamin C, help support the immune system, and are low in calories. They have more antioxidants than almost any other fruit or vegetable, only surpassed by blueberries. Cranberries are a heart healthy food, protect against cancer and have been used to treat urinary tract infections for hundreds of years. They are good for the digestive system and may also help prevent stomach ulcers.

Cranberries can be included in both sweet and savory recipes. Dried cranberries are great in salads, cereals, stuffings, and muffins, or added to most butternut squash dishes. Whole cranberries are often used in cranberry sauce, pancakes, and muffins and served as a complement with turkey or chicken.

For cranberry recipes, visit: or


  • Contains Anti-inflammatory Properties
  • Good Source of Vitamin C
  • Excellent Source of Antioxidants
  • Helps Prevent Urinary Tract Infection
  • Good for Cardiovascular Health
  • Good for Digestion
  • Contains Anti-Aging Support

This Month's Recipes: Holiday Treats From Weelicious

Here are a couple of recipes that are super kid friendly, but also balanced choices during the holidays! These recipes are reprinted with permission from Catherine McCord, author of the Weelicious Web site. To view more Weelicious recipes, visit:

Strawberries and Cream "Elves"

  • 1/4 cup whipped cream cheese
  • 1 Tbsp strawberry preserves
  • 1 pint strawberries, rinsed & stems removed
  • chocolate chips, optional

Serves 4

1. In a small bowl whisk the cream cheese and preserves until combined.
2. Place cream cheese mixture in a small Ziploc bag, snip off one corner to create a piping bag.
3. Slice 1/2 inch off of the top of the strawberry, fill with cream cheese mixture and place the “hat” back on top.
4. Place 2 chocolate chips in the cream cheese mixture for the eyes.
5. Repeat with the remaining strawberries.
6. Serve.

This recipe can be found at:

Whole Wheat Bagel Wreath Pizza

  • 4 whole wheat bagels, cut in half
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 cup pizza sauce
  • 1/2 cup broccoli, peas and/or green beans, steamed
  • 1 12 oz jar roast red bell peppers


Serves 4

1. Preheat oven to 450 F.
2. Spread 1 Tbsp of sauce on each slice of bagel.
3. Top each bagel with 2 Tbsp of cheese and then arrange vegetables on top to resemble a wreath.
4. Cut bell peppers into thin strips to make the ribbon for each wreath.
5. Place wreaths on a foil lined baking sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes.
6. Serve.

This recipe can be found at:

In the Spotlight: Top 10 Ways to Get Your Kids Involved During the Holidays

An Article by Catherine McCord

About Catherine McCord:
Catherine is the chef and founder of Mom to Kenya (5) and Chloe (3), she created as a platform to show parents around the world how easy and beneficial it is to expose children to wholesome and delicious homemade food. After personally struggling with how to feed Kenya, Catherine recognized a need for realistic, accessible and nutritious recipes for parents using minimal ingredients that are fully loaded with flavor. Weelicious now houses over 700 original recipes that are fast and easy to follow, with readily available ingredients.

1. Show guests to their seats and take drink orders. Kids love to role play and this will make them feel like they’re really involved in the event.

2. Help prep by preparing the table, making place cards, setting up the "kids table." Kids love to be a part of the event, and they especially like feeling "grown up." Setting the table will give them a sense of ownership and pride in doing something so important for the party.

3. Plan a theme: This allows kids to be creative and think outside the box with decorations and table arrangements. The theme can be as simple as "fall" with scattered leaves, autumnal tones, and pumpkins adorning the table and dining areas.

4. Open the door: This sets the stage for kids to learn new social skills. Kids get excited when family and friends come to visit. Let them be greeters, and they'll feel included from the start. They can also introduce the newcomers to the rest of the party.

5. Pick music (DJ): This is a perfect activity for kids 8+. Picking music helps kids share a bit of themselves and provides less outgoing kids with a means for opening up to guests.

6. Prepare and pass hors d'oeuvres. Let young ones help by choosing a fun, but easy recipe, such as Strawberry Elves. Get the kids involved in the kitchen and when it comes time to serve, they'll be excited to tell everyone about the menu item they helped make.

7. Design menus for the meal. Kids get creative when they write, color, and draw menus for holiday parties and dinners. It also provides you, the parent, with a little time to yourself while they're busy decorating.

8. Set out an assortment of crafts. Foster creativity by getting all the kids at the party to do something fun. For example, have them decorate stockings together and then talk about their designs.

9. Secret Santa game. Ask guests to bring an inexpensive ($5) wrapped gift to the party. The first person opens a wrapped gift and then the second person can choose the first person's gift OR open a new one from the pile. Kids love gifts, and a little healthy competition adds excitement to the party! In this game, everyone ends up with something to unwrap.

10. Find the pickle (like find the afikomen). Winner gets a prize! Hide a pickle in the Christmas tree (or in a nearby location). Announce to guests that the pickle is waiting to be found and set the kids (and adults?) on a hunt. The person who finds the pickle wins a small prize. Re-hide the pickle a few times throughout the night to keep the game going.

Catherine takes her inner ‘mom-ologue’ from the web to the page with her book, Weelicious: One Family. One Meal. Starting out as an inspirational feeding guide, Catherine cleverly weaves together first-hand experiences with factual evidence, and then naturally progresses into 140 of her own can-do “easy, fresh, and fun” recipes.

For more information about Catherine and Weelicious, visit and to learn more about Catherine's book, Weelicious - One Family. One Meal., visit:

Weelicious is a wealth of information and has quickly developed an international audience on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter. 

In the News

Kate and Kaboodle

Back to School Event: Laptop Lunch Bento-Ware
{review & giveaway}

My family packs a lunch for school and work so we are always looking for great, reusable lunch products. Laptop Lunches® has a great selection of bento boxes, carriers and accessories to make eating lunch fun!

Laptop Lunches® Bento-ware is non-toxic, containing no lead, BPA, phthalates, or PVC. They are made from recycled materials and are recyclable themselves. One bento box is very durable and will last for years, saving you money and protecting the environment. Even better? They are made right here in the USA!

We recently had an opportunity to try the Bento Lunch Box in pink and black. It features the laptop box, five inner containers in different sizes and three lids that seal to prevent leaking. The containers are microwave and dishwasher safe.

This is such a great way to add a little fun to yours or your child’s lunch. I decided to make Riyan one of her favorite lunches, a wrap loaded with ham and veggies!

To view the video, visit:


Laptop Lunchbox: Review and Giveaway

Nooks and crannies. I just love them.

I must have been a squirrel or a chipmunk or something in a previous life. I love storing things away in little spaces. I love when everything is tucked away in its own special place.

Now mind you, my things may not actually stay in their places for very long (or at all, for that matter) but at least I have identified those places where they should be, so I’m halfway there, right?

As you can imagine, I have a penchant for food storage containers with sections. Yes, seriously. I love nooks and crannies in my food storage, so the wet things can be separate from the crunchy things and the raw things are far away from the creamy things, and so on and so forth.

Of course you can imagine how absolutely tickled I was to receive from Laptop Lunches® a sample bento-style lunchbox for review here on my blog. Red on the outside, multicolored on the inside … the lunchbox just shouts “Happy day!” no matter what you put in it!

To read the entire review, visit:

Green Opportunities

ECO-FRIENDLY GIFT WRAPPING IDEAS - REDUCE, REUSE & RECYCLE! – With a little creativity, you can package your gifts in more eco-friendly ways and help reduce the impact on the environment. Here are some ideas to help reduce the amount of waste you generate this holiday season. To read the full article, visit:

HOLIDAY RECYCLING GUIDE – It probably is not a surprise to learn that more garbage is generated during December than any other time of the year? With all the parties, food and gifts during the holidays, there's even more need to help reuse, reduce and recycle. Here are a few simple holiday recycling tips from RecycleScene to help balance waste with conservation. To learn what you can do, visit:

10 SOLAR GIFTS THAT KEEP GIVING – What better way to celebrate the holiday season than by tapping into the renewable energy of the sun and sharing solar gifts with everybody on your list? For a list of ten solar gifts, including information, links and prices for each, visit:

Featured Web Site:

Care2 provides powerful tools to make a difference in your life, your community, and the world. Their website is driven by passionate people who want to restore the world's balance. They pride themselves on being a different kind of company. They are committed to using the power of business to make a positive social and earth-friendly impact on the world.

The idea for Care2 is simple: Make it easy for everyone to live a healthy, green lifestyle and impact the causes they care about most.

To find out more, visit:

On This Site:
  • Causes and News
  • Daily Action
  • Healthy Living Articles
  • Food: Recipes, Articles, and Tips
  • E-Cards
  • Care2 Community Success Stories
  • Daily Deals
  • Green Jobs
  • Community Groups
  • Petitions

Contact Us

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

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Laptop Lunches Bento Lunchboxes

© December 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 Laptop Lunches Bento-ware for permission to use this copyrighted material. For more information, contact Laptop Lunches Bento-ware 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."