FREE e-Newsletter. Receive menus, photos, recipes & lunch ideas.

Follow Us on Pinterest Visit Us on Facebook View Our Photos Follow Us on Twitter Read Our Blog Weekly Lunch Menus

Newsletter Archive


May 2007

Laptop Lunch Times: May 2007

May 2007

In this issue, you'll find:

  • From Our Desk to Yours...
  • Favorite Photo
  • Salad Recipes
  • Green Opportunities
  • Laptop Lunches in the News
  • New Retailers
  • Is That Baby Fat?
  • What works...Success Stories
  • Featured Web site:

From Our Desk to Yours...

CANADIAN SALES: We’d like to welcome Lisa Borden to the Obentec team. Lisa will be handling sales and marketing activities in Ontario and Quebec. In addition to her high level of enthusiasm, Lisa brings a wealth of experience in communication, promotion, and sales. We look forward to expanding our Laptop Lunch presence in Canada. Welcome Lisa!

SCHOOL OFFER: From time to time we end up with "extra" containers in combinations that, if assembled, would not equate to full primary or whimsical sets. Instead of recycling them, we assemble them into "mis-matched" sets, which are neither primary nor whimsical, but a combination of mixed colors. We're currently offering these to schools and organizations in cartons of 24 only for a flat price of $342.00 per carton including shipping. For more information, click HERE. (This item is available only in cartons of 24--WHILE SUPPLIES LAST.)

DISHWASHER-SAFE LABELS: We're pleased to announce a new partnership with Mabel's Labels, a company that sells dishwasher-safe labels in color sets that match our Laptop Lunch colors. If you're looking for a convenient way to personalize Laptop Lunches for your family, school, or organization, check out the selection at

GIFT CERTIFICATES AVAILABLE IN JUNE: Looking for a convenient way to purchase Laptop Lunch products for friends and family? Laptop Lunch gift certificates will soon be available on our Web site. Since you'll receive your gift certificate by email just moments after you place your order, this option is ideal as a last-minute "grab and go" waste-free gift!

Amy and Tammy

Got a favorite photo to share?

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

  • Crusty French bread
  • Organic raw cheese
  • Strawberries
  • Orange slices
  • Apple slices

"My company, Raw Naturel, encourages everyone to express their passion for healthy living.  We created an organic cotton t-shirt with the slogan "Be cute. Eat fruit."  This message tells the world to choose a piece of fruit over pre-packaged, processed food.  Making that choice results in a cleaner environment and a happier, healthier body.  A portion of all proceeds goes towards school gardening programs so that children are taught first hand about the food they eat.  So remember, 'Be cute. Eat fruit!'"

"This is a picture of my children Jacob, 7 and Noah, 4."

"As a Mom I encourage my children to eat a lot of fruit, and using the Laptop Lunch System makes it easy.  The food is visually appealing, so they usually eat all of the food I pack.  Other children at school tell them how yummy their lunches look.  With childhood obesity on the rise, I want to help others spread the word about healthy eating."

       --Nicole, Wilmington, NC

Tangy Carrot Salad

Makes 4 servings

  • 4 cups shredded carrots
  • ¾ cup chopped pecans
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • ½ cup of your favorite balsamic vinaigrette dressing
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 Tbs. olive oil
  • Feta cheese (optional)

1. Heat olive oil in a sauce pan. Add pecans and stir often. Remove from heat when pecans are toasted and smell nutty. Let cool.
2. Shred carrots and place in a large serving bowl.
3. Add pecans, cranberries, dressing, salt, pepper and feta (optional).
4. Toss until ingredients are well mixed. Serve.


Tropical Cabbage Salad

  • 1 cup shredded cabbage
  • ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • ½ cup chopped jicama
  • Juice from ½ lime
  • 1 avocado, mashed
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 heaping Tbs. mayonnaise
  • ¼ cup chopped red onion
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Makes 4 servings
1. Mix together shredded cabbage, cilantro, red onion, and jicama and set aside.
2. In a separate bowl, mix the lime juice, mashed avocado, minced garlic, and mayonnaise.
3. Combine all ingredients, season with salt and pepper, and serve.

Green Opportunities

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

  • BALLPARK FARE – An afternoon or evening at a Major League ball game used to mean a day filled with trans fats and other not-so-healthy alternatives, but those days may soon be over. Check out to see what healthful options are being served at your local stadium. And if your team is lagging behind in this area, find out what you can do to effect positive change. Go team!
  • EARTH-FRIENDLY PAPER – Earthwise printer paper is made by combining tree free agricultural bioproducts with 100% post consumer recycled content. Agricultural by-products and post consumer paper constitute a worldwide solid waste problem, but Earthwise is putting this waste to good use. A percentage of each sale supports young leaders from Latin America studying sustainable agriculture.
  • SUSTAINABLE TABLE AND THE EAT WELL GUIDE – Sustainable Table and the Eat Well Guide celebrate the joy of healthy eating and offer enhanced educational tools, films, and recipes. The Eat Well Guide is great for finding wholesome, fresh, sustainable food in your area. The Guide is updated regularly and contains more than 9,000 listings searchable by zip and post codes throughout the US and Canada.
  • FUEL EFFICIENT VEHICLES – The EPA's widely advertised mileage estimates are obtained through laboratory tests in which car wheels on stationary cars are moved at different speeds. While these tests are easy to perform, the results do not accurately reflect the fuel economy each car will get in real life. Consumer Reports has derived its own ratings from a series of actual road tests, including city, highway, and country-road driving. Each car is driven by at least two engineers to account for variability in driving styles. Want to choose your next car with fuel economy in mind? Visit

Laptop Lunches in the News

The Boston Globe, May 2, 2007

Packing it away

Unhappy with the wasteful packaging and processed foods in the average school lunch, moms Amy Hemmert and Tammy Pelstring created the Japanese-inspired Laptop Lunch. It's a reusable plastic lunchbox that

appeals to both children and adults. Roughly the size of its namesake, the Laptop Lunch comes with five brightly-colored plastic containers and a set of silverware that fit snugly inside ($20.99 to $24; $34.99 to 39.95 for an insulated carrying case and water bottle, too). There's room for a sandwich and snacks, or a multi-course meal. Pack it with leftovers from last night's dinner or takeout , or show the kids how handsome a PB&J can look. Available at Brookline Booksmith , 279 Harvard St., Brookline, 617-566-6660, or go to MELISSA CARLSON

New Retailers

57 Elliot Street
Brattleboro, VT 05301
(802) 254-2600

Monkey Business
330 College Street
Amherst, MA 01002
(413) 256-0020

Baby's Bottom Line
Seattle, WA 98109
(888) 212-8131

Soul Spa Urban Retreat
7756 Yonge Street
Thornhill, ON L4J 1W3
(905) 882-7685
Earth Mart
235 Bridge Street
Phoenixville, PA 19460
(610) 935-1793

Seeds for Wellness
Jennifer Zitser
Hamden, CT
(203) 435-8655

Visit 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.

Is That Baby Fat?

By Wendy V. Sapolsky M.D.

As a practicing pediatrician, this is a question that I'm asked almost every day. As a parent, I think one of the biggest challenges that we face today is not only feeding our children balanced diets, but teaching them to make healthy food choices as they get older. We are all aware of the increasing epidemic of childhood obesity in this country, and the latest statistics are alarming: 15% of children 6-19 years old are at-risk for overweight and approximately 15% are already overweight, according to internationally accepted BMI (Body Mass Index) percentile criteria. Understanding feeding and growth patterns in children can help parents help their children maintain a healthy weight.
The Early Years

The first two years of life is a time of rapid growth for all babies, and first time parents find it especially exciting to guess their baby's weight at well baby visits. A baby's weight should approximately triple his or her birth weight in the first year of life. During the second year of life, a toddler's eating patterns drastically change and many children become "picky eaters." At this stage, the parent's job is to provide healthy foods choices, and the toddler's responsibility is to control the amount of food that goes into his or her mouth. A good portion for a toddler is a tablespoon of each food for every year in age. For example, one tablespoon of chicken would equal one protein serving for a day.

Toddlers possess an innate ability to control their weight, and they know how to listen to their hunger signals. It's important to take the time to cut up fresh fruit and vegetables, even if your toddler doesn't always eat them. The toddler years are a time of slow growth. If your child doesn't eat healthy foods or barely eats for a day or two, don't substitute junk food at this age! If you're concerned about your child's weight, schedule an appointment with your child's doctor.

I always tell parents that toddlers were built to be thin, but medically speaking, they typically hit their lowest BMI during this time. As a pediatrician, this is when I begin to see children having issues with overeating or gaining too much weight. You should not see your child's weight increase by percentiles during these years. (Ask to see your child's growth chart.)

Ages 5 - 9

I often see rapid weight gain among children in the 5- to 9-year-old group. This is called "Adiposity Rebound." A person is born with fat cells that remain dormant during the first several years of life. If your child is overeating or is not very active, the number of active fat cells will increase, and your child will start to gain weight at a much-accelerated rate. Your child should gain 3-7 pounds per year before puberty, a time when overweight children gain 10-20 pounds per year. Unfortunately, genetic predisposition starts to play a factor at this age as well, which is why it's very important to be aware of your child's growth. Studies now show that 33% of overweight preschoolers will become overweight adults, and 50% of overweight 6-11 year olds will become overweight adults. It is never too early or too late to make healthy eating changes in your house!

What Parents Can Do

If you see your child starting to gain weight, the first step is to make your house a "safe place" for eating. In other words, GET RID OF THE JUNK AT HOME! Make it as easy as you can for your child to eat well. Pack healthy fruits and vegetables in your Laptop Lunches every day. Laptop Lunches are great for portion control so measuring becomes unnecessary. Stock your kitchen with healthy snacks like cut-up fruits, vegetables, fat free popcorn, and sugar-free popsicles. Eliminate calorie-containing drinks, except for 1-2 glasses of skim milk every day. Get your children hooked on water at a young age. Most importantly, get them moving and keep them active! The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends 30-60 minutes of activity on most days of the week. If you're a parent with an overweight child, now is the time to make changes.

That-a-Weigh Kids® is a weight management program for children and teens. Dr Sapolsky developed the program to help children and their families make healthy food choices, eat appropriate portions and make lifestyle changes that will last a lifetime. To learn more about her program or to find help in your area, visit her Web site at

What Works...Success Stories

"My daughter loves her Laptop Lunch and is willing to try new foods just because they look so fun in the
colorful boxes. But the best part is that we have both become more creative in packing her lunches.
Last week instead of PB&J, an apple and a cookie, we packed bagel chips with cream cheese and cucumber slices, edemame, baby tomatoes and trail mix! AND strangly enough, now that I've got the hang of it, it feels as easy as the old PB&J."

        --Lizbeth, San Diego, CA

"I've had my lunchbox system 2 months now and it has made a big difference in the way I eat. I am a diabetic, so portion control is very important to me. I am eating much healthier and happier now and have lost 3 pounds. I commute to work on the train, and the size of the lunchbox is perfect for my backpack, so I have one less thing to carry. Thank you!"

        --Ruth Hill, Gaithersburg, MD

"When my 4-yr-old twin daughters were learning about environmental awareness during a lesson at their Montessori school titled"Where Does Our Garbage Go?" I felt less than adequate about how much our family was doing to save our environment. It seems like such an overwhelming goal that you think "I'm only one person; what can I do?" I purchased the Laptop Lunch system for them to use at preschool, and I can clearly see the reduction in trash just at lunchtime, not to mention the cost savings of not having to purchase those pre-packaged products. After visiting a local county landfill with their class and seeing where "bad garbage" goes, they were very proud of their new lunch boxes. Thank you not only for the wonderful product, but for the informative newsletter. Once you make even one change, it motivates you to make more!"

        --Brenda Cole, Wilmington, DE

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

Featured Web Site:

Healthy Schools Network is an environmental health organization that conducts research, provides information, and engages in coalition-building and advocacy work. Their goal is to ensure that every child learns in an environment that is healthy, clean, and in good repair.

Founded in 1995, they have documented and publicized school environmental problems; shaped education, health, and environmental policies; helped create local and state policy groups; won systemic reforms; and helped thousands of parents and schools make classrooms and buildings healthier for students.

Major efforts include: building the platform and the forum for school environments through the collaborative Coalition for Healthier Schools, leading National Healthy Schools Day; offering steady assistance through the Clearinghouse's publications and referrals; and refining their model New York Program. They focus on:

1) High Performance School Design/Construction consistent with children's needs for healthy environments;

2) Greening Existing Schools; and

3) Environmental Public Health for Children who are disproportionately affected by environmental exposures.

Visit them online at

On this site you'll find...

  • Healthy Schools Guides
  • Healthy Schools Reports
  • Kids Page
  • Internet Resources
  • National Healthy Schools Day

  • June Highlights

    End-of-year Party Ideas, Green Opportunities, and Sustainable Paper!


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

    Want to subscribe to this newsletter?

    First Name:        Last Name:


    HTML Text Don't know         

    This monthly newsletter is archived at

    © May 2007 Obentec, Inc.

    849 Almar Ave., Suite C-323
    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."