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October 2010

Laptop Lunch Times: October 2010
  October 2010  

Highlights

In this issue you'll find:


Good
Simple
Fun

What works...Success Stories

Now Opt For "Home Lunch"

"Let me just start by saying that we LOVE our Laptop Lunch boxes! Your products are phenomenal. They are very sturdy and hold up extremely well, and your service and shipping have been wonderful as well. My kids are not terribly adventurous eaters and most of the time they opted to have the “school lunch.” My kids now ask for “home lunch” almost every day. Not only do they love the containers, they also love planning what goes in each compartment. It makes them think about the food groups and menu planning. They now like to make sure they get a vegetable and a fruit with every lunch. They also have given up juice boxes and prefer to fill up their water bottles. Thank you so much for your products and for sparking my children’s interest in home lunch again!"

    -- Mary Brannigan, Orlando, FL

Thanks For Gluten Free Article

"Love the gluten free article. (November 2009) I have a daughter with celiac who loves to cook so we were excited to hear about Connie and her children's cookbook. Thanks for highlighting it for us. We of course love our Laptop Lunch boxes and my children continue to be aware of excess packaging, in part by packing their own waste free lunches each day."

    -- Cheryl LaCost, Park Ridge, IL

High Quality Product

"Just had to let you know that my daughter and I LOVE your Laptop Lunch system. At first, I thought the system was a bit expensive, but we are now in our second year of using it and it is still in great shape! It is a very high quality product. The longer we can use it, the better the price gets! When my daughter first begged me to buy her one, I was hesitant, because I thought that coming up with ideas to fill it would be difficult! Boy was I wrong! The separate containers make it easy to plan and pack a main course, fruit, vegetable and dessert in a compact space! My daughter won’t use any other lunchbox! All her friends think I pack the greatest lunches, but I think that your great system just makes it all look better! Thanks!"

    -- Laura & Kyra, Valley Springs, CA

Do you have a success story or photo to share? Email it to us at info@obentec.com.



New Retailers

Belmains
15 North Main Street
Randolph, VT 05060
(802) 728-3781


Drive Organics
1045 Commercial Drive
Vancouver, BC V5L 3X1
(604) 678-9665


The Bookstore on Perron Street
7 Perron Street Street
Albert, AB T8N 1E3
(780) 458-3155


Book Culture
2915 Broadway
New York, New York 10025
(646) 403-3000


Wonderland Books & Toys, Inc.
Edgebrook Center
1625 N. Alpine Road
Rockford, IL 61107
(815) 394-1633


Fleur de Lis Academy
27 Danbury Road
Wilton, CT 06897
(203) 210-7155
www.fleurdelisacademy.com


Goodnite Moon
111 Corte Madera Town Center
Corte Madera, CA 94925
(415) 945-0677
www.goodnitemoon.com


Chirps Children’s Boutique
155-9040 Blundell Road
Richmond, BC V6Y 1K3
(604) 278-7272


Take the Healthy Way
273 Fitzgerald Crescent
Milton, ON L9T 5Y3
(416) 795-0064


www.nurturingthreads.com

www.by_leterrier.42store.com










Subscribe


From Our Desk to Yours

We’ve got a new look!

We’re very excited about the launch of our new Web site at www.laptoplunches.com and this updated newsletter as well. We hope you’ll take a few minutes to check them out. Click around to experience our new navigation, enhanced search functionality, and exciting new content. Thanks for all your support!

PROJECT LUNCH: We would like to extend a big thank you to Teens Turning Green for inviting us to participate in their Project Lunch event at Whole Foods in Novato, CA on August 22 & 29. More than 150 families were given the opportunity to pack school lunches using nutritious and organic food options provided by Whole Foods vendors. We really enjoyed being part of this highly successful event, and we're looking forward to our continued partnership as we work together to provide families and schools with sustainable, local, wholesome, waste-free, and organic lunch options.
KLEAN KANTEEN BOTTLES: We’re pleased to announce the latest addition to our Web store: 18 oz. Klean Kanteen water bottles. They’re available in five colors at http://secure.laptoplunches.com/AMAZING/items.asp?Cc=BOTTLES&Bc=. They’re colorful and fun!
GREEN FESTIVAL: We are looking forward to another great weekend at the San Francisco Green Festival, November 6-7th. If you're able to attend, please stop by our booth to say hi and check out all our new products. For more information, visit www.greenfestivals.org/sf/updates/.

Thanks for your support!


From Your Kitchen to Ours



"I love the Laptop Lunch system! My son had to go on a special diet a few years ago and I was looking for a way to make his lunches a little more special (so he would not mind the new foods). I ordered the black laptop lunchbox and after just one use, I was hooked! I use it almost daily and I am always thinking of new foods to fit into each compartment. The Laptop Lunchbox really helps me send fun, healthy and "green" lunches to school. My 4 year old cannot wait to go to school next year just so she can also proudly carry her own pink laptop lunchbox!"

    -- Leslie Forte, Herndon, VA


Food for Thought: Pumpkin

Pumpkins are low in fat and calories and are rich in antioxidants and potassium. The beta-carotene in pumpkins is known to be an excellent anti-oxidant as well as an anti-inflammatory. The carotenoids present, along with the zinc, help strengthen the immune system. In addition, pumpkins have been known to reduce the risk of macular degeneration.

Pumpkin is popular in baked goods, muffins, cakes, pies and breads. It can also be eaten in pancakes, puddings, ravioli and soups. Pumpkin seeds, which are an excellent source of Omega 6 and Omega 3 fatty acids, can top off any salad, pasta or vegetable dish.  

For more information on pumpkins, visit: www.allaboutpumpkins.com/recipes.html, and for a Gluten Free Pumpkin Pecan Cookie Recipe, visit: http://glutenfreegoddess.blogspot.com/2008/11/pumpkin-pecan-cookies.html.

Benefits:

  • Good Source of Vitamin C
  • Loaded with Potassium
  • Rich in Beta-Carotene
  • Rich in Antioxidants, Vitamins and Minerals
  • Excellent Source of Dietary Fiber

This Month's Recipes: Pumpkin

Pumpkin Curry Soup

This soup recipe is sure to add warmth on chilly Autumn days.


* Tamari or soy sauce can be used to replace the Braggs Liquid Aminos.

1. Melt butter or heat oil in a large pot, over medium heat. Add and saute the chopped onions and apples until they are soft. Then add the curry, garlic and ginger. Stir well.
2. Stir in the veggie broth, Braggs, pumpkin, maple syrup and coconut milk. Heat until it just begins to boil.
3. Place the soup in the blender with the basil to puree. It will most likely need to be done in batches. Use care if you are blending the hot soup right off the burner..
4. The soup may be served with some pumpkin seeds sprinkled on top or a drizzle of coconut milk .


Pumpkin Pecan Pancakes


*Soy milk, rice milk, or other non dairy alternative can be used instead.

1. Sift dry ingredients into a medium bowl. (flour, baking powder and salt)
2. Beat the egg in a separate bowl and add milk, butter or oil, pumpkin and vanilla until well mixed.
3. Add wet mixture into the bowl of dry ingredients. Then add the cinnamon and pecans.
4. Heat greased skillet or nonstick pan on medium setting.
5. Pour about 1/4 cup of batter to form each pancake. Allow them to cook until golden on each side.
6. Serve with your favorite pancake condiments.

In the Spotlight - An Article By Eric Pomert

Why Should Kids Cook?

By Chef Eric Pomert of Little Spoons Cafe

Most of us have heard that getting our kids to eat a wider variety of real foods is key to supporting their health. As a children’s cooking teacher, I’m continually looking more deeply into the perspective of the child: What makes a little one actually want to try new foods? The main answer is: create an ongoing story about the fun and wonder of cooking.

Ok, so how? Let’s start with you.

1. Recognize your children’s vulnerability.
I think of children as young travelers. Imagine beings coming to earth from another planet. They depend on us to tell them a great deal about how life on earth works. They have figured out breathing on their own. Eating, on the other hand, requires a lot of modeling, presentation of choices, and tuning a rapidly developing brain and palate. The primary reason to teach them to cook is so they can learn something key about life here on earth – taking care of yourself. They are depending on us to give them great tools so they can make their own choices. That is the beginning of having the experience of living their own lives. It’s a serious task that should be infused with delight and adventure.

2. See cooking as communication.
I looked up “communication” in my online dictionary. Here’s what stood out to me: “means of connection between people or places, in particular,” “the means of traveling or of transporting goods.” The Latin root is “to share.” In the process of cooking, we learn to communicate likes and dislikes. When we cook for one another, we are communicating our care. In other words, the food is also a transported "good" in the sense that what you prepare communicates your ideas and your handiwork into the body of another person. When we teach cooking, it’s an opportunity to present something fundamentally sacred. What does preparing separate kiddy food at dinnertime communicate?

3. Encourage opinions.
It’s crucial to encourage positive and negative opinions of foods. It’s one of the most basic ways that builds the elusive facility to know what one likes and to make choices. From there, a child can engage their daring to try new foods.

Some tips to get it rolling: 

1. Be on the same side.
This is not the time to wield authority. You’re taking a mentor stance here, not a taskmaster position. That means you’re not the person telling them that they are doing it right or wrong. You are traveling with them and can share in things like “okra is gooey and gross!” or “I love how crunchy and sour green apples are!”

2. Experiment. This is about coaxing out curiosity.
Young minds are on the lookout for rules. If you agree with them that they do not like broccoli, their minds close all broccoli out of their world. Don’t settle for their saying “I don’t like broccoli.” Young minds adore choice. If it’s okay to dislike broccoli one way, then it’s okay to try it another way some other time. Try “Well, we know you don’t like steamed broccoli with butter. Maybe next time we’ll see if you like something very different, like roasted broccoli with almond butter sauce.”

3. Try new foods yourself.
Nothing communicates better than genuinely modeling the risk it takes to try something new. Your child may not try the food you’re modeling, but their brains will know it’s okay to take a chance with new foods another time. In one of my summer camps, I confessed to the class that I found the idea of eating duck eggs really disgusting and I didn’t really know why. “Just because” was the honest reason. A few days later, I fried a couple of duck eggs in butter in front of the kids. Just before I tried my first bite, three children volunteered to try them with me so I wouldn’t have to do it alone.That just amazed me. And we all liked the taste of duck eggs!  

To learn more about Chef Eric, find out about his cooking classes, and watch the TV show pilot, visit his Web site at: www.littlespoonscafe.com/main/Home.html.


In the News

Eat, Sweat, Smile

One of My Favorite Things

Check out this video post to see what my new favorite thing is! You can snag one (a Laptop Lunch system) at your local Whole Foods, or visit Laptop Lunches. I’ll do my best to share some of my favorite bento meals that I create throughout the week. To view the video, visit http://eatsweatsmile.wordpress.com/2010/08/09/one-of-my-favorite-things .



Parenting New Hampshire

A New Twist on a Standard Lunchbox

School’s about to start, and so is the mad morning scramble of what to pack for lunch. Tired of making PB & J? Switch it up with kids’ bento boxes. They’re ideal for packing fun, wholesome, on-the-go meals. The Laptop Lunches kids’ bento lunchbox system includes five inner containers that rest in a tray, a set of stainless-steel utensils and a water bottle, all of which zip into an insulated mini-laptop case. All ages; www.laptoplunches.com; $24.99 to $39.99 (located on page 8 of the August 2010 issue).  


A La Minute

Side Dish: Bet on the Bento

The Laptop Lunches Bento System ($39.99 at www.laptoplunches.com) has been touted in major magazines, and for personal chefs creating kids’ meals this summer, this new, clever system might be just the ticket. It includes five inner containers that rest in a tray, a set of stainless-steel utensils and a water bottle, all of which zip into an insulated mini-laptop case, appropriate for both kids and adults. The brightly colored inner containers accommodate everything from carrot sticks to miso soup. See for yourself: www.youtube.com/watch?v=8XO4Vag9zsY. Obentec, Inc. was founded in 2001 by two California moms with the mission of helping families improve lunchtime nutrition while reducing waste. Learn more at www.laptoplunches.com.


Another Lunch

Laptop Lunch

The Laptop Lunch system is great for holding more food than the traditional (little) bento boxes. It's also an easy introduction to making bento lunches for most people because the layout is less intimidating than having an empty barrier-less box staring at you as you fill it. The original Laptop Lunch box (like this one) comes with a lid for one of the larger boxes (for mine, the magenta box has a lid), and then a lid for the tiny dipping box too. Laptop Lunches recently rolled out a new box called Laptop Lunch 2.0. The new version comes with three lids, the same two as before plus a lid for the smaller sized boxes too. So convenient! Also great, they have an extra set of inner boxes called Bento Buddies, one of which is a double sized box - awesome for full sized sandwiches or a nice salad: To read the entire posting, visit: www.anotherlunch.com/2010/02/laptop-lunch.html


Green Opportunities

HAPPY HALLOWEEN TIPS AND TREATS – Halloween may be lots of fun but it comes with lots of sugary snacks. This Delicious Living article offers some simple suggestions to help your children have a happy and healthy Halloween. To read the article, visit: http://deliciouslivingmag.com/kidsfamily/dl_article_1430.


GLUTEN-FREE BLOG – Looking for great gluten free recipes? Katrina Allrich not only provides a wonderful collection of gluten-free recipes, she shares helpful information for those switching to a gluten-free diet. To find out more, visit: http://glutenfreegoddess.blogspot.com.


FREE FOR ALL – "Free for All: Fixing School Food in America," by Janet Poppendieck is a comprehensive assessment of school lunches in the U.S. With the use of interviews and anecdotes, she discusses the subject from multiple perspectives.To find out more about the book, read the review at: www.post-gazette.com/pg/10024/1030125-34.stm.


Featured Web Site

GreenerChoices.org

GreenerChoices.org, is a Web-based initiative to inform, engage, and empower consumers about environmentally-friendly products and practices. They offer an accessible, reliable, and practical source of information on buying “greener” products that have minimal environmental impact and meet personal needs.

GreenerChoices.org was established by Consumers Union, the non-profit publisher of Consumer Reports. They created GreenerChoices.org to address the lack of credible, in-depth information on green products and services, especially on the Web.

To find out more, visit www.greenerchoices.org/ 

On This Site:
  • The Latest in Ecological News
  • Products and Green Ratings
  • Eco Label Center
  • Food and Beverage Buying Guide
  • Green Consumer Tools and Resources
  • Ways to Save Energy and Water
  • How to Recycle and Dispose of Large Appliances

Contact Us

Comments, questions, concerns? Please email us at info@obentec.com.

View archived issues of this newsletter at http://www.laptoplunches.com/newsletter-archives.php.

To subscribe or unsubscribe, visit www.laptoplunches.com/subscribe.php.

Laptop Lunches Bento Lunchboxes

© October 2010 Obentec, Inc.

500 Chestnut Street, Suite 250
Santa Cruz, CA 95060
831-457-0301

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