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June 2011

  June 2011  

Highlights

In this issue you'll find:


Good
Simple
Fun

What works...Success Stories

Can't Wait To Start Using It!

"My son is changing schools this year from public to private and his new school doesn’t have a hot lunch program. I wasn’t looking forward to trying to pack a fun and healthy lunch every day only to wind up stuck in the PB & J rut. So, in looking for ideas, I found the Laptop Lunchbox, which not only presented healthy foods in a fun, new way, but included an idea book and reduced the waste and expense of all that lunch packaging. We just got it yesterday, and I can’t wait to start using it!  My son saw it and said, 'Wow, Mom, that’s so cool! I can’t wait to go to school.' Thank you!"

    -- Colleen, Ridgecrest, CA

Love The Beautiful Colors!!!

"Yesterday we received our Laptop Lunchboxes and we are all very satisfied.
The boxes are so practical, and I just love the beautiful colors!!! The colors are even more beautiful than they were on your website!
I look forward to showing it to my colleagues tomorrow, and my husband thinks it looks great too. My son is really happy to have such a nice lunchbox with him at kindergarten.
Thanks again for really good service and a quick delivery!!!"

    -- Mona, Norway

I Love It! 

"I am so glad I 'stumbled' onto your website. I love it! Having lived in Japan for 16 years, I am accustomed to obentos. I wish I had discovered your Website years ago...but better late than never! Thank you again!"

    -- Susan, Lexington, SC

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




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Thank You Mama
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Whole Foods Market
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From Our Desk to Yours

Happy Summer!

Graduations, celebrations, and dizzying end-of-year activities!  The close of another school year has arrived! We’re certainly looking forward to the longer days and warmer evenings, but along with that comes the realization that at the end of the summer our kids will be yet another grade older.  Where does the time go???

Before we know it, the back to school season will be upon us, and we’ll be launching our exciting new 2011 offerings. Stay tuned for new colors and styles, which will be announced in next month’s issue of this newsletter.


TEACHERS’ GIFTS: Are you looking for a unique, practical end-of-year gift for the special teachers in your life? A gift that they can use daily throughout the school year? Check out our Plum Blossom Kits and Power Lunch Systems, now on special at LaptopLunches.com. Receive 10% off with coupon code teacher through June 15th.

MAY CHALLENGE: Last month’s challenge to take a short break in the middle of the day was wonderful!! In the beginning, it was difficult to remember to take a break, but towards the end of the week, we all wished we had time to take an even longer breather in the middle of the day. We hope you enjoyed it as much as we did! If you took time to relax, let us know how you did it, and what you did at www.facebook.com/LaptopLunches.
JUNE CHALLENGE: The spring sunshine was the inspiration behind next month’s challenge--adding 30 minutes of exercise to each day of the week. Who says a renewed commitment to exercise is strictly a New Year’s resolution? June works just as well as January for us!  Studies show that if you can commit to an activity for 30 days, you’re more likely to incorporate it into a lasting life-style change.  We really hope you’ll join us for this one!
       

Have a Happy Summer!


From Your Kitchen to Ours

"A few months ago I got on a lunch kick.  I wanted to be more aware of what I was eating at lunch in regards to portions and food types.  So I bought myself a Laptop Lunchbox – and I love, love, love it! Before the wonderfully compartmentalized Laptop Lunchbox entered my life, I was the Tupperware lady.  I had my breakfast in Tupperware (hello morning oatmeal + toppings) as well as at least 3 containers for lunch each day.  My lunch bag was always out of control and spilling over the top, so really the bento style box was a solution to two issues."

    -- Amanda, http://amandasdomestic.com

Food for Thought: Cabbage

Photo Credit: Melissa Braun

Cabbage is one of the most nutritious vegetables. It has a high fiber content and is a great source of vitamin C and beta-carotene. The vitamin C and sulphur found in cabbage help detoxify the blood and eliminate toxins. The glucosinolates in cabbage, along with its anti-inflammatory properties and antioxidants help prevent and fight some cancers. In addition, it helps lower cholesterol and supports the digestive system. Cabbage juice is known to help prevent and treat stomach ulcers.

Cabbage is a popular vegetable, eaten throughout the world. It can be served cooked or raw, steamed or sautéed. It’s great in salads and is often eaten as coleslaw or sauerkraut. Consider adding cabbage to soups, stews, and stir fries. Sautéed cabbage is a great addition to scrambled eggs or a tofu scramble.

For cabbage recipes and information, visit: www.cheriestihler.com/CC/recipes.html.

Benefits:

  • Helps Lower Cholesterol
  • Rich in Antioxidants
  • Contains Anti-Cancer Properties
  • Provides Anti-Inflammatory Benefits
  • Good for Digestive Health
  • Helps Promote Healthy Skin

Photo Credit: Melissa Braun

This Month's Recipes: From Meal Makover Moms
The following recipes are reprinted from No Whine With Dinner, with permission of MealMakeoverMoms.com.

PB & Veggie Pad Thai


* Maple syrup, honey or alternative sweetener may be used to replace brown sugar.

Photo Credit: Meal Makeover Moms
Yield: 5 servings
  1. Place the noodles in a large bowl and cover with warm water. Soak about 40 minutes, or until softened but not mushy. They should be pliable and almost edible, the texture of al dente pasta. Drain well.
  2. Drain the tofu (wrap tofu in clean towel and gently press down) and cut into 1/2-inch cubes. Set aside in a large bowl.
  3. Whisk together the broth, soy sauce, vinegar, brown sugar, and peanut butter in a medium bowl until well blended. Pour 2 Tbsp of the mixture over the tofu and gently stir to combine. Marinate about 15 minutes.
  4. Heat the oil in a large wok or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the scallions, carrots, and snow peas and stir-fry until crisp-tender, 3 minutes. Add the tofu and stir-fry until warmed through, 2 minutes.
  5. Move the tofu and vegetables to the sides, creating a well in the center of the wok. Add the egg and scramble until set, about 1 minute. Stir in the noodles and the sauce and toss until most of the liquid is absorbed, about 3 minutes. Serve with the chopped peanuts and lime wedges as desired.

Raspberry Breakfast Cake


  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup wheat germ
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 Tbsp granulated sugar, divided*
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1/2 cup 1% lowfat milk
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup fresh raspberries

* Maple syrup, honey or alternative sweetener may be used to replace sugar.

Photo Credit: Meal Makeover Moms
Yield: 8 servings

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Spray a 9-inch round cake pan with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg, 1/2 cup of the sugar, and the canola oil until well combined. Whisk in the milk, lemon juice, and vanilla extract.
  3. Mix the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients until just combined. Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan, smoothing the top. Arrange the raspberries evenly over the top and sprinkle with the remaining 1 tablespoon of sugar.
  4. Add salt and pepper. You may also choose to add more lemon juice if desired.
  5. Bake until the cake is golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 20 to 22 minutes. Cool in the pan and serve.
In the Spotlight - An Article by Jenna Pepper

"Recovering Picky Eater" Challenge

by Jenna Pepper of Food With Kid Appeal

Jenna Pepper is a mother of two, a foodie, a vegetable lover, a nutrition enthusiast and a recovering picky eater. She owns a sales and personnel consulting business, is an advocate for school food reform and blogs about growing good eaters at http://foodwithkidappeal.blogspot.com. She lives and works in Houston, Texas and is on a journey to feed her family the best whole food she can.

A Recovering Picky Eater is someone who has a defined list of foods they don't like to eat and is in the process of whittling that list down. The list doesn't necessarily have to be a long one. In fact, those folks who like every vegetable except raw cabbage can take this challenge too. The goal of the challenge is to eliminate the belief that you won't eat certain foods because you don't like them. During the challenge you'll be experimenting with new recipes, cooking methods and flavor combinations that allow you to tolerate (and maybe even like!) a food you've avoided all your life. You don't have to be a cook to take this challenge. You just have to be an eater. You are an eater, aren't you?

Why it Matters

It matters because it changes your whole mindset about food. Food becomes something you can learn to like, versus something you inherently like or don't like. Once you understand that learning to like a new food is a skill you possess, better health becomes available to you. All of a sudden you're not limited by focusing your meals around foods you love. You become capable of enjoying the veggie tray before indulging in the chip bowl. You have the capacity to enjoy vegetable soup before cutting into your steak. Once you can balance the foods you love with the healthy foods your body needs to prevent disease, maintain organ and brain function and maintain weight, your energy level rises and you start feeling better about accomplishing whatever is on your plate.

It matters because when you eat what’s offered and complain less, it makes cooking more enjoyable and satisfying for the person who’s cooking for you. It becomes easier to stay home and eat, instead of giving in and heading to a restaurant. You save money. You get healthy.

It matters because it leads the way for your loved ones to follow suit. They'll see the power you now have over that formerly icky food, and they’ll be motivated to embrace that mindset as well. You’ll not only improve your health and wellness, but you'll become an active participant in the food revolution as well. If you have kids, one of the best gifts you can give them is the love of wholesome food.

Taking the Pledge

  1. Think about all the foods you've hated forever.
  2. Pick one.  A nutritious one (no, bagels don't count as nutritious). You’ll use your brain and the way you think about food to change your mind set about that food and its texture, smell, and taste. You’ll dig into the reasons why it’s repulsive to you, and you’ll replace the negative thoughts you have about that food with positive ones.  
  3. Eat your challenge food at least once a week. Keep trying new recipes and preparations until you find one that isn't repulsive. Mind set shifts take time.  If it doesn't work on the first try, keep trying.

Reactive Food

Avoid choosing a "reactive" food.  A “reactive” food is something that your body will respond negatively to. So listen to your body. If your eczema gets itchier, your throat feels scratchy, your nose gets congested, or you notice your tummy starts to roil after you eat your challenge item, discontinue it, at least temporarily. 

Jenna’s goal is to get 1000 Recovering Picky Eater pledges. If you are ready to leave your picky eater label behind, pledge to broaden your palate, and leave a comment on her blog post at http://foodwithkidappeal.blogspot.com/2011/05/recovering-picky-eater-challenge-april.html in this format:

Hi, I'm (your name). I pledge to learn to like (disliked food item) in the recovering picky eater challenge.

To learn more about Jenna and Food With Kid Appeal, visit her blog at: http://foodwithkidappeal.blogspot.com. You'll find kid friendly recipes and tips to get kids to try new foods.


In the News

ERGOparent

Claire’s Flight-Friendly Family Picnic  

This ERGOparent Recipe is dedicated to making your airplane travel with children as easy as a picnic on the plane. Picking at airline food can be discouraging. Make it easy on yourself and take along some healthier choices that your whole family can enjoy. Having taken 30 flights in 3 months for work one year, I speak from experience here. The bit of attention and energy it takes to prepare your own food is guaranteed to be returned to you in feeling better during your flight, and having more energy after you arrive at your destination. Drink plenty of water during the days and hours leading up to your flight, and be sure to walk and stretch in flight. Flights are drying to the body and skin, and contracting. To read the full posting, visit: http://ergoparent.com/2011/05/claire%E2%80%99s-flight-friendly-family-picnic.


Redmond Patch

Family Forum: How to Escape the School-Lunch Slump

Tips and tricks for packing healthier school lunches that your kids will eat and enjoy. Do your kids dump out half of what you packed for lunch when they get home from school? Are you packing the same PB&J or turkey sandwich every day? Is it a challenge to find healthy, affordable food choices to pack for lunch that your kids will actually eat and enjoy?

Every parent hits a packed-lunch slump at some point. Part of the problem is what we send a packed lunch to school in. Most of us use a soft-sided lunch bag, subjecting the sandwich, fruit and other items we pack to being squashed and becoming very unappealing by the time lunch rolls around. To read the full article, visit: http://redmond.patch.com/articles/family-forum-how-to-escape-the-school-lunch-slump.

Saveur

Sandwich Containers

Laptop Lunches Bento Set
It can be incredibly satisfying to have the perfectly sized container for everything, and with this bento lunch system, that's what you'll get. With removable and interchange inner containers, you can accommodate whatever food items you need to. Plus the plastic is BPA free, phthalate free, and PVC free.


Green Opportunities

OPT-OUT ON YELLOW PAGES – Here's a site that allows you to easily opt out on receiving the automatic delivery of Yellow Page Directories. Visit: www.yellowpagesoptout.com to learn more. While you are at the site, you might be interested in finding out how to recycle old directories.


Green Grilling Tips – Do you enjoy summer barbecues? Treehugger.com has put together an informative Web page filled with tips, tricks and recipes to help green your grill time this summer. To find out more, visit: www.treehugger.com/files/2007/02/how-to-go-green-barbecues.php. And for green and vegan grilling tips, visit: http://kblog.lunchboxbunch.com/2010/05/vegan-grilling-guide-101-green-tips.html.


Fork Over Knives – The feature film, Forks Over Knives, examines the profound claim that most, if not all, of the degenerative diseases that afflict us can be controlled, or even reversed, by rejecting a diet of animal-based and processed foods. Roger Ebert of the Chicago-Sun Times called this "a film that can save your life." To find out more and to view the trailer, visit: www.forksoverknives.com.


Featured Web Site: MealMakoverMoms.com

Meal Makeover Moms help busy families eat healthy meals without complaint. Here you’ll find fun recipes that kids will love, ideas for lunches, snacks and desserts, and practical advice on bringing good nutrition to the dinner table.

Janice Newell Bissex and Liz Weiss are registered dietitians and The Meal Makeover Moms. They have authored the book, No Whine With Dinner, which features 150 easy-to-make, family-friendly recipes and 50 tips to get picky eaters to try new foods.

To find out more, visit http://mealmakeovermoms.com

On This Site:
  • Mealmakover Tools and Information
  • Recipes
  • Cooking Videos
  • Moms' Blog
  • 7 Day Meal Planner
  • Weekly Radio Podcasts
  • Newsletter Archives

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.



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© June 2011 Obentec, Inc.

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Santa Cruz, CA 95060
831-457-0301

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