Thursday, December 19, 2013

Pleasing the Pickies

This Week's Bento Lunch

Pleasing the Pickies

When trying to please a picky eater, a nice presentation can go a long way. To entice our picky eating friends, we've put together a creative bento lunch by turning a plain sandwich into sunflower pinwheels and cutting our fruits and veggies into fun hearts and stars. Who could say no to strawberry hearts and cucumber stars? 

Click here to view this week's full bento lunch.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

What's your #BentoResolution?

This January, Laptop Lunches will be all about Bento Resolutions. 

Join us as we dedicate the entire month of January to eating well, living well, and feeling great! 

Look out for:

  • A new low calorie menu idea for each day of the work week - some from our favorite bloggers.
  • General diet and exercise information and tips. 
  • Inspirational stories.
  • Updates on our staff's journey to eating better through our very own Bento Resolutions

We're looking forward to this exciting start to 2014 and hope you'll join in by posting pictures of your own low calorie bento meals and sharing your Bento Resolutions and progress throughout the month using the hashtag #BentoResolution.

Make sure you don't miss out on any of the great information - Start following us on our new Wordpress blog today: ! 

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Party to Go

This Week's Bento Lunch

Party to Go

We've been enjoying the holiday parties and celebrations so much that we decided to pack up the fun and take it to go! That's right... our potluck favorites are packed up in this week's bento. Happy holidays! 

Click here to see this week's full menu.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Grab and Go to Pre-School

This Week's Bento Lunch

Grab and Go to Pre-school

A lot goes into packing a preschooler's lunch, so this week we've put together a grab 'n go bento sure to be a hit at the preschool lunch table. This grab 'n go includes a great variety of foods that can quickly be packed by mom and easily picked up by little fingers. 

Click here to view this week's full menu.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Happy Hanukkah!

This Week's Bento Lunch

Hanukkah Inspired Bento Lunch

Traditional Hanukkah menus often include latkes as a way to symbolize the drop of oil that burned for 8 days and 8 nights following the rededication of the holy temple. Over the years, these traditional potato pancakes have evolved to become extremely versatile and can now be found in a number of variations. Although there are many options available, we decided to keep our latkes traditional and served them with sour cream and apple berry sauce as part of this fun and tasty holiday lunch. 

Click here to view this week's full menu.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

A Rainbow of Good Nutrition

This Week's Bento Lunch

A Rainbow of Good Nutrition

This week we've packed a rainbow in our bento! Eating a variety of different colored veggies is super nutritious and makes for a beautiful meal presentation. Happy chomping! 

Click here to view this week's full menu.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Silly Breakfast on the Go

This Week's Bento Lunch

Silly Mornings on the Go

Mornings can be rough but we all know that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so don't go without - pack it to go! This week we've put together a silly breakfast sure to put a smile on the faces of even the crankiest of morning warriors.

Click here to view this week's full menu.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Little Fingers Bento

This Week's Bento Lunch

Little Fingers Bento

This week's bento lunch box is geared towards all those little ones out there on the go! Of course, the portions can easily be increased to work for big kids and adults too. One easy meal for the whole family - now that's a winning lunch!

Click here to view this week's full menu.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Why I Buy ‘Made in the USA'

We're so happy to welcome guest blogger, Tracey Hanson from USA Love List today! Read on for some great reasons to be on the search for the Made in the USA label. 

Jobs in our Community

I have lived in New England all my life and have grown up surrounded by empty mill buildings, once bustling with workers dyeing fabrics, making lace for curtains, welding tools, and much more. One by one, the owners of these companies moved their manufacturing overseas, leaving my neighbors, uncles, cousins, and friends without the skilled jobs they had held for 15+ years. I buy American made products to keep local people like these fully employed.

Consumer Protection
My husband and I choose to buy made-in-the-USA products to keep our loved ones as safe as we can. When my 5 year-old was a baby, Chinese-made toys were being recalled daily because of lead contamination. This is when we decided to make sure that everything that touched our kiddos mouths (toys, sippy cups) or was put on their bodies (lotions, soaps, creams) was American made. Around the same time as the toy recalls, pets were being sickened and killed from food that was made in China. Sadly, it's happening again today. 

Supporting Local Farmers and Ranchers
I buy local produce and meats whenever possible to keep American farmers in business, to make sure our food continues to be grown in the USA, and to reduce my carbon footprint. I have always lived surrounded by farms, and I am currently an organizer for our local farmers' market. I know how hard American farmers and ranchers work to make a living. I buy USA-grown fruits and vegetables and meat from animals raised in the USA. This year we even raised and butchered our own chickens, which I am so thankful for, especially since the USDA has just approved the import of chicken processed in China! How fresh can our food be when it makes such a long journey to our grocery stores, not to mention the fossil fuels that are consumed! 

Finding USA-made Products
The hardest thing about buying American made products is finding them! Unless you know ahead of time which products are actually made in the USA, reading every label can make picking up a few groceries a time-consuming ordeal. This is where my kiddos come in handy!  They help me check labels, and boy does this keep them occupied when running errands! They get so excited when they find a USA-made item. My daughter, the 5 year-old, can barely read, yet she recognizes those elusive words, "Made in USA." They know that when we purchase these items, we are helping the moms and dads of kids across America keep their jobs.
Laptop Lunches: Made in the USA School Lunch Gear

Tracey Hanson turned her search for American-made products into a passion and is currently the Green/Family Living Editor for USA Love List, an online magazine that supports American manufacturing and promotes products that are made in the USA.

You can read  her Laptop Lunches Bento-ware review here:

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Rockin' Around My Plate

This Week's Bento Lunch

Rockin' Around MyPlate

We know a lot of you use our bento boxes to help mirror the MyPlate food model so this week we've decided to help you mix things up a bit while still hitting all of the recommended food groups. It takes a little planning but portion control and balance can make meals even more fun! 

Click here to view this week's full menu.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Swiss Chard Tofu

Ever feel stumped or intimidated by tofu? It doesn't have to be complicated to taste delicious! Saute it up with some veggies like Swiss chard, then pair it with a side of rice and your favorite sauce for extra flavor. It's that easy! 

Click here to see this weeks Full Menu details. 

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Traveler's Breakfast

Taking an early morning flight no longer has to mean scant airline meals for breakfast! Pack a bento with your favorite morning meal the night before and slip it into you insulated sleeve when your ready to go. Try this delicious menu for a filling and healthy option!

Click here to view this weeks Full Menu details. 

Friday, October 4, 2013

Beating the Lunch Box Blues {Review + Giveaway}

You may have recently seen our Laptop Lunches bento lunch box featured on The Rachael Ray Show with J.M. Hirsch talking about his new cookbook, "Beating the Lunch Box Blues". We were so excited about this segment and were lucky enough to receive a copy of his book. It is full of gourmet and unique ideas for packing lunches, both for your kids and for yourself!

J.M. Hirsch runs his blog, "Lunch Box Blues" inspired by his son, Parker. Hirch's philosophy around packing lunch for his son is that there is no such thing as "kids food" vs. "adult food" and that all that is just marketing. He believes in real food. "Because I refuse to send my son to school with a Lunchable. Or an Uncrustable. Or even a day-after-day-after-day homemade PB&J. Because I want my son’s lunch to be fun and nutritious, and I don’t think one must be sacrificed for the other" This is a powerful philosophy we can get behind and and one of the primary reasons Laptop Lunches Bento-ware came into being as a product and a company. 
Unusual foods when made fun and accessible for kids
are a new and exciting culinary adventure.

This philosophy shows through very strongly in his cookbook, which is filled with delicious lunch ideas that can appeal to both kids and adults. Recipes and menus like, "Greek Meatball and Couscous Salad", "Red Beans and Rice with Sausage" and "Veggie Panzanella Salad" are foods that will make anyone's mouth water. And, the best part is that all these recipes can be put together with left-overs, going from the dinner table to the lunch box. This way you know you are packing something your kids enjoy and will eat, your making good use of your left-overs, plus it makes packing lunch a breeze and can even be put together the night before.

J.M. Hirsch and Rachael Ray discuss other easy-to-pack, real food options on the segment, which you can watch here. Using bagels or waffle's for a sandwich instead of regular bread is a fun way to jazz up a sandwich. Keeping a rotisserie chicken on hand is an easy way to make there is always healthy and lean protein on hand. All great ideas that are both fun and teach our kids (AND ourselves) that real food can be fun and exciting, rather than an embarrassing drag to unpack at lunch time. 
Click here to get your copy of "Beating the Lunch Box Blues"

You may be saying, "But my kid is too picky!" Hirsch confesses that his own son has his preferences, "At the moment, nothing green goes past his lips. And red — especially tomatoes — is pretty suspect, too. Salad? I. Don’t. Think. So." But, its not about the challenges or things they won't eat. Hirsch continually points out its about an education and always encouraging your kids to try new things and broaden their horizons, so that they can grow into discerning young adults who make stronger decisions and know that things like couscous, pancetta, and ricotta are delicious and cravable! 

The book is a must have for anyone who likes a good lunch (that's everyone) and wants more creative and fun ways to keep meal-time an exciting part of our lives. You can order your own copy here. For daily updates on his lunch packing adventures, check out his blog. His down to earth tone and raw honesty will inspire and encourage you!

Want to win a copy of "Beating the Lunch Box Blues" by J.M. Hirsch? Enter to win by, first, liking our Facebook page (if you already do, share the giveaway with your friends). Then visit his blog, here,  and let us know in a comment below which of his recent lunches you would pack either for yourself or your kids. A random winner will be selected on October 10th, 2013! 

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Autumn Picnic

The leaves are beginning to turn and the weather is just perfect for spending a day out of doors! Take the afternoon to read in the park or go on a light hike in the woods and don't forget to pack your picnic bento! 

Find this weeks Full Menu details here. 

Thursday, September 26, 2013

The Honest Company ~ An Exclusive Interview with Jessica Alba

We are very excited to share our exclusive interview with actress and activist, Jessica Alba. Jessica shared with us her inspiration and story about her eco-business, The Honest Company and how her own children inspired her to make a difference.  

We know that keeping your kids and the environment safe was the initial inspiration behind your brand, but what really pushed you to make that final leap to starting your company?
When I was pregnant with my first daughter, I sought the best products for her because I wanted to create a healthy home for my baby. Easier said than done! When I washed her clothes in the popular “baby-safe” laundry detergent everyone recommended, I broke out in a rash. If I had such a bad allergic reaction, I knew it couldn’t be good for a new baby. And then I had trouble finding reliable healthy products here in the United States. So, I’d end up shopping online, buying non-toxic products from Australia and Europe, or from different health stores just to clean my house and bathe my child. It was too time consuming and so expensive. I was really upset that the average family couldn’t easily find or purchase safe products at a reasonable price. So, I created The Honest Company with Christopher Gavigan, Brian Lee, and Sean Kane because, as concerned parents, we felt it was our mission to make healthy, non-toxic products accessible for children and families everywhere.
How has your level of eco-consciousness changed since having kids? 
Becoming a mom definitely made me more aware and concerned about everyday toxic ingredients, but I’ve been eco-minded since childhood. I grew up with the droughts of Southern California, so our family focused on conservation, not wasting water, and repurposing glass containers and boxes (still important things to do). My focus now has expanded, with my primary attention on the health of my family. So, we emphasize eating fresh whole foods, cooking together, and having the girls pick herbs from our garden. This gets them excited about building conscientious habits. The foundation I was taught as a child—to live mindfully—I apply to my family, with their health as the number one priority.
What are some of the everyday things you do around the house to promote a healthy environment?
My husband and I try to model eco-friendly habits for the girls. We have a non-toxic synthetic turf lawn and drink filtered water from our faucet using BPA-free reusable bottles. We have multiple recycling bins and with our older daughter Honor, we discuss the idea that things can be transformed into something else—crafts with upcycled materials are popular in our house. I also give Honor flavored sparkling water instead of sugary drinks, and she thinks it is soda! We even take off our shoes before entering the house, so we leave lead dust, pesticides, and other toxins outside. Bonus: My floors are cleaner!
Your brand is based on offering eco-friendly yet disposable diapers. Did you ever consider cloth diapers? What makes your disposable diapers stand out from other eco-friendly options out there?
At the time I first thought of creating The Honest Company, I wasn’t in a place where I could easily use cloth diapers since I was working a lot and started traveling again almost immediately after having Honor. I needed to have a better, healthier disposable option. But I love that parents use cloth diapers—our Honest laundry detergent works great on them. And we’re committed to providing many solutions to meet the needs of parents, so let us know what you’re hoping to see us develop as the company grows.
If cloth diapering isn’t the right fit for your family (like mine!), or if you cloth diaper but need an awesome disposable for things like day care, preschool, and traveling, our Honest diapers aren’t like any other eco-friendly option on the market. Our premium diapers are super absorbent; they’re free of risky fragrances, lotions, and latex; and they’re colorful, fun, and cute (our signature skulls print diaper is one of my favorites, but I really love them all!).
LaptopLunches Bento-ware was founded by two moms, so we know that running a business and managing a family can be tough. What tips do you offer for balancing work and family?
Balancing my busy career with motherhood is always a work in progress. It’s definitely made easier because I have a great support system at home in my husband, Cash. I make creative and efficient use of my time (I prepare Haven’s food for the entire week on Saturday or Sunday), and I can bring the girls to work. We’re building an awesome kids’ corner at our new Honest offices, where employees’ children can play and be entertained while their parents work. And, no matter how organized I like to be, some things honestly don’t get checked off my list. But I don’t sweat it as much as I used to—if my girls are happy and healthy at the end of the day, then everything falls into place.
What’s your favorite lunch?

I enjoy eating at a little lunch spot near our Honest offices called Tacos Por Favor. They prepare all their dishes with farm fresh, locally grown, and organic ingredients. My favorite thing to order is…everything! I love the variety of tacos they make.

Jessica Alba is an actress, activist, New York Times bestselling author, and entrepreneur. Although known throughout the world for her acting career, it is her role as the mom of her two girls that inspired the launch of The Honest Company in January 2012. With a product line ranging from natural and non-toxic personal care products for the entire family, to diapers and wipes, to household cleaning detergents and vitamins, The Honest Company is a mission-driven company focused on giving children the best possible start, ensuring families’ well-being, and safeguarding the planet through sustainable business practices. That's why with every product you purchase, The Honest Company donates product, money, and time to addressing critical health and social issues affecting the community. This year, its nonprofit partner is Baby2Baby, supplying families in need with essential baby clothing and gear. To learn more, visit

Get Your Greens!

Getting your greens doesn't have to be a drag! Dress up a salad with fun garnishes and panda picks, make a bear shaped egg, plus a side of delicious dip and you will have the most festive and fun-to-eat salad, ever! 

Find this weeks Full Menu details here. 

Friday, September 20, 2013

Laptop Lunches on Amazon UK {plus MENU}

As many of you may know Laptop Lunches Bento-ware is now available on Amazon UK! In celebration we have created a festive menu, seen in the image above. Many of you have asked for the recipes and packing instructions for this lunch and we are more than happy to oblige! This menu is an American twist on some British classics. Hope you all enjoy! 

Smoked Salmon and Cucumber Sandwich- 
Gluten-Free Chia and Millet Bread
Whipped Cream Cheese
Smoked Wild Alaskan Salmon
Fresh Cucumber

Spread a thin layer of cream cheese on both slices of your bread.
Lay a few slices of smoked salmon over one slice of your bread.
Cut your cucumber into thin coins and lay them over your smoked salmon.
Stack your sandwich together and cut it at an angle into two triangles.
Place the sandwich in your large unlidded container.

Roasted Finglering Potatoes-
Fingerling "Russian Banana" Potatoes
Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit (204 degree Celsius).
Arrange your potatoes in a small iron skillet or baking pan. Drizzle olive oil over the potatoes and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Place in the oven and cook for 20-25 minutes or until cooked through. Allow the potatoes to cool before placing them in the large lidded container.
Include your favorite dip in the small container to place alongside your roasted fingerling potatoes.

Cheddar Hearts and Snap Peas- 

Sharp Irish Cheddar
Fresh Snap Peas

Cut your cheese into 1/4 inch thick slices and cut into bit sized heart-shapes with our fruit and veggie cutters.
Include the snap peas and the cheddar hearts in your medium unlidded container.

Cinnamon Raisin Chia Pudding-
1/4 cup Chia Seeds
2 cups Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk
1 tbsp Light Agave Syrup (optional)
1/4 cup Raisins

Combine in a large jar the almond milk, agave and chia seeds with a dash of cinnamon. Allow these to soak for a few hours or over night so that the chia seeds plump up. The texture is a lot like tapioca pudding. Stir in the raisins and scoop a serving into your medium lidded container. Use one of our ice packs along with an insulated bento bag to keep your lunch at a safe, cool temperature.

We are so excited to finally be more immediately accessible to all of our fans in the UK! Thank you for all of your enthusiasm and support! You can find our products on Amazon UK here. Our US fans can still find us on

Quinoa Pilaf Power Lunch

Quinoa is an incredibly nutritious grain that can fill you up while giving you tons of energy. Mix it into a pilaf with a side of summer squash and cherries. Finish off your lunch with a special, healthy sweet treat and you have got a real power lunch! 

Click here to see this weeks Full Menu details. 

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Pack Lunch, Pack Love!

Don't just pack lunch, pack love! There is something so delightful and heart warming about the simple combination of Soup and Salad for lunch. Adding in a whole grain roll and melon hearts makes this bento lunch both filling and an extra special treat for anyone. 

Click here to see this weeks Full Menu details. 

Friday, September 6, 2013

Tofu Salad Bento Lunch

You don't have to be vegan to enjoy this lovely, light lunch! The bright crisp flavors of baby greens, ripe cherry tomatoes all paired with tofu salad and crackers is a fulfilling and healthy lunch for anyone. With a fresh peach to finish, this bento is a wonderful celebration of summers bounty soon coming to a close. So, get it while you can! 

Click here to see this weeks Full Menu details. 

Friday, August 30, 2013

Top 8 Weelicious Lunch Tips

1. It’s all about balance! When you’re packing lunch, always make sure to pack fruits, vegetables, carbohydrates, and protein in every meal.

2. Fill it Up: Always keep your favorite shelf and refrigerator staples on hand. I keep a list on the fridge to remind me of everyone’s favorites:

- Nut butters (almond, peanut and sunflower butter are great choices)
-Cream Cheese
-Cheddar, mozzarella or your favorite cheese (sticks, bricks, shredded or slices)
-Pesto (goes great with pasta, rice, quinoa, as a sandwich spread or to make an Egg Pesto Melt)
-Pasta (a variety of shapes like ziti, macaroni, rotini or more)
-Bananas (to eat on their own, sliced and added with honey and nut butter on a sandwich or added to Banana Oat Chocolate Chip Cookies)
-Baby carrots, sugar snap peas, cucumbers or any of your child's favorite veggies
-Dehydrated, frozen, or dried fruit
-Plain Yogurt (to mix with honey, maple syrup, mashed bananas or granola)
-Bread (bagels, english muffins, tortillas or your favorite loaf bread)

3.  Re-Use! Bento style containers are a great way for kids to see all of their choices of food without having to open a ton of  plastic bags. Laptop Lunches colorful reusable bento lunchboxes can be stacked and used on their own or in their outer container bento box and placed into a cute, insulated bento bag. We’ve had ours for years and they’re still good as new.

4.  Double and Freeze: When I make a recipe, I try to double it and freeze it, so that I always have it on hand for lunches. I cook all of our favorite foods and treats like cookies, bars, pancakes, doughnuts, waffles and more in freezer safe containers so all I need to do is defrost one or two homemade foods.

5.  Eye Appeal: Cutting foods into fun shapes and sizes can make all the difference in whether your child will eat them. Try using a melon baller for watermelon or cutting cucumbers into sticks or coins with fun shape cutters. 

6.  Leftovers! There’s no reason you can’t turn last night’s dinner into today’s lunch. Turn chicken fajitas into a quesadilla, chicken in a crock pot into slices of chicken with a dipping sauce, or last night’s brown rice into a beans and rice burrito.

7.  Variety is the spice of life: Switching things up day to day in a lunch box can keep kids nutritionally balanced while excited at the same time.

8.  Treat for your sweet: Putting a little something sweet can put a big smile on your little one’s face. Whether it is a cookie or even a little note, that last addition can go a long way.

Catherine McCord is a mother of two, as well as the author and creator of the blog Weelicious, where she  shares her recipes and culinary inspirations for families and wee ones. She recently wrote her second cookbook, "Weelicious Lunches" which is available on the Laptop Lunches website, here

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Cool Kids Quesadilla Bento

Have a teen in the house who is just to cool for mom's cute lunches? Pack them a delicious quesadilla with their favorite sides and you will have one happy kid! They may be too cool for cute, but they will still feel the love.

Click here to see the weeks Full Menu details. 

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Saving Money and The Environment!

Hello All!

It’s nearly the end of August and many of us have already started rushing our kids off to school again! And that means packing lunches. But have no fear! Lunch can be an exciting and creative opportunity to provide our children with healthy, fresh options, while teaching them the value of balanced, waste-free meals. While many of you are just as excited as we are to start filling those bento boxes again, I know that some of you are asking, "Why would I spend $24 on a lunch box?"
Tiffany, a long-time customer, answers this question in as a comment on our Facebook page: 
Customer and fan Raeanna still uses her Original Laptop Lunches
Bento's for her family of five after years of use! 
"It occurred to me today that my daughter will be entering 7th grade in a few weeks and her laptop lunchbox that I bought for kindergarten is still going strong! Little brother's is too. So for those who think the Laptop costs too much, consider how much you can save by buying only one, instead of a new one each year."
And she’s right. We hear from many customers who tell us they bought a Laptop Lunches bento lunch box years ago, and it's still holding up to the wear and tear of a child's daily use. But Tiffany also speaks to the issue of saving money by not having to purchase a new lunch box every year and also eliminating the need for disposable packaging and expensive single-serve lunch foods.

I did the math and this is what I found: 

The average disposable lunch costs:
  • per day: $4.02
  • per school year: $723.60 
  • over a span of seven school years:  $5,065.20
The average reusable lunch costs:
  • per day: $2.65 
  • per school year: $477.00
  • over a span of seven school years: $3,339.00
That means that over seven years you can save... $1,726.20 
Wow! Put that in your child's college fund and save it! And, that is just for one reusable bento user! Imagine if your whole family went reusable! 

A typical example of a 'convenient' pre-packaged lunch.
Packing waste-free lunches also takes a huge weight off of our environment. And, I mean literally. The average student creates 67 pounds of lunch waste per year, which means that over a span of seven years -- from kindergarten to six grade -- you can eliminate 483 pounds of unnecessary lunch waste!

What does all this mean? A Laptop Lunches bento lunch box will pay for itself, both financially and ecologically, in just a few short weeks. Plus, it makes packing a healthy lunch for your child easy and fun!

Thanks, Tiffany, and all of you who have chosen to invest in Laptop Lunches Bento-ware, whether to save money, reduce waste, or simply to have fun while packing delicious, wholesome lunches! If you are looking to join the waste-free revolution, you can find lots of tools and information here

We’re really looking forward to this school year and being a part of yours. Stay tuned into our blog for ideas and inspirations for packing lunches, creative recipes and further ways to save you money! 

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Veggie Nuggets

Nervous about serving your kids processed chicken nuggets? Try these tasty, homemade veggie nuggets! It's all the finger food fun your kids love without the mystery meat. Served up with some fun sides, this lunch is all about delicious veggie fun!

Click here to see this weeks Full Menu details. 

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Mediterranean Quinoa Salad

This lunch is a fresh and festive way to brighten up your day. A zesty quinoa salad, with pita and hummus, plus a side of mango is an easy gourmet lunch to pack on the go, whether for work, school or play!

Click here to see this weeks Full Menu details. 

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Curry Cauliflower Patties

Make your lunch something to look forward to! These curry cauliflower patties are a fun and delicious addition to your lunch hour. Served alongside green beans, cherry tomatoes and creamy ranch you can enjoy your meal as finger food or as a veggie salad! Add in some garlic toast and sweet dried fruits and you have an exciting mid-day meal!

Click here to see this weeks Full Menu details. 

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Tofu Fajitas

Turn up the heat on your lunch and spice things up with delicious tofu fajitas! Wrap up your tofu and veggies in a grilled tortilla with a squeeze of lemon and some of your favorite salsa, finished off with some sweet pineapple. Fajitas are a fun healthy way to make a delicious and festive lunch! 

Click here to see this weeks Full Menu. 

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Special Summer Omelette

Celebrate summer with a breakfast bento and whip up a delicious omelette stuffed with your favorite seasonal veggies. Add a side of fresh fruit and toast with fresh avocado spread and you have the perfect special summer bento breakfast!

Click here to view the Full Menu details. 

Summer Lunches With Love - from

By Nina Holstead

Even though it is summer we are still packing lunches for work, camp and trips to the beach and pool. I love going shopping with my kids this time of year so they can pick out fresh fruit and vegetables for their lunches!

This summer lunch contains:
  • a simple herb salad and cheese wrap, 
  • a mini pepper, 
  • blueberry yogurt topped with fresh blueberries and 
  • A few farm fresh strawberries. 

The perfect lunch for work!

My kids prefer smaller portions and a variety of choices. The Laptop Lunches Bento Lunch Box makes packing several food groups so easy. No matter if you are packing for camp, school, or a day at the pool, with the right prep you can pack this lunchbox in under 5 min!

This colorful lunch contains:
  • a mini pepper and baby carrots, 
  • blueberries with a few raspberries, 
  • strawberries, 
  • Goldfish crackers,
  • three mini stamped ice cream sandwiches filled with nut butter and 
  • Yogurt topped with fresh raspberries. 
Here a few tips to make packing lunches a little easier:
  • Pick out the fruits and veggies you plan to pack with your kids at the store. They are more likely to eat them if they got to decide which ones to pack or try.
  • Prep prep prep! Wash the fruits and veggies when you get home and store them in a container in the fridge ready to go. That way healthy snacks are always available and you save time when making lunch. I often shop and prep on Sundays so I am ready for the week. 
  • It is so much easier to plan and pack at night after the kids are in bed then in the morning when you are rushing out the door! So, pre-pack what you can and store the Laptop Lunches containers in either your fridge or on the counter until you need them.
  • --> I filled the containers that need to be refrigerated the night before and placed them in the fridge. Take advantage of the fact that two of the Laptop Lunches containers have lids (but you can also cover the containers with plastic foil if need be). I highly recommend the Bento Buddies if you pack lunch every day since you get 4 lidded containers in the set! I filled one container with crackers and pre-cut the bread to save time in the morning as well. I used a fondant plunger to make the ice cream shaped bread but even a simple cookie cutter can make lunch more fun! I started with one star shaped cookie cutter 2 years ago. I just place the bread back into the bread bag and seal it. That way I only need to fill the sandwich in the morning. With a little prep packing a healthy and colorful lunch is fast and fun!
  • Don't forget last night's left overs! They make great lunches the next day!
  • Always have some healthy snacks in the fridge you can add to your lunchbox in the morning when you are short on time.
  • Freeze juice pouches or to go yogurts to keep your lunchbox cold and the drink and food fresh on hot summer days!
This Laptop Lunches bento box contains:
  • left over macaroni and cheese with carrot flowers
  • cheese crackers
  • fruit gummies
  • a peach, sliced
  • a yogurt to go and
  • a frozen juice pouch to keep the lunch cold until it's time to eat
Have a great summer!

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Thursday, July 18, 2013

Sweet Potato Hummus and Spinach Salad

It's not just hummus- It's sweet potato hummus! YUM! Served with flax seed chips, spinach salad dressed in balsamic vinaigrette, a side of curried couscous and two little cutie mandarins, this bento lunch hints at the autumnal season soon to come, while still celebrating the bounties of summer.

Click here for the Full Menu details. 

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Cook With Amber goes to The White House

Hi, I'm Amber Kelley. I'm 10 years old. I think being healthy is COOL, so I started a healthy online cooking show. I want to show kids everywhere that its easy and super fun to cook healthy meals for your friends and family! 

Last week, I was lucky enough to be invited to the White House for a Kids' State Dinner! I was invited because I was the winner in my state for the Healthy Lunchtime Challenge, a contest created by the First Lady Michelle Obama, and Epicurious to encourage kids and families to cook healthy meals. The only reason I even knew about the challenge is because our friends at Laptop Lunches told us about it! How lucky for us! We had no idea this challenge existed. Thank you, Laptop Lunches!

Everyone, download this awesome cookbook! It has the winning recipes from all the states, plus the U.S. Territories. It's free to everyone. It's full of amazing healthy recipes from kids! SO COOL! 

The Kids' State Dinner was amazing, and there is so much to tell. I have a blogon my website that tells all the details of my trip to Washington D.C. but here are some of my favorite moments:

I met many kids from around the country. Everyone was super nice, and everyone was so excited about being there!

Before entering the dining room, all the kids crowded around the animal-balloon man, who was AMAZNING. He is in the Guinness Book of World Records! My mom said all the parents were laughing because we were at the White House but the kids were just interested in the balloon man.

The menu featured some of the recipes that were submitted by the winners. It was all super yummy, and my favorites were the Zucchini Cornbread and Fun Mini Pizzas with  Veggies and Cauliflower Crust (it's gluten-free!) 

I could NOT BELIEVE I was seated next to the First Lady Michelle Obama! Holy Smokes! And she mentioned me in her speech! What an honor!


Also at our table was Tanya Steel, Editor in Chief at, who came up with the idea for this challenge and worked with Mrs. Obama to make it come true. She told us that at first, she thought the White House would never agree to do it! Thank you, Tanya! :D

The First Lady told us we should eat with our fingers, and showed us how.

We had a special guest stop by! OMG it was the President of the United States! He gave a speech and he is really funny and made us laugh. He went to every table to say hello

Mrs. Obama is the nicest person! We talked about all sorts of things, like her house, her garden, what it's like to be First Lady, and her workout routine. She also asked us questions about our summer and our school.

There were so many people from newspapers and magazines and TV stations there! I got to meet and be interviewed by Sam Kass, the chef at the White House. Some of the press were kids!

It's so awesome that the First Lady thinks it's COOL to be healthy too! She told everyone in the room to keep spreading the word on health, and that we can do anything. 

It was the best 4.5 hours of my life! I will never, ever forget this trip.