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.