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Laptop Lunches: Bento Box Lunch for Earth-Friendly Kids

02/02/2009 at 10:30 AM ET

I first heard about Laptop Lunches at a Weight Watchers meeting of all places. Two members were describing this bento box-like lunch system as a great way of eating a variety of foods while still maintaining calorie-friendly portions. Since then I’ve discovered a large fan base of all ages for this eco-friendly lunch system, which even has a following on Flickr.

Most easily described as American-style bento boxes, Laptop Lunches are designed to help families pack nutritious, environmentally-friendly lunches for school, work and travel. The sustainable lunch containers come with a book of healthy lunch ideas and lunchmaking recipes and are reusable, recyclable and dishwasher safe. Though made of plastic, they do not contain phthalates, bisphenol A (BPA) or lead.

We received the Laptop Lunch System which includes the bento box set, utensils, the Laptop Lunch User’s Guide book and an insulated carrying case that comes with a water bottle and a mesh pocket for an ice pack. I started packing my daughter’s lunches immediately after receiving it, even when we were staying at home. After a week I found planning her meals incredibly enjoyable and that my daughter was really looking forward to lunchtime everyday so that she could open her bento box and see what I had made for her.

I found that using the lunch system forced me to get creative and that getting more creative allowed me to introduce new foods to my daughter. The other plus was that the layout inspired my daughter to try a lot of new foods she would otherwise not be as willing to sample.

Using the lunch system also made me realize just how wasteful we are in our home. After reading on the Laptop Lunches website that a school-age child using a disposable lunch will, on average, generate 67 pounds of waste per school year I started to become really conscious of what kinds of foods I was packing. I did away with individual yogurt containers and started mixing plain yogurt with fresh fruit and granola right into the bento box (one of the larger containers has a lid for wet foods). I also did away with individual snack packs, opting instead to buy larger boxes of crackers and dry fruits and started packing these instead. Doing this not only saved me money but it also forced me into making healthier food choices (less pre-packaged food also means fewer preservatives going into your child’s body).

All in all, I am incredibly happy with this lunch system. I love looking at both the Laptop Lunch website and the Flickr group for meal inspiration. I have had so much fun with this I actually plan on buying one for my husband so that he can pack more environmentally-friendly lunches as well. The size will not be an issue for him carrying it on the subway with him. This is a fabulous product for your entire family.

– Teba

CBB Deal: Save 10% when you use coupon code CBB212 (expires February 28, 2009).

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Showing 9 comments

Julie Cole on

I LOVE these…..my kids have been using them for ages and they are fantastic. Throw some Mabel’s Labels on the containers and you won’t lose any of them.

I love sending my kids to school everyday with litterless lunches!

Shawna on

For a cheaper version, Tupperware makes one very similar. That is what my kids use and it works great!

Kelly on

These are also a great way to protect your little ones with FOOD ALLERGIES. Once your child opens up the box, there is no need for them to take out any containers, and risk their food getting mixed up with another container on the lunch table. I send this with my 3 year old to school every day, love it!

crg on

I’ve had mine for years and bought another one for my son when he started day care in the school where I teach and we have to bring lunch. I had problems with my container lids cracking after not much use but it seems that they’ve fixed that now. I saw in one I just bought for a friend that they just changed the utensils, which is good because most of ours have broken. The hinge on my original box is about to go but I guess I got a decent amount of life out of it. One of my kids at school had his break too, so it seems as if these have quality problems overall, but I still like them.

The best thing is that it forces me to pack a variety of food groups when packing lunch for myself or my son and we strive for waste free lunches every day, so this is great.

c-ann on

These boxes are great. I have used them for my son for a year or so. Great way to pack. And if you look into bentos they can be really fun. Fun shapes and colors.

Sarah on

Also check out Vegan Lunch Box at http://www.veganlunchbox.blogspot.com for vegan lunch ideas with the Laptop Lunch System.

Nicola on

Shawna, I second that. These are very cute and trendy, but you can do exactly the same thing with a lead free lunch box and a variety of tupperware. For 1/4 the price. We do it every day.

Lunchbox Obsessed on

I agree, Laptop Lunches are great… they do encourage you to pack a variety of foods and I love that they are waste-free. Another good (cheaper) option is the Lock N Lock containers–several are made with inner compartments that you can further subdivide with silicone baking cups.

jenna on

I have used this for a couple of years now for my daughter who has food allergies. She felt bad about being “different” when diagnosed in first grade and so I wanted her to have an extra fun lunch kit. The kids all went crazy for it, they even pretended to watch movies on it as if it were one of those portable dvd players, LOL. We have never lost or had a damaged part and when my son starts kindergarden we will get on for him too.

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