Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Laptop Lunches from A Toy Garden.

I know, it's not a toy, and I tried it out on my husband. He's a teacher. His students have behavioral problems, so no metal or glass can be brought in to the school. So, it was hard to find him an eco-friendly lunch solution. I'd been using a mishmash of suspicious looking old Tupperware and assorted plastic bags. Because I was concerned about safety and hate the waste of plastic and paper, I was so pleased when A Toy Garden suggested we try out the Laptop Lunch Box.

Laptop Lunch Box

Laptop Lunches are the American version of Japanese Bento boxes. This Laptop Lunch Box includes an insulated carrying case, a water bottle, an inner Bento box with 5 individual containers, a fork, a spoon and The Laptop Lunch User's Guide, a handy book full of healthy lunch ideas. The plastic food containers are reusable, recyclable, and dishwasher safe. Everything is lead-free and contains no BPA or phthallates. The plastic containers are made in Northern California and no binding agents, plasticizers, or any materials that are suspected carcinogens or endocrine disrupters are used in the process. The insulated carrying case and water bottle are made in China and have been tested to be safe.

The boxes are dishwasher safe on the top rack. The carrying case is insulated, but you should use an ice pack to keep perishable foods cold. I try not to microwave any plastic, but the containers are as microwave safe as any other plastic. Do not microwave the lids.

The Laptop Lunch Box is available in two color options. We tried Primary.

So, I have to admit that my husband was nervous at first. Lunch is a big deal for him and he was worried that the small containers (the largest have a 1 cup capacity) wouldn't hold enough.

Here's his lunch.

He has tabbouleh and chickpea salad with fresh tomatoes from my garden, hummus, whole grain pretzels, mini pita bread, tomato jam and raisins and a fruit snack leftover from a recent road trip. My one concern was that only two of the containers have lids. I got around that with some Saran Wrap.

The lids are on and his drink is in the box.

I closed the lid and there is room for the napkin. An ice pack (or a friendly note) can be slipped in the mesh pocket. Since the lunch can be refrigerated, I didn't bother. But, this would be great for school.

Here it is, all zipped up and ready to go.

So, my husband was pleasantly surprised by how much lunch fit in the boxes. Everything was nicely compact and cleaned up easily.

Another thing I like about this lunchbox is its versatility. It isn't super cutesy, but the little containers are fun for smaller children. The strap is adjustable to work for both kindergarteners and adults, and the simple design is not one that can be outgrown. So, while the price seems high compared to big box stores, after four years, it will more than pay for itself. And, you'll know the food is safe.

Unfortunately, my husband wouldn't let me take a picture of him proudly holding the lunch box on his first day of school.

Thank you, A Toy Garden :0)

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