Lunch Boxes

Discussion in 'Early Childhood Education Archives' started by HomerJ, Jul 2, 2006.

  1. HomerJ

    HomerJ New Member

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    Jul 2, 2006

    What is everyone's opinion on providing healthy box lunches at private pre-schools at a reasonable price? Is it a good idea?Thanks in advance.
     
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  3. JaimeMarie

    JaimeMarie Moderator

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    I would think so. But it sounds like it may be a lot of work. And you need to screen the students files for allergies. If you are going to provide lunch I think it would need to be something that every student could eat.
     
  4. HomerJ

    HomerJ New Member

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    Thanks JaimeMarie for the quick feedback. I thought about picky eaters and allergies. I wonder if providing 2 choices each day would help and how does the public school cafeteria deal w/ this issue?

    My son attended a school that all of his classmates would eat pack lunches on a daily basis. I was in class a few months ago helping out with some activities and noticed that about 50% of his classmates eat very unhealthy lunches. Most of the lunches were the prepackaged type one would buy from the grocery store. Many of the children eat high sodium chips and snacks. Very surprised since I know a lot of their parents put a lot of care and effort in other areas of the children's live. I own a small food delivery service, so an idea struck. Most of my customers are corporations and I have no idea on how to market to schools, especially small size ones. Does anyone have any comments or suggestions? Any help is appreciated. Thanks in advance.
     
  5. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    I work at a small private school. We get lunches delivered every day. Administrators decide upon the vendors. Two days a week are pizza. The other days, the kids get choices from one particular vendor. One day is Italian food - penne, mozzarella sticks, meatballs, I forget what else. We used to get Mexican one day, but not this past year. Anyway, kids and their parents fill out a form at the beginning of each quarter and make their choices for the next 9 weeks.

    I would make up a flyer and distribute it to the private schools in the area you want to deliver to. The most important thing to our school, besides the quality of food, is how reliable the provider is. We get two deliveries a day, early lunch and late lunch. The kids are on a tight schedule, so the timeliness is a big issue.
     
  6. JaZMum

    JaZMum Rookie

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    Jul 2, 2006

    What about cold lunches?
    Our schools don't have cafeterias, so each child has to bring their own lunchbox. (They eat it in their classrooms with their teachers.)The teachers monitor what is sent in the children's lunchboxes and will send a note home to the parents/carers if there is something unhealthy.(chocolates, chips, fruit bars will be sent home uneaten)
    Most children take along fruit, yoghurt, cheese, biscuits and sandwiches. Most schools discuss healthy eating so the children are keen to take healthy food anyway.
     
  7. JaimeMarie

    JaimeMarie Moderator

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    The public school I work at gives two to three choices to the kids for lunch. The problem is the kids pick one thing in the morning and by lunch time have changed there mind, and take the other choice. This leaves not enough for those that did pick that lunch, and they wouldn't like the other choice and end up throwing hte lunch in the trash.
    I think a healthy cold lunch would work for a small school. Maybe soup in the winter if you can figure out how to transport it.
     
  8. Butterfly4

    Butterfly4 Comrade

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    I work at a private center. We have a kitchen, small cafeteria and a woman who prepares the meals for all classes. We have 9 classrooms, two are infants so they eat bottles/baby food in their rooms. The other 7 classes (including toddlers) eat in the cafe (on rotation). We serve a large variety of different foods...but only one choice per day. (Unless a child is allergic) they eat what is served. We give them the main course and milk and then come around and ask who wants fruit (fruit coctail most of the time) and who wants veggies (mixed veggies mostly) and who wants bread. The children just ask for whatever they want. I think it works pretty well..most children eat very well. Some of the main courses that we serve are...
    chicken nuggets
    Ravioli
    Grilled ham & cheese sandwiches
    pizza
    hamburgers
    fish sticks
    PB & J sandwiches

    Off the top of my head that's all I can think of...but I think there is something differen every day of the month.
     
  9. Pre-K Teacher 1

    Pre-K Teacher 1 Comrade

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    Jul 3, 2006

    I'm at a private school and the parents pack lunch. We won't provide lunch. We stress at our parent orientations that a HEALTHY lunch is important. We give them plenty of quick, simple healthy lunch choices. We also have discussions about healthy foods during our lunch time with the children. The kids begin to request certain healthy foods after a couple months of being in school!
     
  10. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Jul 3, 2006

    I'm a HS teacher, but my youngest child is 3, so I'll chime in anyway.

    I think it's a great idea. The trick is finding cheap healthy food that doesn't take up tons of room in the fridge, yet will still be eaten by kids that young.

    So veggies probably need a dip of some sort, or some sort of cutesy shape.

    Sandwiches in cutesy shapes aren't a bad idea either (Use a cookie cutter) My kids tend to shy away from anything other than white bread (I know: zero nutiritional benefit) So I'm not sure how you would get around that.

    Soup: I don't know. It needs to be hot to taste good, but with the little ones, spilling is a problem. Could you look into a safety spoon of some sort? That said, they love alphabet soup and other cutesy shapes.

    As the the PB&J: some kids have such severe peanut allergies that some schools don't allow it, period. (Luckily my 6 year old's elementary school isn't one of them, or she would starve!!!)
     
  11. pastdweller

    pastdweller Rookie

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    Oct 23, 2006

    Will those peanut-free schools allow sunflower butter(see www.sunbutter.com), soynut butter(www.soynutbutter.com), or NoNuts Peabutter(www.jsfoods.us)?
     
  12. clarnet73

    clarnet73 Moderator

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    Oct 23, 2006

    I'm at a private preschool center, and we have a kitchen and a cook ("Chef Rico"). Similar to Butterfly4, we have one main dish that's served to everyone, unless they're vegetarian or allergic. We always have a main dish, fruit, and vegetable, and lunches are served with milk (my lactose-intolerant kid has soy milk kept at school). Some main dishes off the top of my head we've had recently:

    grilled cheese with tomato soup
    sweet-and-sour chicken with rice (today)
    mac and cheese
    pasta with maranara or meat sauce
    cheeseburgers
    ham-and-cheese sandwiches
    potatoes au gratin
    fish sticks
    chicken nuggets

    Rico does a pretty good job of mixing up what our main dishes are... I've been there a little over a month and rarely have seen repeats. For my food allergy or vegetarian kids, there's always an alternative... seems to be a lot more repeats, though (maranara pasta is WAY too often!!), but that's probably unavoidable. When possible, he makes a similar meal (egg and cheese sandwiches instead of cheeseburgers, for instance).

    We serve fruit and veggie to all of our kids, it's their choice whether or not to eat it. If it's stuff they REALLY like, like chicken nuggets, we tell them they need to finish everything else before they have 2nds. They at least need to *try* the fruit and veggie before they get more of anything. My kids are pretty open to this and do a GREAT job of trying everything most of the time.

    We also get AM and PM snacks served to us... usually yogurt, granola bar, apple, bagels, crackers, or veggies with dip. Snacks are served with juice.

    They also serve breakfast, but I'm not in yet for that. ;)

    Our entire school is peanut free.
     
  13. MissWilliams

    MissWilliams Rookie

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    Oct 24, 2006

    I would think that, depending on the families you serve, this IS a good idea. I've been in early childhood education for 14 years...and every time children are asked to bring their own lunches, FAR more are bringing in processed/high salt-fat-sugar choices. Whether a time factor (convenience) or not, I'd think the families may enjoy having a healthy lunch offering.
     
  14. JenPooh

    JenPooh Virtuoso

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    It depends on when the children are there. Are they there for lunch time? If so then I think it's a great idea. Parents don't like to bring lunches unless there are allergies they need to provide for and kids always bring in crap from home that they don't need. If children have allergies then you can either provide a substitute or have the parents provide that portion (like with milk allergies) but it does get expensive to support all the possible allergies. As far as picky eaters, I would only provide one or two choices for the main dish then that is it. I would even go with one choice, you eat it and that's what you get, or don't eat it. Kids need to learn food discipline now a days and many kids are getting more and more junk. Hope it all works out!
     
  15. Blue

    Blue Aficionado

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    You might have to consult a dietician to provide meals to a school. Most public facilities have some controls--regulations, etc.--in place. As a parent, this sounds like a great idea.

    When my children were in Preschool, we had to clean the facility once a month. A couple parents made money by hiring themselves out to us "lazy" parents, and cleaned for us.
     
  16. JenPooh

    JenPooh Virtuoso

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    I know in our state you have to consult the Department of Public Instruction. Perhaps that is who you should contact. You may even be able to get on a food program that reimburses a certain amount of money to your school per child each month. We have a couple here and it helps out a lot.
     
  17. kinderkids

    kinderkids Virtuoso

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    Oct 24, 2006

    WOW! I sometimes wish I could do that at my school, but that would never fly. Parents would be very upset if we sent something home uneaten because it is unhealthy. Lots of kids wouldn't have ANYTHING to eat if we did!:eek:
     
  18. Blue

    Blue Aficionado

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    Oct 24, 2006

    I used to run a teen parent program. The teens had to bring their child's lunch to school. I did just that. If the lunch was not appropriate, I bagged it up with a note that the food was not nutritionally appropriate for the child, and I was sending it home. Of course, the teens were mandated to be in the program, and I was their case manager, so I was able to "teach" them in this mannner. It is nice to have the power.
     

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