We’re just going to put it out there: kids are picky eaters! They’ll fuss and fight, and throw and kick, just to avoid eating that one piece of broccoli, or even worse, Brussels sprouts.
So wouldn’t it be a literal miracle if there was someone who could create school lunches for special events that are both delicious and healthy?
As you’re probably aware, many schools all over the world have drastically changed the kinds of foods and snacks available in school canteens and cafeterias. That means the occasional treat we enjoyed back when we were in school has been replaced, reduced or altogether eradicated!
Why? Growing obesity rates in children all over the world due to these sometimes snacks sneaking their way into the alwayscategory.
In the US, the Healthy, Hunger Free Kids Act was introduced in 2010, and planned bid to roll out significant changes to the kinds of lunch foods being served to 32 million American children at school every day. The Act was championed by former First Lady Michelle Obama as part of her Let’s Move! initiative, targeted at combatting childhood obesity.
Australia’s National Healthy School Canteen (ANHC) guidelines provide guidance for Australian canteen managers to make smarter and healthier food and drink decisions.
Europe’s a little trickier to summarise, as there is quite a lot of variation: school meals are fully funded by the government in Sweden and Finland, and therefore follow national dietary guidelines; but Norway, Denmark, and Belgium are exempt from this policy, and school children are allowed to bring their own lunches.
So what on earth do you do when you have a school luncheon or event that needs to be catered for?
Call the experts, of course!
There are a couple of things you can do to ensure your event runs smoothly, and luckily, we’ve covered them all below.
Let’s begin with some stats:
- Food allergies affect 1 in 13 children in the US (Source)
- 6-8 per cent of UK children have a proven food allergy (Source)
- Australian research has shown that up to 10 per cent of infants have food allergies (Source)
- About 300,000 Canadian children aged under 18 have food allergies (Source)
Pretty shocking stuff, right? And it’s only natural that you’ll take into consideration this gigantic factor.
But how do you go about actually ensuring you’re addressing all sorts of allergies and intolerances?
Help parents help you
If you need to RSVP numbers for catering purposes, create a form that children and parents can fill out, detailing any specific food allergies. Your caterer can then create a menu that takes into account all these specific requirements and segmented meal preferences.
Make it easy for parents to get in touch to further discuss any allergy concerns. The school is probably familiar with a child’s allergies, anyway, but a phone call can bridge any concern and reassure a parent.
Your caterers know what to do
Caterers realise the increased impact allergies and intolerances have on menus and are as a result entirely flexible when it comes to creating a perfect custom menu.
They can also provide you with helpful guidance around how much food to order, what types of food matches your planned event, and what kind of food you might consider ordering.
School catering is suitable for a number of events throughout the year, so why not plan something special for one of the following dates?
- Mother’s and Father’s Day breakfasts
- Grandparents Day
- Open days
- School fairs
- End of year parties (for teachers, too!)
Make catering easier for all involved
Give your caterers as much notice as possible so they have the best opportunity to create a truly unique menu that satisfies all diverse needs.
And that means getting information from parents about their kids as soon as possible.
Additionally, make sure your caterer knows whether they have access to an on-site kitchen to prepare the food, or whether it should instead be prepared off-site and then transported.
Planning catering for a special school event? Call Your Private Chef!
Your Private Chef caters for all primary and secondary schools and colleges across Melbourne, so why not get in touch with us today?
Whether it’s an elaborate dinner for a fundraising event or a simple luncheon for a class of 40 kids, ensure you’re giving your caterers the best information possible to ensure their job – and your event – runs smoothly! Call Ana for a chat today!