Did you know that as well as supplying great food for Hawkes Bay’s events we also provide school lunches as part of the Ministry of Educations Healthy School Lunch Program?

As a family focused business, conversations invariably turn towards the challenges of family life, often with a focus on nutrition.  We thought in light of this it was timely to share some of our learnings and favourite recipes from our school lunch program.

  • Kids like food that looks good. Bright and colourful options always have you ahead to start with.
  • Texture is important. Items that travel well and can stand up to the rigours of a school bag are vital.
  • They don’t like food pieces touching each other, compartmentalized boxes are great to avoid cross contamination.
  • Little chiller lunch boxes with a slicker pad ensure a greater range of options can be kept cold and used. Our kids love things like chicken drumsticks, or potato salad.
  • Turns out they love the soup options, these can easily be packed in a thermos for older kids. With a wholegrain roll this is a healthy and filling option.

When we are preparing lunches for hundreds of children on a daily basis we have found that mixed options work well.  For instance corn, chicken, iceburg, and beans with ranch dressing.  Or sushi salad with sushi rice, teriyaki chicken, cucumber, edamame beans, and carrot.  These options work well for a broad age range and bulk prep can also have you covered for dinner.  For instance the corn and chicken mix is great in a taco or with nachos.  The sushi mix can go in a spring roll wrapper, nori, or similar. Or add salmon instead of teriyaki chicken for an adult focus at dinner.

A main combo mix with cut seasonal fruit or veg on the side and a snack such as muffins or corn ships  and you have a cost effective and tasty meal for all members of the family.

TIP – have the individual items prepped and in the fridge the night before and mix quickly in the morning to ensure some of learnings above are adhered to.

Turns out the kids love edamame beans!  These can be found on the frozen section of your grocery store.