The new hot lunch program officially started on March 13 and the first two weeks were a whirlwind. So far, the menu has been a hit with the kids! Thank you for your support! The biggest surprise for us was that the kids really went for miso soup! It tends to be salty and we weren’t sure if they would like tofu, but we had more than a few kids coming back for seconds. It’s safe to say that miso soup will be part of the regular menu.

And, of course, whenever there is fresh bread in the oven, everyone seems to gravitate toward the kitchen. We also saw a fair amount of uneaten lunches. This is to be expected as we know kids can be picky eaters. We have a station set up so the kids can scrape their plates of any scraps and return their trays and plates.

Return station.
Return station. Moving from the right, kids scrape off any uneaten lunch into the strainer. They can also dump any unfinished milk or tea in there, as well. They then set their tray in the stack and place their dishes and cutlery into the bin where it will be taken away to be washed.

Looking at the scraps gives us an idea of what the kids like and dislike so that we can reduce food waste. For example, the chicken wing lunch was a hit, but we noticed a lot of half-eaten wings. We found that many of kindergarten and Gr. 1 students had a bit of trouble eating all the meat from the bones. So maybe boneless chicken dishes are a better option. Another problem we see is time. Students only have 15 minutes to eat. We would like to see more time given to eating over going outside. This isn’t the military, so there’s no reason to make kids shovel their lunches into their mouths.

Photo of some uneaten lunch.
One of the purposes of the hot lunch program is to introduce new flavors and textures to the kids. Sometimes this means food is wasted, but it’s OK as long as they try it. We also wonder if the lack of time has an impact on food waste as kids only have 15 minutes to eat.

One of the purposes of the hot lunch program is to introduce kids to new flavours and textures. If your child is a slow eater or can’t finish their lunch, you can help reduce food waste by packing them an empty lunch box and encouraging them to take any uneaten lunch home. It also gives parents and guardians a chance to sample what they are being served! We always tell the kids it’s OK to not like something as long as they give it a bit of a try first!

We’ve heard parent requests and will provide paper forms for those who wish to use them. We encourage you to sign up and use MunchaLulnch if you can

Ordering for the first week back to school will be entirely online, but we will send paper forms back with your children for those who prefer this way of ordering.

Here’s a look back on what the kids ate in Week 2.