The lunchroom can be a place of social anxiety for many students. Not having someone to eat lunch with or being bullied in the lunchroom unfortunately still happens. Many schools have developed bullying programs, but other solutions which ensure kids aren't eating alone, are coming from students themselves.
One example comes from Sherman Oaks, California. A student created an app so bullied kids never have to eat alone.
Another example is from a high school in Florida, where students there started a club called We Dine Together to ensure their fellow classmates have some company at lunch time.
What is a Dabbawala you ask?
I had been reading about the Dabbawala’s of India and the extraordinary system of lunch delivery that exists in Mumbai. Their system of delivering over 130,000 lunches a day with incredible accuracy was astounding to me and I wanted to adapt the model to our school lunch deliveries, to ensure the accuracy of the orders coming from the restaurants.
As explained by Sukhada Chaudry in her article “Dabbawalas, All You Need To Know” on Culturetrip.com, the true genius of the dabbawala system lies not in the quantity of tiffins (lunchboxes) delivered but the quality in which they are – the method in which the deliveries are organized and coordinated. For the last 126 years, the dabbawalas of Mumbai have perfected a delivery system that has been the subject of many academic studies.
The origins of this fascinating model started in the year 1890 when a Parsi gentleman employed at a bank recruited a man from one of the villages near Pune to deliver a lunchbox from his home to office every day. Word spread and more men from nearby villages were employed. In the same year, Mahadeo Bhavaji Bachche began a tiffin delivery service with a team of 100 men. This was the beginning of the dabbawala system as it is known today and now there are over 8,000 dabbawalas in Mumbai.
Known for their dependable service (they are always on time with their deliveries.) They persevere and have proven to be the most efficient and cost-effective food delivery system in the world, by quite a large margin.
We've learned a lot from studying the core pillars of the dabbawala’s system, and continue to incorporate what we’ve learned into our processes and procedures, so families who order a Kiddos lunch can trust their child will receive it…and we have the dabbawalla’s of India to thank!
Dispelling the "Junk Food" Myth
Junk food or not junk food, healthy or not healthy, those are the questions. What is the true definition of "Junk Food" or "Healthy Food?" Everyone has their own definition of what they think is healthy. For some that may be low carb, for others, perhaps paleo or vegetarian. Each family has their own unique tastes and preferences and respecting that by offering dozens of options that satisfy each child's changing tastes and each parents unique preference, with access to healthy lunches every day, is important to us.
Would you consider a pizza, with house made dough, sauce from crushed tomatoes, basil, salt, pepper, oregano, and low fat skim mozzarella cheese "Junk Food?" How about freshly made sandwiches, salads, pasta sauce, yogurt parfaits, and more for a school lunch?
As the owner of a restaurant based school lunch company, from time to time I hear a parent refer to the food on our menu as "junk food" because it comes from a restaurant. We partner with restaurants that use fresh and wholesome ingredients, cooked to order. Catered lunch companies continue to rely on frozen and canned ingredients made days in advance, because unlike restaurants who have retail business in the door all day and night, caterers aren't able to go through the food quickly enough. In addition, caterers are not generally in and around the area of your school, so the food needs to be cooked days in advance, frozen and reheated.
I have previously written about making sure our kids eat a balanced diet containing lean protein, fresh fruit, vegetables and whole grains. Ideally, that is the goal, but here's the wrinkle, it doesn't matter what we pack or order our kids for lunch, they will only eat what they like, what they are used to eating and what tastes good to them. I often hear parents say, well at least if there were broccoli or fresh fruit in front of them, they are more likely to eat it then if it wasn't there. My question is... Is that the risk you want to take? Making sure our kids eat their lunch,so they're able to focus and concentrate for the balance of the school day is key. Food for thought.
Making Healthy Choices for Holiday Eating
The holidays are just around the corner already! With the advent of Thanksgiving, Christmas and Hanukkah, comes the added pressure of trying to make healthy choices for yourself and your family. The Washington Post wrote a great article to give ideas of how to make healthy family meals for yourself and, more importantly, your children during this year's holiday season.
One of the greatest pieces of advice is to get your children involved in the entire process of planning, shopping and then making your holiday meals. You can start by looking together through menu books and websites to pick out ideas for side dishes that your kids give their approval for. Then, continue the journey by taking these ideas to the grocery store and giving options on veggies and fruits for your side dishes. You can even go as far as having your little ones help out in the kitchen while actually making some of your meals so the kids feel fully immersed in the holiday cooking tradition and will feel proud that they got to help out this year.
This is a spectacular idea because when kids feel like they are contributing and making choices in this process they are more inclined to want to also eat the foods that you will make. Plus, if these are healthy foods, you will not only build confidence in them but also help to cultivate healthy choice making skills throughout their life. As an added bonus, you are making wonderful memories with your kids that they will carry with them. It sounds like this season could be a win-win for all! Have a happy and healthy holidays everyone!
To Read More: http://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/on-parenting/tips-to-get-your-kids-through-the-holidays-graciously-and-gratefully/2014/11/11/65899c74-639d-11e4-836c-83bc4f26eb67_story.html
Plums: What are They Anyway?
Just this past week, we at Kiddos school lunches have added PLUMS to the roster of fruit sides that come standard with most every Kiddos meal. Some of the feedback we have gotten was that "the children were confused as to what plums are". Aside from that being a very endearing piece of feedback, we decided to also take that seriously and look up some information about plums to share with you. We encourage all to read up and try a few as plums are only in season for the fall!
Plums are in the same family as nectarines and peaches!
Plums are also related to almonds
The dried version of a plum is called a prune or a 'dried plum'
Plums are packed with Vitamin C and Vitamin K
Plums also help with weight loss!
There are over 2,000 varities of plums in existence today
Please read more in depth information about Plums in this article:
Green tea has many health benefits; ones that are especially important during the hot temperatures and long days of summertime. Aside from being full of antioxidents, green tea helps to reduce risks of such things as heart attacks and strokes, which you are at a higher risk of during the summer. So, drink iced green tea instead of pop to stay hydrated and add some extra protection for your health! To read more about iced green tea and other smart nutrition options to try during the summer break, go to:
Did you know that eating foods high in potassium can counteract the effects of higher sodium content in your food? By adding veggies like swiss chard, kale, and romaine lettuce to your sandwich or having a side of fruit with your meal can balance out deli meats that are high in sodium, which helps keep your blood pressure down and your belly happy! Read more about potassium at this site:
Fun Facts About Bananas!!
Here are some fun facts about bananas from the website http://www.thebananapolice.com