The Lunch Lady and Operation Christmas Child

At the Lunch Lady, we are so proud of everyone within our own company and so honoured to maintain relationships with some amazing charitable organizations that benefit children both nationally and internationally.

Our annual Conference is never complete without a team building event.  This past conference The Lunch Lady teamed up with Operation Christmas Child, (www.samaritanspurse.ca) to bring joy and smiles to children in the developing world.

Through our partnership with Breakfast for Learning, (www.breakfastforlearning.ca)  the Lunch Lady has raised over $165,000 to date to provide school children in need across Canada to receive warm and nourishing meals and snacks.

Want to learn more about the Lunch Lady and see us at work?  Ever thought about being a Lunch Lady or owning your own franchise?

Click here to learn more.

<

Lunchbox Friendly Corny Carrot Jokes

carrot-tops

Q: Did you hear about the carrot detective? 

carrot

A: He got to the root of every case.

Q: What’s a Vegetable’s favourite martial art?
A: Carrotee!

Q: What vegetable are all others afraid of?
A: A Scarrot.

Q: Why did the carrot get an award?
A: Because he was out standing in his field

Q: How do you make gold soup?
A: Put 24 carrots [carats] in it.

Q: What did the carrot say to the rabbit?
A: Do you want to grab a bite?

Team Building Event With Our Franchisees

angelThe Lunch Lady is proud of the great relationship we maintain with our franchisees as well as all the community work we do each year.

At our yearly Conference, our Lunch Lady franchisees joined in a team building event were we built some very sturdy wagons that were later donated to child care centres in Canada. The Lunch Lady believes in fostering strong relationships with our franchise partners as well as making sure we give back to every community we serve.

Through our partnership with Breakfast for Learning, The Lunch Lady raises over $60,000 a year to help underprivileged school children receive warm and nourishing meals and snacks across Canada.

Have a question about owning your own Lunch Lady franchise? Click here to learn more

 

lunch-box-myths

Debunking Four Myths about Healthy Eating for Kids

As concerned parents, we want to give kids the healthiest foods possible but we are often confused by an overload of information that tells us we are doing a good job one day, but failing utterly the next. In this environment it can be difficult to be confident in the choices we make about feeding our families. As a result, we can be influenced by fads, misinformation and our own anxiety, rather than facts. Check out these four myths associated with kids and healthy eating.

Myth #1: Kids should be on a low-fat diet.

The Real Story: Children need a healthy balanced diet that includes healthy fats, because their developing brains require these elements to grow properly. Healthy fats include unsaturated fat found in olive oil, peanut oil, canola oil, tuna, and salmon; plus a reasonable level of saturated fats in meat, cheese, whole milk and butter. Avoid trans fats. [aka hydrogenated” or “partially hydrogenated” fats]. Remember the old adage “all things in moderation” when you are serving fats.

Myth #2: Low-fat foods have fewer calories.

The Real Story: Sometimes this is true. But other times the removed fat is replaced by other ingredients that can have as many calories as the fat they replaced, or even more! Often lower fat foods and higher fibre foods are packed with sugar or sodium to enhance their flavour.  Always check the product label to avoid getting more calories than you bargained for from low-fat foods.

Myth #3: 100% Fruit Juice is always the best choice.

The Real Story: While 100% fruit juices can be part of a healthy diet and are preferable to fruit punches and fruit cocktail drinks, they are still very high in sugars, even though it is a naturally occurring kind of sugar. And where there is sugar, there are calories! Many nutritionists recommend limiting the amount of juice you drink or diluting the sweetness with water. So enjoy juice in moderation, but also be sure to drink lots of water and milk. Eating an apple or orange is still the best way to get your vitamin C!

Myth #4: Kids don’t like healthy foods.

The Real Story: Hungry kids eat what is closest and easiest to consume. They are not thinking about whether they are eating “healthy” food or not. Our job as parents is to take the lead and decide what will be available in the cupboard and on the dinner table. If we want our children to choose healthier options and have a healthier attitude towards food, it is as simple as making decisions about what goes in the shopping cart. Try to not be overly concerned if everything offered is not an instant favourite! Continue to offer new things along with familiar ones and focus on conversation at the table, not what is or is not being eaten. Allow children to become a little hungry between meals. This helps them to associate eating with being hungry. Stay the course. You will be happy with the results.

Ruthie Burd, Founder of the Lunch Lady is on a mission to encourage both parents and school communities to embrace healthier food environments for kids. You can learn more about the Lunch Lady by visiting thelunchlady.ca or email her directly at ruthie.burd@thelunchlady.ca

facebook-the-lunch-lady

Join Us on Facebook

If you’re not a member of our Facebook community, please come join us as we have lots of fun things planned for the coming school year.

When you join our Facebook community you:

  • Participate in the many contests and promotions we run throughout the year
  • Stay up to date on food related recalls in Canada
  • Stay up to date on the latest menus and announcements from us!

Click Here to join us, it’s a lot of FUN!

Are Chicken Nuggets BAD??

IN a recent article entitled Chicken Nuggets: Good Intentions Gone Bad? published for the American Institute for Cancer Research, Author Karen Collins MS. RD. CDN., addresses our shift away from red meat to chicken, including the ever popular Chicken Nugget. Children love Nuggets but should children be eating them? Are Nuggets the first step on the road to obesity and poor health? I am not a nutritionist or a food professional but after spending nearly 20 years encouraging healthier alternatives for children attending elementary schools, I am concerned that we may be getting caught up in the Good Food, Bad Food Controversy. We have been shifting the blame for our tendency to get heavier with each generation from one food to another without solving the problem. What “not to eat” can be just as much a fad as “what to eat”. There is no weight gain mystery. We eat too much and too often! I believe that the simple solution may be to worry less, eat more fruits and vegetables and eat smaller portions of everything else. Collins writes “The complete answer about chicken nuggets can’t be found simply by comparing them with various alternatives. The nutritional impact depends on how the overall meal is put together”. When we begin to demonize certain foods this may be the one critical factor that we overlook by focusing exclusively on a single food item. It’s the overall fat, calorie, sugar and sodium impact of whatever we eat that makes the difference. At the end of the day, Chicken Nuggets are just one little piece of a huge Food Smorgasbord. It’s how many you eat at one seating that counts – whether they are bakes or fried or deep fried. If five Baked Nuggets is a reasonable serving, then maybe you should cut back on the serving size if the nuggets are deep fried, regardless if they are purchases out or made from scratch at home. Even if you are baking a store bought product, remember that all nuggets are not all created equal so it is important to read the box to check the nutritional content and serve accordingly. Filling 2/3 of the plate with cut up veggies and a whole grain roll will fill up the plate if you are worried that it looks too bare! So are chicken nuggets bad? I don’t think so but I do believe that what truly matters is how we put our food together and as time goes by, I realize that some of those old clichés our parents were fond of, like, “everything in moderation” [except fruits and vegetables of course – we need more of those] still make sense.

Ruthie Burd began the Lunch Lady in 1993. Today it is Canada’s largest franchised provider of individually catered hot meals to elementary school chikdren. She is both passionate and practical about encouraging kids to make better food choices while providing their busy parents with an alternative to the home-packed lunch. You can visit the Lunch Lady anytime at thelunchlady.ca or contact her at 1-800-603-6656.

Important Note Regarding CFIA Food Safety

Over the last few days CFIA (Canadian Food Inspection Agency) recall reports have been extended to include more familiar grocery store brands. PLEASE NOTE that our beef burgers are not affected. The Lunch Lady Group monitors its entire food supply independently. We have our own food and nutrition manager. We use trusted brand name products because we are able to properly audit the food supplier who prepared the product and do a proper allergen screening:

Click the link below to learn more about the investigation:

Food Safety Investigation – E. Coli in certain frozen beef products

Niagara Franchise Info Session Coming August 12th!!

We’re hosting Franchise Info Sessions in the Niagara Area August 12th!

Have you ever wished you could make a secondary income for your family while maintaining a flexible schedule? Do you like working with kids and being involved in your community? Are you ready for a more fulfilling career? If so, a Lunch Lady franchise may be the perfect opportunity for you.

Lunch Ladies and Lunch Guys not only provide a valuable service, but they also enjoy a flexible schedule which allows them to operate on ‘teacher’ hours and vacation time. For many franchise partners “The Lunch Lady” was exactly the lifestyle change they were looking for.

With over 17 years of experience, the Lunch Lady is Canada’s largest elementary school lunch provider. Last fall Lunch Lady founder Ruthie Burd was selected as one of Canada’s Top 50 Mompreneurs of 2010 by Mompreneur Magazine.

Thanks to the Lunch Lady, many parents can now benefit from an individually catered hot lunch program in their school. Today the Lunch Lady serves over 940 schools and more than 2 million lunches a year through a network of nearly 50 franchises across Canada.

We’re growing quickly! The number of communities we serve has more than doubled in the past three years. The Lunch Lady might just be the business opportunity you’ve been waiting for. To learn more about this exciting franchise opportunity please visit the Franchising section of our site or contact franchise@thelunchlady.ca.

Live in the Niagara area? Attend our upcoming info session. Email franchise@thelunchlady.ca or call 1-800-603-6656 to reserve your spot!

Session information is provided below:

Friday August 12th – 10:00 AM

Niagara Falls City Hall; Com. Room #2

4310 Queen Street

Niagara Falls, ON

The Lunch Lady is Committed to Food Quality and Safety

Your child’s safety and happiness are our first priority. Having served schools for over 18 years, we know that maintaining high standards for our products and services is essential. We are committed to serving meals that are not only consistently nutritious and delicious, but safe for your children to enjoy.

Here are just some of the many things that the Lunch Lady does to ensure top quality food at an affordable price:

Our Kitchens

  • All food prepared in regularly health inspected commercial kitchens
  • Frequent monitoring by our Head Office Operations Team
  • Menu and product testing through our corporate test kitchen in Vaughan, ON
  • Random in-kitchen and in-classroom quality testing by Franchisees and Head Office

Our Food

  • Menus developed by a highly trained menu planning team
  • Recipes designed to meet and exceed all provincial nutrition standards
  • Nutritional analysis, publically available to all customers
  • Ingredient & allergy listings for all food items
  • Only the highest quality ingredients
  • All franchise partners are required to be Food Safety Compliant and take a Regulated Certified Food Handler course recognized by the Ministry of Health.

Our Suppliers

  • Food sourced through commercial suppliers
  • Documented research on every food vendor
  • Constant engagement with manufacturers to develop and source new products
  • Routine sampling of new products

Frequently Asked Questions

Where is Lunch Lady food prepared?

Every Lunch Lady lunch across Canada is made in a Regional health inspected commercial kitchen.

Does the Lunch Lady meet provincial nutrition standard?

The Lunch Lady is committed to exceeding all provincial nutrition standards, including Ontario’s new PPM150. We fully comply to the Ontario Ministry of Education policy with every ingredient and our goal is to have our menu items above and beyond 80% Sell Most.

Who prepares the food?

Every Lunch Lady franchise partner is independently owned and operated by a member of your community. Franchise partners are hand selected by Lunch Lady Head Office and are constantly monitored by a team of highly trained operations managers.

How does the Lunch Lady source its products?

We source our products exclusively through a commercial distribution system. Every supplier is required to provide us with product information including nutritional and allergy declarations to ensure food safety.

How are new ingredients and nutritionals monitored?

The Lunch Lady Group’s menu planning team, which includes a nutrition manager, formulates exact specifications and measurements for the preparation of our lunches. For every new menu, our team researches nutritionals, ingredients, and allergens for every product on every menu across the country. The ingredients we use in our recipes are never altered. Recipes are followed with no deviations. (i.e. adding “extras” or more product than specified). All lunches have been formulated to be consistent in nutritional values and allergy management. We have created these particular formulas for our lunches so that the end product is constant wherever our lunches are served and so that allergy management and nutritional values are maintained.

Nutritionals for all menu items are available through your local Lunch Lady.

Are franchisees trained in food safety?

Our franchisees and at least one of their employees in a supervisory position are required to take a course to be a Certified Food Handler, recognized by the Ministry of Health.