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.

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Lunchbox Friendly Corny Carrot Jokes

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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

 

Breakfast for Learning Update

The Lunch Lady was featured in a recent article in FRANCHISE CANADA that we have attached here.

We are so gratified to see the ongoing support we are able to provide to this worthwhile Canadian Children’s Charity. We started this program in Dec 2011 and in Dec 2012 we made it possible for parents to make a small contribution to BFL when they paid for their own children’s lunches.  We continue to make a difference and make it possible for more Canadian children to eat well at school regardless of their economic status.  The Lunch Lady is and continues to be prouder supporter of BFL.

 

About Breakfast for Learning

 Breakfast for Learning is committed to helping children across Canada realize their full potential in life by ensuring they attend school well nourished and ready to learn.  Breakfast for Learning has been helping support school based nutrition programs in every province and territory for 23 years. During the 2015/16 school year, Breakfast for Learning funded 1,887 breakfast, lunch and snack programs, supporting 238,853 children with more than 40 million nourishing meals and snacks. Since 1992, Breakfast for Learning has helped 3.8 million children enjoy over 594 million healthy meals and snacks. For more information or to donate, please visit www.breakfastforlearning.ca.

Together, we have now raised over $165,426.83 for this charity and support continues to grow as the Lunch Lady grows and more and more parents order online.

Thank You Each and Every One.

Ruthie

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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

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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

The Lunch Lady is now a proud supporter of Breakfast for Learning!

The Lunch Lady is proud to be a supporter of Breakfast for Learning, working together to supply funds, nutrition education and support to Canadian Children in need. Each time you order one of our FUN MEALS, we donate 10 cents to support Breakfast for Learning in northern Canadian communities. Thanks for ordering these popular meals.

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Breakfast for Learning in a non-profit organization that empowers Canadian communities to start and sustain school nutrition programs to enhance learning and the healthy development of children and youth. Last year, they served over 46,000,000 nutritious meals and snacks to more than 267,000 children and youth in over 2,300 nutrition programs.

Donations to Breakfast for Learning will be directed towards three communities that the Lunch Lady has committed to support in Northern Manitoba and Nunavut. A short introduction to each of these communities is provided below. If you have any questions regarding the new partnership please don’t hesitate to ask.

We will keep you posted on the rollout of our new ordering system that will support the donation process; it is currently in the final testing phase. We are excited to see this partnership take off!

Breakfast for Learning programs being supported by the Lunch Lady Group:

South Indian Lake, Manitoba

Oscar Blackburn School is a k-12 school with 317 students. 97% of them are First Nations Cree children. The community is semi-remote being 320 km. from the nearest largest community of Thompson, Manitoba.

The community has some employment including the school, the OPCN Cree Nation, the South Bay Construction Company and temporary construction jobs with outside contractors. There also exists commercial fishing and trapping. many people rely on Social Assistance.

Oscar Blackburn School runs a breakfast program which serves 160 of their students 5 days a week.

A number of school staff volunteer every morning while yet another teacher oversees the ordering and inventory for incoming food.

Breakfast is served through a large serving window that faces our multi-purpose room. The breakfast items are laid out cafeteria style and all students are welcome to take all or some items depending on their choice for breakfast.

“Our students benefit so much from your donation. Not only does BFL get our students off to a great start, but for some, it may be their only nutritious meal of the day”. – Jim Robson, Principal, Oscar Blackburn School.

Brochet, Manitoba

Brochet School is a k-12 school with 140 students. Brochet is a remote fly-in community located in Northern Manitoba. Majority of students are Cree with several Dene families. Most are low socio-economic status.

Brochet school runs a school breakfast program that serves 120 of their students 5 days a week.

Breakfast is prepared in a multi-purpose room and then delivered to students in their classrooms.

“’My mom told me I couldn’t go to school this morning because we had no cereal to eat and I told her my teacher would give me toast right away if I asked her’. Thanks to the BFL donors this child came to school confident that he would be provided with food. Without BFL this child may indeed have stayed home and missed important school learning. This teacher, on behalf of this child and others like him, are very thankful for your support.” – Marie Wiseman, nutrition coordinator, Brochet School

Igloolik, Nunavut

Attaguttaaluk Elementary and High schools are both located in Igloolik, a small town in the Melville Peninsula just south of northwestern Baffin Island in Nunavut. Igloolik is a fly-in community approximately two hours from the capital, Iqualuit.

The population of Igloolik is approximately 1300 people, of which 95% are Inuit. The language predominantly spoken in Igloolik is Inuktitut. The cost of bringing food into the isolated communities of Nunavut is very expensive and food insecurity is very high.

Ataguttaaluk Elementary School has an enrollment of 360 students from K to 7 with a 100% Inuit enrollment. A breakfast program is run that serves the entire school population 5 days a week. Soup is prepared 4 days per week in the kitchen area of the Home Economics room and then carried to the individual classrooms to be distributed to the students by the classroom teachers. Each student will receive a bowl of soup with some whole wheat crackers. On days when soup is not served, students receive whole wheat bread with cheese and or peanut butter. Also when available, students receive a portion of an apple or orange and banana.

“As a result of our program, students appeared happier in school, were able to work better without disruptions in class and they seemed better able to focus on their school work for longer periods of time (better time-on-task).” – Fred Saunders, Vice Principal, Ataguttaaluk Elementary School, Igloolik, Nunavut

Ataguttaaluk High School has an enrollment of 250 students from grade 8 to 12. The population of the school is 99% Inuit. Breakfast and snack is served 5 days a week, using the gym and classrooms.

“On behalf of the students of Ataguttaaluk High School I would like to thank you for the opportunity for students to have a healthy meal” – Vince Pickett, principal, Ataguttaaluk High School. – Vince Pickett, Principal, Ataguttaaluk High School, Igloolik, Nunavut

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