Our NEW Winter Menu Has Begun!

WHO CAN BELIEVE THAT WINTER IS UPON US ONCE AGAIN?

It’s time for cold noses, boots and scarves, ice skates and hockey sticks, skis, boards and toboggans and snowmen. And it’s time for HOT FOOD. Every School Day, our Lunch Ladies and Lunch Guys are up early, busily preparing the perfect foods for the Winter Season to warm up the tummies of your children. Our menu has something for everyone, and we welcome you to enjoy a good lunch from our kitchens.

As the New Year approaches, we wish you and your family health and happiness and the joys of the Holiday Season.

Check out the menu overview below for some item highlights. Please be sure to check your school’s paper menu or our online ordering site for details and additional menu items.

MENU THEME – WINTER COMFORT FARE

Our Best Value Combos

We selected some of our most popular items and created perfectly balanced combos that will be sure to please your child’s taste buds and your wallet. Our complete lunches include a healthier side and 100% juice. Choose from grilled cheese, buttery pasta parmesan or our yummy pancakes.

Fun Boxes Are Changing To Fun Bags

Our Fun Boxes have been so popular this year that we ran out of them. Watch for our NEW decorated Kraft Mini Shopping Bag that is made of recycled sturdy paper and can be enjoyed after lunch is over. Each FUN Bag still includes an entree, fruit or raw veggie, 100% juice and small sweet treat. Choose from all white chicken nuggets or a beef hamburger. Many kitchens offer Halal and Vegetarian versions of the Fun Bag

A La Carte Ordering – Build Your Own Lunch

Ordering from our Winter Comfort Fare is just like going to a restaurant. Do you want a traditional dinner, a wrap, something from the Burger Bar or how about ordering something from “Around the World”?

What’s on?

The Traditional Roast Chicken Drumstick Holiday Dinner

Always a favourite, this home-style meal is sure to satisfy. Our roasted drumstick is served up with homemade mashed potatoes, kernel corn and Chicken Gravy [no need to mention it is Low Sodium] (hot meal)

It’s Still Toasty Time!

These open-faced sandwiches are sure a big hit! This time we’ve added a toasty, cheesy meatball sub. See what’s available from your kitchen. (hot meal)

Sushi Holds Its Own!

More and more children are enjoying this healthy lunch alternative. More and more of our kitchens are on a roll! (cold meal)

New – Rice Bowls

Take whole grain rice, add a layer of steamed veggies and top with chicken strips in Teriyaki Sauce and you have our new Teriyaki Chicken Rice Bowl (hot meal)

Nothing Says Comfort Like Shepherd’s Pie

Creamy real mashed potato top a flavourful mix of simmered ground beef and vegetables . A real Tummy pleaser (hot meal)

Chicken Parmesan Pasta

A healthier way to enjoy a classic favourite. Sliced chicken cutlet on a bed of spaghetti, topped with a rich pasta sauce and low fat Mozzarella Cheese . Yum (hot meal)

The Cheeseburger Is A Keeper

We didn’t invent it but it is the first time in a long time that we have offered it. Melted cheese on a lean beef patty inside a whole grain bun. For a little bit more you can add lettuce tomato and pickle to make it perfect!(hot meal)

Are You Full Of Beans??

You will be after you enjoy one of our amazing taco salads. Here’s what’s in it – chopped romaine topped with kidney beans, black beans, corn, cherry tomatoes and shredded low fat mozzarella cheese. Served with side Italian dressing and crushed corn chips (cold meal)

Crunchy Chicken Ranch Wrap

We had so many requests, we had to put it on the Winter menu. Cold breaded chicken strips, romaine and lite ranch dressing rolled up in a whole grain flour tortilla. How can something so simple taste so good? (cold meal)

It’s Never Too Cold For A Rips 100% Fruit Juice Slushie

So what that it is freezing outside! It’s never too cold to give yourself a “Brain Freeze “ This product is exclusive to the Lunch Lady Group. It comes in a cool foil pouch. It arrives at school frozen and will partially thaw by lunch time. [not in BC]

Sparkling Fruit Juice

Take unsweetened fruit juice , add natural sparkling water and put it in a 100% recyclable can and imagine how GREAT it is going to taste!

Berry Bottom Yogurt

Everyone loves the layered yogurt desserts we prepare each day for the schools we serve. This one features mixed berries topped with vanilla yogurt .

New Deliciously Red Juice From Oasis

1 ½ servings of fruit in a box with a great taste. Hope you try it! This is a new product and may not be available at all kitchens. Other flavours may be available. Please check the menu for your school!

Please Note: Menu offerings may vary from location to location. The Lunch Lady meets current nutritional guidelines for your province. Many kitchens offer Halal and vegetarian options and can modify their menus to accommodate your child’s special food needs. You just have to ask!

Learn How to Make Sushi!

Watch this step-by-step video featuring Lunch Lady Carole!

Ever wanted to make sushi but thought it might be to complicated or too much work? Try this easy Lunch Lady recipe and you’ll be an expert in no time! We’ve also put together a short step-by-step video featuring Lunch Lady Carole to help you through!

Don’t have time to make sushi tonight? Sushi is a featured item on our Winter menu in many kitchens across Canada!

Serving Size: Each serving is 8 sushi pieces.

Shelf Life: Same day for sushi, sushi vinegar can be refrigerated for up to 5 days.

Allergens: Fish, Soy

INGREDIENTS

  • Sushi Rice Cooked, 1 Cup Cooked
  • Rice vinegar – Marukan or Kikkoman Rice Vinegar, 2/3 cup
  • White sugar, 3 Tbsp
  • Salt, ½ tsp
  • Seaweed paper, 1 sheet
  • Cucumber sticks – 1/4” thick, 2 sticks
  • Finely Shredded Carrot, 2 tsp.
  • Soy sauce, 1 pk
  • Pickled Ginger, 2 slices
  • Wasabi Paste, ½ tsp

Other Things You’ll Need:

  • Bamboo Sushi Mat – For rolling the Sushi
  • Small bowl of water – To dip your fingers so rice doesn’t stick to your hands when making the sushi.
  • Small bowl of rice vinegar – To seal the edge of the seaweed paper

INSTRUCTIONS

Before You Start: Its always important to wash your hands and ensure you have a clean work surface before starting
Step One: Prepare Rice

  1. Wash rice in a strainer under cold running water until it runs clear.
  2. Cooking ratio of water to rice is slightly more water than rice ex. 5 cups water to 4 cups rice. This yields 8 cups cooked.
  3. If using a rice cooker: follow rice cooker manufacturer’s instructions
  4. If using a stove top: Place washed rice in cold water in a large covered pot. Bring to boil. Stir. Cover. Reduce heat to lowest heat. Stir rice in 10 minutes. Cook another 10 minutes. When cooked remove from heat and let it sit covered for 5 minutes. All water should be absorbed and rice tender.

Step Two: Prepare Flavoured Rice Vinegar

  1. In a pot mix 2/3rd of unflavoured rice vinegar, 3 tablespoons of sugar and 1/2 tsp salt.
  2. Cook and stir vinegar, sugar, and salt until boiling and sugar dissolves.
  3. Cool to room temperature. Store the liquid seasoning in a glass bottle for easy use. This seasoning mix keeps for 5 days in the cooler. Do not store in plastic.
  4. Spread cooked rice on clean plastic tray & fluff with fork.
  5. Sprinkle cooled vinegar mixture evenly over the rice until moist and fluff with a fork (rice should be moist, but not soupy) . The ½ cup of homemade vinegar moistens 8 cups of rice.
  6. Cool rice on the plastic tray with a damp paper towel over top until rice is at room temperature.

Step Three: Prepare Sushi

  1. Keep a small bowl of water handy to dip your fingers to keep the rice from sticking to your hands.
  2. Wrap a bamboo mat in plastic wrap.
  3. Put sheet of seaweed shiny side down on a bamboo mat.
  4. Spread 2/3 cup of rice evenly on the bottom 1/3 of the seaweed paper.
  5. Dip finger in rice vinegar, and spread vinegar across top ½ inch of seaweed paper, this help seal the paper after you have rolled it up.
  6. Place 2 sticks of cucumber & 2 tsp shredded carrot along the middle of the rice and roll up evenly
  7. Squeeze bamboo mat around roll until roll is tight.
  8. With a sharp knife cut roll into 6 evenly sized pieces.
  9. Place 2 slices of pickled ginger and ½ tsp. wasabi in a 1 oz solo cup
  10. Presentation: Place 8 Sushi rolls nice side up in a plastic clamshell, place the 1 oz solo and a portion packet of the soy sauce.

The Lunch Lady Annual Retreat!

This October 16 — 17th, Lunch Ladies and Lunch Guys from across Canada gathered at Stage West in Mississauga for our 5th Annual Retreat. It is always amazing to feel the energy in the room when we all get together each year. We operate nearly 50 franchises that are spread out all across Canada, so the Annual Retreat is an important time for all of our franchise partners, to meet, talk and collaborate on new plans for the company.

At this year’s retreat we made two very exciting announcements!

1. The 2010 — 2011 Lunch Lady Challenge

The Lunch Lady Group has been serving Canadian schools since 1993. In that time we have grown to 815 schools across Canada. On October 16th we challenged our franchise partners to reach 1000 schools by the end of the 2010 — 2011 school year. Its a lofty goal, but we know our franchise partners have what it takes! If we reach our goal of 1000 schools by the end of June, our founder Ruthie Burd, will be shaving her head to commemorate the event! We’ll keep you updated on our progress over the coming year. You can also check our homepage at any time for an up to date count!

2. New Partnership with Cameleo Photo

We were joined at the Retreat by Pierre Mouton and Nicolas Bergeron who helped to announce a new partnership between the Lunch Lady Group and Cameleo Photo. Like the Lunch Lady, Cameleo Photo is dedicated to providing innovative products and services to its customers. Cameleo Photo was founded in 2004 by Nicolas Bergeron whose vision was to combine revolutionary school photography software, green technology, and online ordering to serve schools across Canada. Cameleo currently serves 350 schools in Quebec and starting this fall Cameleo services are being offered exclusively to select Lunch Lady schools, outside of Quebec. We are very excited to be able to offer this new service to our schools! Please talk to your Lunch Lady kitchen or email us at info@thelunchlady.ca to inquire if this new opportunity is available in your area

In addition to being a place for major announcements, our Retreats are always a great time for franchise partners to gain new leadership skills and receive updates on the state of our industry across Canada. We were lucky enough to be able to bring in two guest speakers to join us for the event. Bobby Umar worked with us to conduct and electrifying and fun session on brand leadership and Luana Felato ran a very informative session discussing the new School Food and Beverage Act and other resources available to schools and food service providers through regional public health offices.

Thanks again to all of our franchise partners for your enthusiastic participation in this year’s Retreat. We already can’t wait for the next one!

Learn more about our guest presenters through their bios below:

Bobby Umar, Professional Speaker

Bobby has an eclectic range of interests. With an undergraduate degree in Engineering and an MBA in Strategic Marketing. He has acquired over 15 years extensive experience in leadership training through recreation and leadership programs across Canada as well as several teaching positions. Most notably, Bobby currently serves as a Faculty of Arts & Leadership for McMaster University’s Shad Valley summer program for gifted high school youth.

Luana Felato, Registered dietician for Peel Public health

Luana Felato is a Registered Dietitian with Peel Public Health on the Healthy Eating and Physical Activity Team. Currently, Luana is involved in the development of a healthy beverage display and theBeing Active, Eating Well website (a teacher resource). Her primary role focuses on supporting the planning and implementation of a pilot program for the School Food and Beverage Policy.

Kid’s Day

Its an age old question… what will kid’s eat? Its our business to know what kids like, and we’re committed to going to the source to find out what products will get your child’s seal of approval.

On Saturday, May 1st we ran Kids Day, the first event held at our new head office in Vaughan. We are excited to say that it was a great success! Thanks to everyone that participated, we couldn’t have done it without you. Kid’s Day included a variety of fun activities. Participants enjoyed taste tests of our new products including pancakes, frozen yogurt, popcorn chicken, and crepes to name a few! Every child was excited to go home with a Lunch Lady loot bag, stickers, and a T-Shirt!

To see pictures from the event, take a look at our Flickr page! We look forward to hosting more Kid’s Days in the future. If you have any suggestions or would be interested in having your child participate in our next event, please feel free to contact us.

Check out this video for event highlights:

Ontario’s New School Food and Beverage Act

What is it?

In January 2010, the Ontario Ministry of Education passed new legislation placing restrictions on what types of food can be sold in Ontario elementary schools. The School Food and Beverage Act will come into effect September 2011. To view a copy of the Act, please click here.

What is the goal?

To support healthier food environments for kids by ensuring that foods sold on school property meet specific nutritional requirements.

Who is responsible for implementing these guidelines?

School boards and their representatives [i.e the principal]

What’s covered:

All foods sold on school property during school hours, regardless of origin must meet specific nutritional requirements. This includes food service providers, restaurants, parents, school run canteens and vending machines.

What’s exempt:

  1. 10 food events each school year
  2. Food offered to students without cost
  3. Student lunches from home
  4. School trips
  5. The staff room

However, it is the Ministry’s hope that school communities will work together to support healthier choices across all venues, events, and programs.

New Legislation — How can the Lunch Lady help?

We were involved from the start. We were honoured to be invited by the Ministry of Education to participate on the Healthy Menus Writing Team set up to support the introduction of the New Legislation. We learned a lot through our participation and as a result have a very clear understanding of the requirements of the Ontario School Food and Beverage Act. Because we operate in the same environment as you we can zero in on the challenges and the opportunities.

We are already committed to healthier choices:

Our company president, Ruthie Burd, has made it her business to promote healthier food at school by finding ways to offer healthier versions of kid-friendly favourites since she began the Lunch Lady in 1993. Today the Lunch Lady is the largest provider of individually catered meals delivered to elementary schools in Canada, serving nearly 2 million meals this year. We have been doing voluntarily what the government is now legislating. Our own programs will be in full compliance with the new legislation by September 2010.

We already provides nutritional information.

We already provide nutritional information on all our meals and do full allergy management so we are very comfortable answering questions and addressing your concerns about nutritional requirements. .

We understand the concerns of school staff, parents and school councils.
We are happy to make presentations about the legislation, the implications of implementation and offer fundraising alternatives that meet the requirements.

Questions?

Do have any questions about the new legislation, or want to know more about how we can help you and your school community? Contact us at info@thelunchlady.ca and we’d love to help!

New Website Launch!

Welcome to our new website! As they say, out with the old and in with the new!

Our goal is always to provide you with the highest possible level of service and we hope that this new site will allow us to better serve you. We are dedicated to making it as easy as possible for you to connect with us; at home, at school, and on the go! The Lunch Lady was one of Canada’s first hot lunch provider to begin offering online ordering to Canadian schools, and now we want to match that level of performance with a new easy to use website!

For the past few months we have been working on putting the new look together, and we hope you like it. The new website features easy to use navigation tabs, prominent ordering links, and lots of new content to keep you up to date with the Lunch Lady in your community! You will also find links to our new profiles on Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, and Youtube! Follow us to stay up to date on all of the latest Lunch Lady news, products, and services.

While you are here please feel free to take a look around and let us know what you think! We’re constantly looking for ways to improve and we want to hear from you.