Lunch Programs

Child EatingKidssentials—The Catering Service for Kids®— has developed lunch programs that are simple to run, require little from the school administration and at the same time meet the needs of students, parents and staff. Whether offered as a full services or a fundraiser, everyone wins with the quality of a Kidssentials program.

There are a lot of reasons why parents order food through their school. The main reason is that “it’s easy”. Kids are tired of cold sandwiches and thermos-filled food doesn’t always go over well. Having the option of ordering hot, nutritious food ready for their child at the school, means no more negotiating with their child. Let’s face it, we’re all busy. This saves time so why not?

“Thank you so much. I now have two daughters taking advantage of your terrific program in two different schools. Well done on what you are doing. Nutritious and healthy choices are truly a gift to us ‘what do we pack this week’ parents!”

S. Drew, Mississauga Parent

Introducing Nutritious Delicious Day™

Oranges

Our signature program, offers the foods children recognize and want to eat, ensuring excellent nutritional content and satisfying portion sizes. Recognizing the diversity within schools, cultures and lifestyles, we are able to customize each program to meet and exceed the wishes of the schools we service.

In most schools today, students have only 20 minutes to eat. So, it’s really important that the lunch program in your school be quick and efficient.

KEEPING IT SIMPLE!

From our providing the morning announcements, processing the incoming orders, fielding parent questions, and distribution of the food, we believe that simple is best!

Kidssentials & the Ontario Ministry’s ‘School Food & Beverage Policy’

Feeding children healthy food is not a new concept for Kidssentials; from day one, we have been pleased to provide healthy food options that children want and enjoy, parents approve of, and schools are proud to offer.

The Ontario Ministry’s policy ‘PPM 150 – School Food and Beverage Policy’,which took effect September 1, 2011, was implemented to ensure that all children in publicly funded schools in Ontario are offered healthy food options. This policy outlines nutritional standards which allows for a great variety of entrées, beverages and snacks to be sold.

The introduction of this new policy only reinforces, for us, what we have believed and practiced for years: healthy food makes healthy kids. In schools, we at Kidssentials, promote healthy lifestyles and healthy choices by ensuring that healthy, fresh food options are available to students through our catered lunch program.

Full Service Program—Who uses it and why

Each schools needs, wishes and goals are different. Some schools feel that having their pizza day is sufficient as their fundraiser but would still like to have more food options offered in their school. Other schools have us manage their lunch programs so that they can focus on different priorities. Increasingly, schools are finding themselves ‘tapped out’ where volunteers are concerned, and prefer to have us run the program as a full service with Kidssentials doing all of the work.

At Kidssentials, we are able to handle all aspects of each lunch program and have them run seamlessly and invisibly within the normal day-to-day school processes.

“I have worked with Kidssentials at two schools... Having Kidssentials take over the food provided and sold in the school eliminates the ongoing stress of struggling for healthy food options and the time and the organization needed to provide these programs...”

School Administrator, Toronto Public School

Fundraising

Schools using our lunch program as a fundraiser, have found that with each consecutive year the program has been in place, the number of orders increases and consequently each year, the financial return increases. What they have been able to contribute to the school out of the funds they have earned, has been amazing!

“The money this program has allowed us to raise has helped us purchase numeracy and literacy supplies, new computers, healthy living/active living supplies as well as unique arts experiences that are well outside of the normal school budget.”

Halton Public School

Volunteers

“We are a fairly large school with over 700 children. Most parents in our community work full time making volunteer time at a premium. Kidssentials has taken the work away from us, from the money counting and order totalling to organizing the food distribution and clean-up. This has allowed us to run a special lunch every week without taxing our volunteer base.”

Parent Council Chair, Halton Public School

We are often asked “are parent volunteers required?”

The answer - “no”.

Not every school has volunteers to run yet another program. Having served on a few parent councils ourselves we know there are a number of key points that schools find challenging when introducing a new program. That’s why we have made it so easy.

While it is helpful to have someone there on the day of the lunch who knows the layout of the school and the “who’s who” in your school, it is not a requirement.

KEEPING IT SIMPLE!

Kidssentials Menus

Spending money on food that is not eaten is a waste! To be sure children are eating their meals, it is really important that the food the children receive be food they recognize; that it be appealing in smell and texture so that they want to eat it and that it be delicious and nutritious.

Prepared in our peanut-free, health-certified commercial kitchens, Kidssentials’ menus have been designed to keep children healthy. We provide food kids love, while meeting and exceeding the requirements of the Canada’s Food Guide to Healthy Eating, Bill 8 “ Healthy Foods for Healthy Schools Act and the ‘PPM 150 – School Food and Beverage Policy’.”.

Pricing

– If your child attends a Kidssentials School, you can view your school’s menu by logging in or creating your family account [‘Place Your Order’]. We cater to each school on different dates, so to avoid any confusion, the menu is available through your individual account only. Please contact Kidssentials should you require any assistance creating an account. For a school that would like to implement our lunch program, please contact us to discuss menu options.

First to offer entrée size salads and wraps in elementary schools, our menu includes over 30 different child and adult approved hot and cold, nutritious and delicious entrées.

Many parents and administrators scoffed at the idea that young children would order salads and wraps. Kidssentials offering the opportunity for children to make a choice surprised these skeptics when it was reported that up to 60% of the school population ordering meals were picking these healthy green options.

Variety of healthy foods

We customize each menu to meet each community’s needs. On each date a group of entrees selected from our menu are offered from which you and your child can choose. Tracking what is ordered each term, we are able to then schedule the meals offered in the next term according to popularity.

“Having hot nutritious lunches delivered weekly to our school has been an exciting event for both the kids and their parents. At one of our Parent Council meetings, several parents stepped forward to say how happy they were with the weekly Hot Lunches. As one parent mentioned, it is good to know her children are eating a well-balanced hot meal and it is a day off from them having to provide yet another brown bag lunch...”

Parent Council Chair, Peel Catholic School

Entrées, Healthy Snacks, and our Allergen-Free options

Menu items are individually priced, so that you can order the perfect meal combination that your child will enjoy.

Entrées – Each Kidssentials entrée is well portioned and reasonably priced. We offer a wide variety of meat and vegetarian options - including chicken nuggets, burgers, pastas, rice based dishes, burritos, omelets, stews, chilis, wraps, and salads - to name but a few. Kidssentials also has a number of Halal options available.

Allergen Free options – Childhood food allergies are on the rise; to meet the needs of this special group, we offer an allergen free item on each lunch date (gluten, egg, soy, dairy, seafood and sesame free). For those students with Diabetes, Kidssentials provides the net carb count beside each entrée description.

Healthy Snacks

Child EatingAvailable as a side option, our ‘Healthy Snacks’ may include your choice of fresh cut veggies & dip, in season fresh cut fruit, yogurt, Welch’s fruit snacks, and Kidssentials’ fresh baked cookies.

Beverages offered may include chocolate milk, 100% pure juice, and spring water. Contact us to get a sample menu and complete list of our offerings.

Keeping it Simple!


How to Order and Payment Options

Kidssentials meals are offered by pre-order only. Ordering is available through a couple of different methods: Our online paperless system or with paper forms.

As we all move deeper into the technological age, some of us are equipped and comfortable with ordering products online and some of us need to be dragged into it kicking and screaming. Our online ordering system is easy to use and secure. So secure in fact, that we don’t even store or know your credit card number - that’s between you and the processing company. From our login screen to the finalizing of your order, we will provide you with easy-to-follow steps to guide you through the process. You have the option of paying by credit card, mailing us a cheque, or sending an email money transfer.

Just follow the steps or call Kidssentials for assistance.

While our goal is to work with schools to become ‘paperless’, using paper is unavoidable in some schools. Where needed, a form may be sent home once a term to cover the meals offered in that term. Some schools prefer that the parents print the order form off the Kidssentials or school website and then send it in. Payment options are also flexible; Parents are able to pay by monthly post-dated cheques, or pay for the whole term at one time.


Late Orders

If parents have missed the due date, not to worry; with two days’ notice, parents can either go online and place an order, or call/email us directly.


The Bottom line:

Our program is very flexible and customized to each school’s needs. If parents miss the due date, all they need to do is contact us. We are always pleased to assist them.


Eco-Friendly Initiatives – Food Packaging

Over the years, many packaging suppliers and manufacturers have approached us with alternatives to traditional single-serve food packaging. While all would claim that theirs was the best, we wanted to be sure that any new packaging we chose to use would in fact be compostable and manufactured using responsibly sourced materials and processes.

Many products were introduced to us and labeled ‘compostable’, but when evaluating the product content and manufacturing processes of these packaging options, we found that many of them just didn’t make sense.

For example, packaging made from corn: We didn’t like the idea of having something meant to feed humans and animals being rerouted to manufacture a packaging product. Just as importantly, corn is a very demanding crop stripping all the nutrients out of the soil which takes about 5 years to replenish.

While the term ‘compostable’ is widely and loosely used on a variety of products to make them more marketable (let’s face it, we all like better options), regulators such as the EPA recommend that the term ‘compostable’ not be used unless the product is currently composted in a significant amount, in the area where it is sold. This makes sense to us.

Fortunately, schools in many of the municipalities in and around the GTA, which support organic composting, have Green Bin programs in place. This allows us to now use packaging in those schools, which is helping to decrease our eco footprint.

We are very pleased to have found a line of food packaging which is manufactured using bagasse, a sugar cane fibre, which is all natural. This fibre is pressed into shape, containing no nutritional nutrients, chemicals or dyes - This product is amazing and safe.

Also cool: The cutlery we use is made from 100% birch wood, harvested from renewable forest sources. This is the same wood used in tongue depressors, popsicle sticks, and coffee stir sticks.

So now, in a growing number of our schools, the food containers our fresh-served foods are served in, and the cutlery your children are using, go right into the green bins.

While recycling is great, compostable is fantastic! This is a big step in reducing our eco footprint.



Please feel free to contact us

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Kidssentials Cancellation Policy

We understand that unexpected situations may arise, your child may be ill, a field trip may have been scheduled after you placed your order. Our flexible cancellation policy allows for these little surprises. Should you need to cancel your child’s meal please contact Kidssentials any day or time prior to 8 a.m. on the day of the meal and a CREDIT will be issued towards a future date.