When planning the school, we knew we wanted to have lunch included to make it easier on parents. We also knew that we wanted the food to be healthy and tasty. Tasty is easy, who wants to eat food that doesn’t taste good?
Healthy, what does that mean?
Being parents ourselves, we have spent countless hours making lunch in the morning or the night before and struggling on how to make sure our children get (and eat!) their veggies. I also know that when I eat well, and by well, I mean healthy, I feel better. It’s easier for me to think, I feel sharper, and I have more energy. Shouldn’t we want that for our kids? I can also see what happens to my kids when they have a bag of M&Ms or when we travel and eat out for a week, how our behavior changes.
Therefore, it was easy to decide that the food that would be served at the Academy would be held to the same standard as the food that I feed my family: organic food for the Dirty Dozen, food that is responsibly farmed, humanely raised, meats from animals that have not been treated with antibiotics or hormones, and cooking that does not add preservatives or artificial colors.
How do you implement a school lunch program that meets the “healthy” criteria and that’s tasty?
We were lucky to find a caterer that does school lunches whose philosophy mirrors ours. Lokl Gourmet, a local caterer referred to us by a parent, believes in knowing your food, which is a great way to describe a philosophy around food. After meeting the owners and learning about their program, they added a criteria that we had not thought about - locally sourced where possible. Then, we were presented with a sample menu. What can I say? It was exactly what we had been looking for and even more. The selection and variety is better than what we could have imagined.
The final step in the process was the taste test. The kids who were in town last weekend got together for a social at Gadsby’s Tavern. At this event, the team from Lokl Gourmet brought some samples for kids to try. The result? An overwhelming success. They liked the food!
We are thrilled to have found a partner in our school lunch program that shares our philosophy and is able to provide the type of school lunch that rivals (and surpasses!) mom’s healthy dinners. I’m going to have to step up my dinner game.
There will be a two week hiatus on the Teaching Tuesday. We will return on August 18.