The cooks who make it have all achieved a NVQ level 2 qualifications in Professional cookery. The lunches meet the Government based food standard as well as nutrient based standards (which are very high). To top it, the menu changes every week, and they have a different menu each season! Could anyone ask for more?!
The parents can decide that morning what the child will have and then hand over the money (2 pounds a meal) to the school that morning when they drop the child—or if you have decided which days, you can indicate that or if you like you can choose for the child to have school lunch the whole week. You are also free to send packed lunches from home. (Which I often do—my children love my cooking)
We’re all given a copy of the menu—so each morning before they leave for school, my children look at the menu( and decide what they will have—mummy’s cooking, hot-dinner or packed lunch option at school. Based on what they say arrangements are made accordingly. Husband of course loves my cooking and I pack lunch for him every single day. My son too prefers my cooking but my daughter wants to have it at school. (I suspect it’s largely because of the desserts they offer—plus she can leave out food and I won’t find out!)
A few days back my daughter (who is soon to be eight, she keeps reminding you) studied the menu intensely. If you look at the menu above, you will know that it takes a while. Then she looks at me and announces “Ma—whatever I want is not there in the menu.”
I am secretly pleased, as it gives me a chance to prove that Mom’s cooking is indeed the best and what even a gourmet menu cannot provide, mom always can.
So I say magnanimously, my chest swelling a bit with pride, “Tell me darling, whatever you want, mummy will make it for you.”
She says “You can’t Mom. You may not know the recipe.”
I say “Of course I can—I can google everything. All the recipes are there.”
“This one isn’t.”
Now curiosity is getting the better of me. “What is it?” I ask eagerly, bent on proving my culinary skills.
“I want a non-vegetable.” she says.
I am a bit surprised as my daughter is a vegetarian.
“Oh—you mean you want non-vegetarian?” I correct her, presuming she had made a mistake.
“No Ma,” she insists “I want a non-vegetable. It means if there is even a trace of vegetable in it, I won’t eat it.”
She totally stumped me there!
There are no non-vegetables in MY menu (You can’t have Maggi and curd rice on a daily basis! Definitely not advisable for growing children.It is completely against my mommy ethics)
And googling for non-vegetable recipes is of no use either!
I tried. :-)
Addendum: After reading some of the comments, hurrying to add this. (Especially because the recipe suggestions are making me hungry and making my mouth water!) Using all my mummy cunningness (Oh and it comes naturally once you have kids) I have made a deal with my daughter. Once she finishes her quota of veggies for the day, she is allowed to eat junk :) It works best ! (Especially when there is no house help, unlike India, and you have to do the washing ,cooking cleaning etc all yourself and you can't afford to make 5 different things)