Sick of making the kids’ lunches? The Lunch Lady to the rescue. Once a week, the Lunch Lady proprietor Jennifer Large will bring your children a hot and nutritious lunch to their classroom.
Parents and students can choose meals from the Lunch Lady menu in advance, either ordering online at www.lunchlady.ca or bringing a form into the school.
The menu offers a wide range of kid-friendly, healthy meals like whole grain chicken fingers, tacos, grilled cheese, meatball subs, whole grain pancakes and whole grain pastas, macaroni with cheese and turkey dogs. All of the ingredients are high quality and meet the provincial nutritional guidelines, said Large.
“Everything we bring into the school is healthy and delicious,” said Large. “Kids really look forward to the Lunch Lady days.” The Lunch Lady also prepares meals for students who have special dietary needs and allergies, something that is difficult for other hot lunch programs to do. “We want everyone to be able to participate.”
Each lunch is made fresh at Lunch Lady’s certified nut free, commercial kitchen and delivered to local schools during the lunch hour.
“We have lunches for children who are Celiac, or gluten-free and for those who have allergies,” she said.
A busy mother of four, Large bought the Lunch Lady business last year as a way to be able to do what she loves but still be home for her kids.
“All my staff are moms. We have 18 kids among us,” she said. “That’s why we all work here. In most cases, my staff deliver the lunches to their children’s school so they get to see their kids then too.”
Large said her own kids look forward to when their mom, the Lunch Lady, comes to bring them lunch. The freshly made smoothies are a huge hit both with her family and most kids, she said.
On a given day, 500 hot lunches are freshly made, packaged, labeled with the child’s name, in her squeaky clean industrial kitchen near the Golden Ears Bridge. From there, they drive the hot lunches to schools all over Langley, Aldergrove, Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows.
Several Langley schools are participating in the program already, including Dorothy Peacock, Fraser Valley School and Langley Montessori. But Large is hoping to expand into more schools in Langley.
“Parents can email me and I can approach the school to set it up. It’s really easy and truly, the kids find it such a treat.”
Kids like being able to choose their lunch orders, with many choosing sushi too, she said. The average lunch cost around $4.50 to $6. The smoothies are only $2.50.
“I had one mom who went into the hospital and said she was so thankful knowing her kids were getting a good lunch when she couldn’t be there to make it,” said Large.
Making sure kids eat healthy and balanced lunches is a goal parents and teachers both share, Large said. Preparing nutritious lunches can be difficult, especially these days, when allergies and special dietary restrictions are more common than not.
“We have it all taken care of for you,” she said.
The Lunch Lady contributes a portion from every entree ordered back to the school, which helps offset the costs of fundraisers and school projects.
For info: www.lunchlady.ca.