Packed Lunch FAQs
1. What sort of food can I prepare for my child?
You may prepare any foods you wish so long as they meet with the following expectations:
- All ingredients are kosher. This includes breads, spreads, cheeses and sauces.
- There is no meat to be brought onto the School campus.
- There should be no nuts in any of the foods (e.g. Peanut butter).
- Packed lunch should be healthy and balanced.
2. Where will my child eat lunch?
An area is being designated for packed lunch. This will be housed in a semi-permanent marquee for the coming academic year. This will not be located near the Dining Hall. No food may be eaten outside of this area – students may not eat in classrooms, corridors or other spaces. No packed lunches may be eaten in the regular dining hall.
3. How will the School enforce these arrangements?
As outlined previously, the arrangements for packed lunches are contingent on a relationship of trust and respect between the School, parents and students. Staff will be undertaking lunch duties and students who are unable to respect the rules will lose the privilege of bringing in a packed lunch.
4. How will the School ensure food is kosher?
We have been running educational sessions for students and staff to make sure that everyone knows how to keep kosher and will continue promoting kashrut throughout next year. We are asking all parents and students to respect the kosher environment of the school.
5. What about healthy eating? What should a packed lunch contain?
We will continue to promote healthy eating as part of our commitment to ensuring our students have a healthy lifestyle. We are preparing sample menus and ideas for packed lunches.
Packed lunches should include:
- At least one portion of fruit and one portion of vegetables every day.
- Fish or other source of non-dairy protein (e.g. lentils, kidney beans, chickpeas, hummus and falafel) every day.
- Oily fish, such as salmon
- a starchy food such as any type of bread, pasta, rice, couscous, noodles, potatoes or other type of cereals every day.
- Dairy food such as milk, cheese, yoghurt, fromage frais or custard every day.
- Only water, still or sparkling, fruit juice, semi-skimmed or skimmed milk, yoghurt or milk drinks and smoothies.
Packed lunches should not include:
- Snacks such as crisps. Instead, include seeds, vegetables and fruit (with no added salt, sugar or fat). Savoury crackers or breadsticks served with fruit, vegetables or dairy food are also a good choice.
- Confectionery such as chocolate bars, chocolate-coated biscuits and sweets. Cakes and biscuits are allowed but encourage your child to eat these only as part of a balanced meal.
- Meat products are banned at all times.
- Canned drinks, whether carbonated or still.
- Food containing nuts.
6. Will Caterlink pull out because it is no longer viable?
Caterlink will continue to operate and offer an enhanced range of products.
7. I don’t live in an area with kosher food – what should I do?
Thankfully, kosher products are now widely available in many supermarkets. Please use the http://isitkosher.uk/ website to see what products are approved.
8. May my child bring in a sandwich that I bought from a kosher shop?
Yes – this is absolutely fine.
9. May I bring a vegetarian sandwich from the supermarket?
No – the fact that something is suitable for vegetarians does not mean that it is necessarily kosher.
10. Will there be fridges for my child to store food in?
No. This facility will not be available. Parents are advised that packed lunches should not require refrigeration. However, if you wish to ensure your child’s food stays cold, you may wish to explore:
commercial gel packs
water frozen in a rigid, leak proof plastic container
ice cubes in a leak proof container
a frozen juice carton (not a fizzy drink) – freeze the juice carton in the freezer and use the frozen carton (wrapped in kitchen roll to prevent dripping) in the lunch box to keep the other foods cool. The carton will have defrosted by lunchtime.
More information on food safety is available on the Food Standards Agency’s website: www.foodstandards.gov.uk