You are what you eat
by Eva Pluskalová
There is no doubt that good quality food is essential for the health of all of us, and young children in particular. As well as nutrition, our general well-being is also strongly affected by our physical activity and positive thinking. In this school we take all these areas extremely seriously. Today, we are going to have a closer look at nutrition.
Since April 2016 the school lunches and snacks have been provided by the local company Frashnack. This company was selected from three candidates by the school, together with parents and children. Frashnack guarantees that high quality ingredients are always used in their meals. It also offers food options for children with various types of food intolerance, which makes the lives of their parents a lot easier. Freshnack is unique in that it does not use white flour, white sugar, margarines, spreadable cheese etc. A local flour mill makes flour especially for Freshnack. This flour is naturally gluten-free and sorghum-based, and it also contains millet, buckwheat, corn and rice flour. White sugar is also replaced by natural non-refined brown sugar. The overall idea and approach is aimed at achieving a healthy high-quality preparation process of food for our children.
However, as time progressed it became apparent that the children were not that excited about the healthy food options. As a result Freshnack started looking into ways to make the children happier with the food without changing their company’s principles. Since the school responds to suggestions from both children and parents, Freshnack and the school decided to monitor the satisfaction with the food through using the push button ‘Happy-or-not’ machine, with the intention to increase the level of satisfaction with the overall quality of the lunches. Four smiley-face buttons are used to evaluate the level of happiness with the quality of the lunch.
So far we have collected a range of data which give us information about the favourite and the least favourite dishes as well as the preferences of various age groups. For example, we now know that on Wednesdays and Fridays the children find the food less tasty than on the other days, or that the most critical eaters arrive at around 12 o’clock.
So far the millet risotto has been the dish with the lowest level of satisfaction, while the second least favourite option was fried celeriac on 30th November, when the satisfaction index went down to 26 per cent. On the other hand, on 29 November 80 per cent of respondents loved the spaghetti Bolognese and the Alascan cod and bulgur bake. The results of this monitoring process are evaluated and reported to the school management by the provider every day. The school keeps a keen eye on the satisfaction index which currently stands at around 63 per cent. The overall results show that satisfaction tends to be lower when the dishes include some types of fish or foods such as bulgur, couscous, millet, buckwheat or oyster mushroom. Based on parents’ suggestions and the results of the push button machine, Freshnack has recently started to include more traditional, rather than healthy, options. However, these traditional dishes have been adapted to provide healthier meals. For example, naturally gluten-free flour is used to thicken sauces and no processed food is used, including pre-cooked potatoes. The Freshnack management have agreed to do their utmost to raise the satisfaction index to 70 per cent. This level can be reached on condition that the dips associated with extremely health-focused options are eliminated and high-satisfaction dishes are served more frequently. This monitoring process of customer satisfaction will carry on during the current term, at the end of which the results will be looked at again. Then they will be used as part of the decision making process in relation to whether the school will continue its cooperation with Freshnack . Parents and children will of course be part of this process. We believe that Freshnack will manage to raise the satisfaction index as agreed because changing the provider capable of delivering high quality food suitable for children would mean higher prices. In terms of the cost, Freshnack is by far the most competitive option, and its management is open to new ideas. Therefore, if you yourself would like to come up with suggestions for healthy meals the children might like, do not hesitate to contact Freshnack at firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to your future cooperation and involvement.
They will gain perfect knowledge of English.
Your child will become a global citizen with wide understanding of local and international topics.
We put a strong emphasis on the development on subject specific skills rather than on acquisition of knowledge.
Emphasis on skills development (not just memorising).
Individual approach; school’s ability to motivate for improvement.
Your child will be excited to come to school.