Frequently Asked Questions

Question from Nursery's

Our nursery currently serves individual packed lunches and teas. We have never served family style meals to our children before. What support is available to us during the Little Lunches new nursery on-boarding period to help us do this really successfully?

We will provide an information pack which contains all the information that you need to help you serve the meals swiftly to the children. We are always available to answer your questions.

Our Nursery is looking at whether to employ an in house chef or find an external meal provider. We are not sure which way to go. What are the benefits of using the Little Lunches service compared with employing our own chef / cook.

We take all the stress out of mealtimes for Nursery staff. We do all the hard work planning menus to be yummy, engaging and to meet nutritional requirements for the children. You won’t have to invest in expensive catering equipment or worry about whether you have the space within your setting for a production kitchen. We have a team of chefs so there is contingency for unplanned sickness and holidays which can be tricky to manage when you have a single chef employed within a setting.

Your menu looks lovely but how do we know that the quality is excellent prior to committing to contract with Little Lunches?

The best way to find out how great our meals are is to arrange a free tasting session. We can come to your setting or you can join us at our Café. We also suggest inviting some of your parents as this can be a great way to get them on board with the concept particularly if you are planning to recover some or all of the cost of the meals from them.

We have various children with dietary and cultural requirements in our Nursery. Can Little Lunches cater for this?

We cater for all dietary and cultural requirements in a really inclusive way. We always aim to provide a version of the standard menu dish that looks and feels the same for every child with specific requirements to enjoy. Our procedures ensure there is no cross contamination and all dietary alternatives are separately packed and clearly labelled to make it really easy for Nursery staff to identify at service. We work closely with Nurseries and Parents to understand the specifics needs of all children. If you have any questions, just drop us a message or give us a call.

The Little Lunches menu is far more varied than the range of foods that parents typically send in for their children for packed lunches. How do we know whether the children will enjoy these new foods?

The truth is you don’t know for sure! However, we have seen children transition from packed lunches to a more varied Little Lunches menu very smoothly and we believe that this is because our food is designed to be really engaging and fun as well as yummy and nutritious. The other factor that helps is the family style of dining where children all enjoy the same meals as their friends.

There is a lovely article in our news section from one of our nursery settings about the journey that they have had from packed lunches and teas to Little Lunches meal service. It’s really worth a read.

Where is the food cooked and how is it transported to my nursery setting?

We cook the meals in the Little Lunches kitchen in the South Gyle area of Edinburgh. Meals are packed in gastronorm (catering style) trays and packed tightly in thermoboxes which keep the food lovely and hot until service at lunchtime. Our friendly delivery driver will deliver the thermoboxes to the Nursery kitchen ready for service.

Do we need to heat anything up once it arrives?

All our hot meals arrive piping hot and ready to serve. All you have to do is keep the hot food in the thermoboxes provided until it’s time to serve lunch.

How much does it cost?

Our pricing structure is a unit cost per child per meal and is inclusive of delivery costs. The location of your Nursery setting therefore varies the price a little. Please contact us for more information.

Do we have to order both lunch and afternoon tea?

We are able to provide lunch, afternoon tea or both depending on what your requirements are. The minimum order for hot lunches is x15 portions. This is to ensure that the thermoboxes are sufficiently packed to perform optimally for hot holding during the delivery period.

What Food Safety requirements should I be aware of and what does this mean for me?

As a Nursery already engaged in serving food to children, you will already be familiar with some food safety regulations. Using Little Lunches as your meal provider makes things much simpler form a regulatory perspective. All you have to do is check the temperature of our hot food items before service to ensure they are above 63 degrees celsius. We sometimes ask you to check cold food items to allow us to monitor the performance of our thermoboxes.

What happens to all the serving trays and containers after we have served the children their lunch and tea?

When we deliver your meals, we take away the prior day’s empty trays and boxes and return them to the Little Lunches kitchen. All we ask is that you have cleaned and dried them before handing back to us.

Our in house chef is sick / on annual leave. Can Little Lunches help our Nursery during this challenging period?

We would love to help you with that. Please contact us to find out about our temporary / short term contracts.

When do you deliver?

We deliver the food daily before 12 noon

Questions from Parents

My child has a dietary requirement. Is Little Lunches able to cater for this and how do you approach this?

We cater for all dietary and cultural requirements in a really inclusive way. We always aim to provide a version of the standard menu dish that looks and feels the same for every child with specific requirements to enjoy. We work closely with Nurseries and Parents to understand the specifics of your child’s needs. If you have any questions, just drop us a message or give us a call.

My child is a fussy eater. What happens if they do not eat their Little Lunches meals at Nursery?

We know first-hand how difficult it can be when your child is going through a picky eating phase. The natural parental response is to reduce the range of foods offered to mirror what they are most likely to eat.

The Nursery setting, in amongst peer groups is a really great environment to offer a broader range of foods to unsure or fussy children and the family style of dining can be really useful to encourage good eating habits as children see their friends eating the less familiar foods.

We write our menus with food engagement in mind and we always try to include a little dose of fun in our meals to help with this. If you have any concerns at all about your child’s transition to the Little Lunches menu, we encourage you to speak to your Nursery setting.

What level of consultation and review has been performed on the menu’s to ensure that they are nutritionally balanced and appropriate for early years children?

Our menu follows the Eat Better Start Better principles for early years nutrition. We have recently joined the Early Years Nutritional Partnership and we are working closely with their team of nutritionist’s to achieve our Early Years Caterers Quality Mark Award.

Where can I keep up with the latest menus and news about my little one’s Little Lunches meals at Nursery?

Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter & LinkedIn to keep up to date with menus, news and we even share some recipes and handy tips for home mealtimes too.

I really love the sound of the Little Lunches meal service. How can my children benefit from this?

It’s great to hear that you love the idea of our service! We think you should go and tell your Nursery provider that Little Lunches is something you would love your child to have at their Nursery and ask them to give us a call.

How much will the Little Lunches meal service cost me?

How nurseries choose to manage the cost of the lunch service will be individual to each nursery.  Please contact your nursery to find out how this affects you.

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