Having a hard time creating a Hot Lunch Menu!! Help!

Susan - posted on 02/12/2009 ( 7 moms have responded )




I'm currently a cook at a private school and have just about run out of ideas for lunches and snacks. The big problems are (of course) money, and ALLERGIES! Right now I can't use any legumes, beans or peas, pork, berries, nuts or seeds. And cheese can't be used too much... That has been a big one on the cost over-runs. Any ideas you might have for feeding 25 18month-5 year olds would be SO helpful!!



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Coleen - posted on 02/14/2009




Most kids like pancakes and they are cheap. Try adding corn niblets or other chopped or pureed veggies. My kids love the corn ones diped in mild salsa.

Heather - posted on 02/14/2009




You might be able to try tuna noodle casserole, bbq beef sandwiches, swedish meatballs, pigs in a blanket, chicken noodle soup and crackers,.

For snacks, how about veggies and dip, cheese and crackers, animal crackers and juice, apple slices with caramel or fruit dip, popcorn, cereal bars, chex mix, raisins, or muffins.

Hope this helps!

Lora - posted on 02/13/2009




Another favorite


Whole Chicken

Large bagExtra wide egg noodles

3 large cans chicken broth

salt/pepper to taste


Bake or rotiserre the chicken and shred. Boil chicken stock with salt and pepper. Add egg noodles and chicken and cook til noodles are tender.  You can easily modify this recipe to make more.

Lora - posted on 02/13/2009




Susan try this one


We have a family favorite that can be modified for other tastes.


2 pounds ground beef

2 boxes Rice a roni Beef flavor

1 large onion

3 T chooped garlic

2 large can petite diced tomatoes

2 cans diced green chilies

4 beef boullion cubes


Salt/Pepper to taste


In saute pan brown rice as directed on box. In a stock pot brown hamburger and drain grease. Dice onion and add to hamburger along with the garlic, tomatoes, green chilies, beef boullion salt and pepper. Once rice is browned add to stock pot. Add 7-9 cups of water and bring to a boil. Reduce and let cook about 30 minutes. Goes great with bread.

You can use this with any ground meat or flavor of rice. Switch the boullion cubes as well. Hope you enjoy.

Joanne - posted on 02/13/2009




Hiya Susan, the nursery I used to work at had a 4 week meal rota that they used which included mild curry and rice, pasta with (meat/chicken) sauce, noodles with meat/chicken and sauce, roast dinner, stews, also had vegetable bakes and things

Snacks on the rota were toast, pittas, cheese, fruit, crackers, sandwiches with various fillings, crisps, raw veg sticks with dips.

I cant think of any more but hope this hepls you on your quest.

Jo xx

Susan - posted on 02/13/2009




Hi Tia, Yea I've done emails, sent out notes with report cards and even talked to the parents when they pick up their little ones. But even the kids who have life threatening allergies the parents are not interested! Its amazing. They really get their noses out of joint when we go outside and its a bit cold but have NO interest in what the kids eat. Its a bit scary really.

Tia - posted on 02/12/2009




Hello Susan. It does sound as though you're in a bit of a bind. Have you considered asking the Mother's of the Children with allergies to make a short list of their child's favorite foods? That may prove to be helpful because instead of focusing on what you CANNOT use, it would shift focus to what you CAN use..and may help you to piece together a menu that is friendly for more of the children (and hopefully, the school's budget as well).

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