Here we will answer many of the most common questions that we receive from parents and schools. Should you have a query that we haven't listed here, please don't hesitate to contact us using the enquiry form.
Q. Who decides what’s on the menu?
A. Before adding to our menus, our recipes are trialed in schools and taste tested by our key customers, the children. We appreciate how diverse our city is, with over 300 languages spoken in London schools. To ensure that the menus meet the cultural and taste requirements of our customers, we work hard to create menus that are new but reassuringly familiar.
Q. We eat healthily at home and I want my child to eat a healthy school meal.
A. We are very passionate about the service that we deliver, we firmly believe that school meals are the healthy option. We work hard to develop nutritionally balanced recipes and menus that we know children will enjoy. Research has also found that healthier food and drink options are chosen by more children eating a school meal than those bringing a packed lunch to school.
Q. Are salads and fresh fruit available?
A. We offer salad and vegetables with all meals, and fruit as a second course option. Our salad bar also offers children a wealth of seasonal fruits and vegetables, for children to help themselves to as much they like.
Q. Can we just try school meals to see if my child likes them?
A. In most schools the head teacher will allow their pupils to have a trial period at school meals, but this is really down to the schools own policy.
Q. What legislation applies to school meals?
A. Food-based standards that were introduced January 2015 govern the food and drinks that can be served at lunch time.
Q. Where is the food made?
A. All meals are freshly prepared every day in school kitchens, using good quality ingredients by trained staff.
Q. My child is a fussy eater and I am concerned that he/she won't eat anything.
A. As you would expect we have a lot of experience feeding children and whilst we employ a little gentle persuasion, children are never made to eat anything they do not like.
Q. Can I ask to speak to the Catering Manager?
A. Yes you can, we welcome the chance to hear what you have to say! Talking directly to the Catering Manager will ensure that we receive positive feedback and areas for improvement can be easily highlighted.
Q. Does anyone check on what is being served?
A. All Waltham Forest Catering staff undertake as a minimum NVQ level 1 Food Foundation qualification. Every school is also supported by an Area Manager who carries out regular monitoring and spot checks. Of course as well, our customers, are very savvy at checking to make sure the food is spot on!