No Fuss Lunch - Let's look at a Mom who's making a BIG difference!
We are sure many of you moms have thought about, and have concerns on what your kids eat at school! Here, we feature a Mom who thought about this who actually pioneered No Fuss Lunch, a brilliant program to promote healthy and balanced school lunches! 'No Fuss Lunch' was created 2 years ago after seeing that the lunches in schools were for lack of a better word, junk! Now, what is a No Fuss Lunch?
At No Fuss Lunch, everything is made in a commercial health-inspected kitchen, and delivered just in time for lunch. And most staff are moms with children! Each No Fuss Lunch consists of a wholesome entree, fresh fruits and vegetables, a small treat, anti-bacterial wipe, bottled spring water and a dip!
Gaby Wilday, Founder, started off serving 7 students in 1 school in NJ and gave them fresh and balanced lunches each day. Now, the company serves over 2,000 students DAILY! They have also expanded into a balanced and healthy dinner delivery service called 'No Fuss Family'. They are making a huge difference in the community in proving that "healthy" does not mean "fussy". They have proved that gmo-free, no white sugar/flour, and no high fructose corn syrup can be something kids love to eat and that parents can afford! Did you believe that earlier?!
We had the opportunity to pick Gaby's brain on a variety of areas:
Tell us a little bit about you and your family?
I am a mom of three, 9 year old girl and 7 year old boy girl twins.
What inspired you to start your company No fuss lunch?
My kids actually were my inspiration. When my 1st daughter began 1st grade, I actually was really looking forward to not making school lunches any longer. But, after a month of my daughter eating standard institutional school food, I realized she wasn't eating it, and not getting enough nutrients. I already had a small food business at the time, so I started making lunches again. In Oct. 2012, I began with 7 lunches, and now I currently serve over 2,000 lunches and am in over 37 schools. Bottom line, kids like food that tastes good. My daughter was taking in no nutritional value because she just didn't like it.
Now after three years of doing this, people are finally coming around, and realizing the importance of kids school lunch. After meeting with parents, superintendents, and other school administrators, it is encouraging to see that people are seeing the connection and importance of a child eating a balanced meal, especially at this developmental stage of their lives.
What is no fuss lunch all about? In your opinion, how should we look at the concept of 'healthy' food?
No Fuss Lunch inspires kids to make healthy food choices and tries to influence them about quality foods and nutrition at a young age. It helps them understand what eating healthy food does and engages them to make these choices and ask questions to set a healthy foundation they will hopefully have their whole life. When kids are asking questions, and not doing something just because they are told, it is a very positive step!
What is your goal for the future with this program?
I have two goals: 1) I would like No Fuss Lunch to be served in more institutional providers and major corporations. I would like to make an impact in under-served areas, and have my program enrolled, so that everyone has a chance to get a well balanced meal and insight to healthy and nutritious eating. It would be great if large corporations stepped up to the mark and helped with this, 2) Change has been a vision from the start and I would like to continue to influence that. Regional lunch providers sometimes have short falls and they often look to No Fuss Lunch to mirror what we are doing. I think that is great and I want to continue to influence change with the lunches they serve to students. People are beginning to change menus, question pesticides, ask what organic food is, light sugar, etc. and I want these conversations to keep going.
How can parents of young kids ensure healthy eating habits at home - we would love to hear your tips.
Parents can ensure healthy eating habits at home by trying to go through the pantry and eliminate processed items, anything with high fructose corn syrups, and items with a long list of ingredients. By trying to see what they can swap these items for, and the more they do this, they are serving more wholesome and natural/unprocessed meals. For example: you can swap fresh fruit for fruit roll up. Kids love sweet fresh watermelon and it is much better for them!
Also, parents are sometimes afraid to serve vegetables so they try hiding them into foods. I believe you should showcase them, not hide them. The more you make them familiar with vegetables at a young age, the better off you are in the long run.
What is your favorite go to no fuss lunch recipe?
My favorite No Fuss Lunch recipe is pizza rolls! They are so easy to make, can easily be done at home and is a fun meal to make together and get kids involved. You take whole wheat pizza dough, roll it out like you do with pizza, add homemade tomato basil sauce which I make from scratch, add fresh mozzarella and Romano cheese, garlic powder and roll up and slice into pieces. Bake like pinwheels. Also, you can add fun and healthy ingredients such as spinach, mushrooms, etc.