School lunches are a hot topic across the world: from British celebrity chef Jamie Oliver's Feed Me Better campaign, to Two Angry Moms trying to improve school lunches in the US. Both are aiming to get junk food out, and bring whole foods in.
The situation is slightly different in The Netherlands, where children traditionally went home for lunch, and school cafeterias are an anomaly. These days, however, more and more Dutch children are Ôstaying over' for lunch at school. Soda and chips are gaining ground, and childhood obesity is on the rise.
Two entrepreneurs came up with their own solution to the lunch problem: Lunch4Kids. Packaged like a McDonald's Happy Meal, each lunchbox contains sandwiches, a drink (milk or juice), a piece of fruit and a snack (yoghurt, a cookie, a baby cucumber, etc).
Parents order online, specifying which foods their youngsters will leave untouched, and anything they're allergic to. The lunchboxes are delivered to participating schools every morning, and invoices are sent directly to parents. This keeps things simple for schools: nothing to administrate or refrigerate.
Besides the obvious advantages of balanced meals and healthy variety, there's also a high convenience aspect to Lunch4Kids. Parents don't have to worry about what to pack, or panic if they've run out of fresh bread or juice boxes. According to parents who participated in the trial-run, this alleviates morning stress and makes breakfast a time to enjoy with their families.
Lunch4Kids was soft-launched at five primary schools over the past few months, and parents and schools aren't the only ones that like the concept. Large food brands, including Unilever and Danone, are itching to get in on the action. We can't blame them - this business idea incorporates some of the biggest and enduring trends around, from an obsession with health and craving convenience, to the power of design and customization/personalisation. Some yummie opportunities here!
We live in a world where technological innovation and global competition are increasing at a pace never before seen. Now is the time to invest in our children to make sure they are prepared to succeed
As parents, we all want our children to grow up to be responsible citizens and good people. We want them to learn to feel, think and act with respect for themselves and for other people. We want them
American children must be ready to learn from the first day of school, and of course, preparing children for school is a historic responsibility of parents. Test. It"s a loaded word. Important, someth