"Les Petits Gourmets"
At ILA, we believe that healthy food is a crucial part of a well-rounded learning environment for
children. That’s why our French chef, Cherif, prepares healthy and nutritious meals from
scratch every day, using fresh ingredients.
Goals of the lunch program :
- Follow appropriate nutritional guidelines set by the USDA
- Provide healthy, fresh, flavorful and inviting meals to the children
- Cook from scratch as much as possible, minimizing processed foods,
refined sugars, salt and fat
- Serve lots of vegetables and fruits
- Whole wheat breads and grains whenever possible (increase fiber
- Limit animal proteins and increase vegetable protein (legumes, etc …)
- Organic ingredients and foods whenever possible
- Expose the children to a wide variety of foods / ingredients to promote
palate development and learning opportunities (food education)
- Repeat foods, especially vegetables, to help children like certain foods. It
takes more than 7 exposures to the same food for children to start liking
them. Adding diversity through small variations such as cooking method,
different dressing or seasoning.
- Finding balance between what children should eat and what they
actually eat from the plate to limit food waste
- Encourage the children to try each food every meal without pushing or
forcing them to eat
- Educate the children about food in general by explaining to them what
they are eating, how it is prepared, produced and grown. This sparks
their curiosity and inspires them to try new foods
The weekly menu will be sent by email and a daily menu will be written on a white board by the
entrance of the school at children’s height. Parents / caregivers are encouraged to read the
menu with their children and start the food conversation, further educating them.
The classes up to pre-K enjoy the lunch in their respective classroom, and K and up in the
upstairs lunch room (subject to changes due to COVID-19 measures being potentially rolled out
in the fall).
Children who are still hungry after their eating their plate can ask for seconds.
Allergies, Intolerances and Dietary restrictions : We are more than happy to accommodate the
allergies and dietary restrictions your child may have. We have worked well with the following :
lactose intolerance, tree nut and peanut allergies, gluten intolerance, egg allergy, shellfish
allergy, as well as no pork / no red meat diet and vegetarian diet.
With this in mind, we cannot guarantee the food purchased is made in facilities that don’t
handle common allergens as well. In addition, the kitchen, lunchroom and classes are not
allergen-free spaces and there still may be cross-contact during preparation or in the classroom
/ lunchroom. Therefore, if there is a high risk of anaphylactic shock it may be safer to not have
your child be part of the lunch program.
Price : $5 per meal, billed monthly through TADS
Sample menu :
Monday : Smoked Salmon on Whole Wheat Toast with Cream Cheese, Broccoli Salad with Homemade Sesame Vinaigrette, Banana Chips, Fresh Pineapple
Tuesday : Organic Pasta with Organic Pesto, Roasted Butternut Squash, Roasted Cashews, Fresh Cantaloupe
Wednesday : Tomato and Capers Salad with Homemade Balsamic Vinaigrette, Lemon Chicken, Jasmine Rice, Yogurt with Raspberry Jam, Clementines
Thursday : Refried Pinto Beans (from dried beans) with Shredded Cheese, Multigrain Tortilla Chips, Homemade Guacamole, Red Plums
Friday : Turkey and Provolone Cheese Sandwiches on Whole Grain Bread, Cucumber Pickles, Fresh Asian Pears, Dried Apricots
Broccoli salad, Steelhead, Green lentils, Yogurt with strawberry jam, Watermelon
Snap peas with homemade lemon vinaigrette, Pasta with tomato sauce, Mixed nuts, Banana with homemade chocolate sauce
From scratch refried kidney beans with shredded cheese, Multigrain tortilla chips, Homemade guacamole, Red and green grapes
Sloppy Joes from scratch (loaded with vegetables) on Hawaiian brioche buns, Brie cheese, Green cantaloupe, Apple chips
Reviews from ILA Parents;
We enrolled our son in the ILA lunch program as we believe in health eating and we appreciate the emphasis the program has on introducing the children to a variety of health and balanced food. We have been especially grateful as our son has a few food allergies and sensitivities, and everyone has been more than accommodating to work on a menu that works for him each week. Even with his food limitations, they are consistently able to still provide him with fresh, well balance meals that has variety. Our son has enjoyed his meals with his friends, and tells me all about all the wonderful food he ate each day when I pick him up! We are excited to continue enrolling him in the lunch program in the following years!
I wouldn't hesitate to join the lunch program again. There are so many compelling reasons, not the least of which, Chloe enjoys it. She is such an open minded eater now, willing to try any new taste and texture (vegetables too!). Additionally, my packed lunched paled in comparison in terms of flavor, nutrition and diversity. Lastly, the cost is nearly the same, or nominally more to have a hot, homemade lunch served to her vs. one that I hastily packed in the morning while getting the kids and myself ready for the work/school day.
We are thankful for the lunch program five days a week. It removes the pressure of having to shop for, pack, and bring lunch for two children every day. The snack program is also great.