If you're running a daycare, there is a constant pressure to keep costs down. One of the most controllable of the variable costs is the daycare catering cost. Here are some ideas that can help you keep costs down.
Using the slow cooker is a great way to save money, especially when you opt to use cheaper cuts of meat and dried legumes such as chickpeas. Slow cookers can be set up at the start of the day for the lunch meal and can create a cheap and nutritious meal. Slow cooker stews are also soft and easy to chew or process for the younger children who need a softer textured meal. You can also incorporate leftover amounts of vegetables, meats and herbs from other meals.
Frozen and canned vegetables can also be used in stews to ensure that children get an appropriate number of vegetables in their meals. Frozen and canned vegetables can be as affordable off-season and just as nutritious as fresh vegetables, and frozen and canned fruits are a great option for fruits.
Small children often eat more small meals and need substantial snacks. Follow the government nutrition guidelines when preparing meals to ensure that you don't make meals that are too large and result in wastage. There are several online sites which are great for preparing nutritional analysis of mass prepared meals, so that you can offer appropriate amounts of fibre, protein and other macronutrients.
Meals for parents and staff
If you are looking to reduce the unit costs of your daycare meals, you can also increase the volume of meals and revenue of the meals you prepare. In many centres, offering prepared and easy to reheat evening meals is a great way to offer an extra service to your staff and busy working parents, which can also reduce the unit costs of your meals.
Consider meals that could be popular for adults and children and work well reheated, such as vegetable lasagne and chicken curries. Be sure to clearly advertise the ingredients of your recipes and the nutritional content so that people can choose ahead of time if the meal is suitable for their family's needs.
Creating nutritious daycare catering is a good way to attract new staff and parents to your centre. Keeping your catering costs down is a realistic goal if you spend some time researching, planning then preparing tasty meals for your daycare centre. For more tips, consult local experts like Hearty Health.