CATERING TO THE KIDS Sana Catering Marbella
Whether we are parents or not the health of the next generation is something we are all concerned with. Healthy eating is something that is thankfully becoming a mainstream necessity and it is paramount that children are educated on nutrition. It is still, however, somewhat of an issue that children are becoming obese and are uninformed, even unconcerned, about how to eat well, exercise and maintain a healthy lifestyle.
When the children are in school the decision of what they eat is ultimately out of the hands of the parents and so it is a definite disappointment when you hear them complain that the food is not good or there were zero vegetables or fruit present in their meal. Wouldn’t it be great to have the kids come home raving about what a great and healthy lunch they had? Well, perhaps that isn't such a pipe dream, here in the Malaga area, now that a local business has branched out into catering for schools…
Sana Catering Marbella have been running a successful private catering business here on the Costa Del Sol for the past ten years. Director, Toni Foran - mother of two, felt that the local schools could benefit from their experience in catering for large parties, providing healthy, nutritious and locally sourced food.
“In our experience of catering for children we understand that they can be picky eaters, we have learned a lot about the likes and dislikes of food across all age groups and backgrounds. It is so important for us as a catering business to keep pushing ourselves to come up with new, fresh, attractive looking dishes that children will want to eat whilst remaining healthy and nutritious” says Toni.
The whole team agreed that what children eat in their early stages of development and into young adulthood shapes brain development, metabolism and overall health. Seeing that urgency towards this was lacking in schools in the area they set about creating ‘Sana Catering - Schools’ dedicated to offering a varied daily menu to suit all, including a daily vegetarian option and salad bar as standard. They hope to raise the bar in school dinners and steer away from children being fed heavy, fried foods and more towards fruits, vegetables and assisting in them achieving the necessary vitamins and minerals required per day.
Their passion for food, extensive network of suppliers and existing infrastructure was already in place enabling the operation to begin immediately with Svenska Skolan (Swedish School), Marbella who employed them as their in-house catering service last year. This was such a success that this September Aloha College followed suit and the children, and parents, are comforted in the knowledge that they are receiving a heathy, balanced, tasty meal each day.
“We believe that nutritional intake is vital for children to be functional in their learning at an optimal level. We also understand that healthy eating patterns built during childhood serve as a foundation for life.” says Executive Chef, David Farber, “we also know that it is difficult to find food to suit all kids’ tastes, so we aim to please”.
Another important factor of the Sana Catering ethos is that they have a strong sense of community and resources surrounding them, having built up long term relationships with local suppliers their food is reliably fresh and delivered daily, which means their standards are high, plus they support the local businesses helping to grow local economy.
Everything provided to the schools is made from scratch and full recipes and nutritional breakdowns are available on request, they always aim to keep nutrition high and salt and sugar is kept as a minimum opting instead for locally grown herbs and spices for flavour and seasoning. They are also highly aware of varying needs, intolerances and allergies and have had years of experience in catering for all dietary requirements. On this note they aim to provide a gluten-free meal for all children as standard each day so that, firstly, those who are intolerant will not feel singled out by having to opt for the alternative to the main meal, and also because a gluten free diet does actually offer a variety of benefits such as promoting digestive health, increasing energy levels and improving cholesterol levels. Such a diet has also been shown to help with behavioural patterns in autistic children. They also have strict policies on recycling and waste being fiercely environmentally conscious.
“Cooking is a vital life skill. Knowing how to cook from scratch empowers people to appreciate the value of food, to understand what they are putting in their bodies and, therefore, to nourish themselves with fresh, nutritious food. We want to inspire real, meaningful, positive change in the way our children access, consume and understand food. We hope to invite classes of children to the main kitchen at the school or our central kitchen where they could work with our chefs to see first hand the process from start to finish. How food is made from natural ingredients, the process of preparing and cooking food, to the finished plate. We believe it would be beneficial for them to learn about this process in a fun and innovative way”, says David.
They have also proposed ideas to the schools such as ‘International Day’ whereby the children and teachers decorate the food hall and wear themed dress inspired by different countries. Sana Catering would provide food native to the different nations in question. Another fun and innovative way for children to be inspired by food whilst learning.
It is clear from this that catering for schools for Sana Catering isn't just about business, it is about food and nutrition, the health of the children, education, the environment, supporting local businesses and community, and providing a service to local people that they can be proud of.
“Sana Catering has my recommendation as catering company of choice for school lunches. They deliver tasty, home cooked meals with a high nutritious value.
Their staff is friendly, professional and flexible. They are locally based ensuring freshness of the meals and someone on hand to deal with any problems.
Sana Catering comply with local regulations regarding school lunches and are also sympathetic to intolerances and allergies.
Isabel Miriam Lagrillière
CEO Swedish School of Marbella.
“We've been working with Sana Catering for a term. We are a demanding and special client, mainly due to the diversity of cultures represented by our almost 900 students from 3 to 18 years old.
The offer of Sana Catering is being very well received by the students. The taste of their dishes is special and there is a great dedication in the preparation and quality in the raw material.
We hope to continue working together for a long time to come.”
Business Manager, Aloha College.