Baby Food catering idea - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 13 Old 04-23-2009, 11:48 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hello,

Other mommies at my son's preschool are asking me about the food I send for him.
I was thinking on offering a preschool catering and cook lunches for them. (While I cook for my son)
I do all organic, wholesome, and home made for my son.

Some examples are:
Broccoli pasta
Lentils and eggplant
Chicken parley and sweet potatoes

I want to go on the cheap side but making sure I cover my expenses.
How much do you think I should charge? This is for a 12-18 month classroom
I prepare 9oz for my son which I bring on a mini thermos, ready to eat (parents would need to buy the thermos)
I am in South Florida., Jar food from earth best is typically $1.59...6oz.

I can even offer to prepare lunch plus the two snacks for the day. Some snacks are:

Seasonal fruit in small pieces
Cinnamon oatmeal
Cottage cheese/fruit
Sweet potatoes
Whole grain bread sticks


Any ideas?
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#2 of 13 Old 04-23-2009, 01:10 PM
 
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You might look into seeing if you could access any of the Department of Agriculture funding to help set up a program to help with the costs.

If you are really thinking of this, I would hook up with a local organic farmer and partner with them to give you a discount on all seasonal organic fruits and veggies. This will help cut costs. Costco is now carrying alot of organic stuff in our area. They have big cases of organic applesauce for instance.

You might google daycare lunches and food. When I was upset at my daughter's last daycare menu, I googled schools and found many of them posted their food on the web. I saw that some are doing a great job of organic, wholesome food. Others, a terrible job.

I found these by googling "daycare food menu"

http://www.laptoplunches.com/ (lots of info here!)
http://www.adaycare.com/menu.html
http://stepbystepcc.com/menu.html
http://betterdaycarefoodnetwork.org/


You also might look into following the food requirements as set out in the licensing to avoid any future legal problems. For instance, they are required by law to offer milk, so many servings of vegetables, protein, etc if they offer food. Use that as a guide. Regulations: http://day-care-regulations.suite101...re_food_safety

You could bake wholesome veggie quiches or with ham if you and the kids to meat.

Muffins
Boiled eggs (my daughter got these as a snack at her new daycare. I love it over the junk many kids get for snacks!)
Simple steamed veggies
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#3 of 13 Old 04-23-2009, 01:17 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Great points! Thanks.... taking notes.

Now, I was thinking more in the lines to selling directly to moms instead of through the preschool (I guess my title is misleading, sorry about that, I should have said "Baby food catering idea") I just updated it...

My son's preschool offers food, but most mommies send their own because the offered menu has too much white bread and processed meats.

It is a classroom of 6 kids (including mine) a good pilot...What do you think?
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#4 of 13 Old 04-23-2009, 01:57 PM
 
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Yes, I understood that. But something in me was thinking that if you are sort of providing a service, even though not connected to the preschool, that someone might "come after you" for not providing the proper nutritional needs for their child. Even though many schools offer junk as food, as long as the food somehow satisfied a food group, even if it crappy, it's ok.

So even though you are going direct to parents, it would be a selling point to say that you are following the standards for schools and THEN some. This will help them to see that they are getting the right stuff and then some. KWIM?
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#5 of 13 Old 04-23-2009, 02:04 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Gotcha!

What about pricing, how can I get an idea?
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#6 of 13 Old 04-23-2009, 04:56 PM
 
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I hate to bring this up but depending on the laws where you live, you may need to use a commercial kitchen to prepare the food.

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#7 of 13 Old 04-23-2009, 05:07 PM - Thread Starter
 
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That is ok dogmom!
This is the type of feedback I need, I'd better deal with the tough stuff from the get go. Will research.

Keep'em coming!
I am still trying to come up with pricing.... trying to find comparable business.:
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#8 of 13 Old 04-23-2009, 06:58 PM
 
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I think this is an awesome idea!! I would have totally used it when my son was little. I did not enjoy making homemade baby food or toddler food but I wanted my son to have nutritious, wholesome and homemade foods. And FWIW, I know laws vary, but I would not have any problem buying this kind of service if the food was from someone's kitchen. I eat food prepared in non-commercial kitchens all the time, and wouldn't hesitate to give my child food from someone else's clean kitchen.

I'm picturing little tubs of fresh or frozen portions of toddler-friendly foods like soups or stews, cut-up fruits, veggies, all kinds of things. Maybe you could even use little stainless steel or glass containers that the parents could wash and return to you to make it extra eco-friendly and health concious. Little canning jars would be an affordable way to do that, or maybe a restaurant supply store would have a better idea.

I think you are really onto something with this idea. Do you have a name for your business yet?

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#9 of 13 Old 04-23-2009, 07:17 PM
 
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I just thought of something else, too, if you wanted to grow your catering business. I bet there would be a lot of interest in classes on preparing foods for different age groups. You could prepare some fun recipes together, give some nutrition information, and then everyone could taste the food and leave with some handouts on nutrition and recipes. That would be informative plus a fun way for moms to meet each other and connect.

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#10 of 13 Old 04-23-2009, 08:04 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NewMom0208 View Post
That is ok dogmom!
This is the type of feedback I need, I'd better deal with the tough stuff from the get go. Will research.

Keep'em coming!
I am still trying to come up with pricing.... trying to find comparable business.:
Remember to price out liability insurance too

Mama to DS (6/07) h20homebirth.gif, DD (6/09) h20homebirth.gif, and DD (07/12) homebirth.jpg..

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#11 of 13 Old 04-23-2009, 10:36 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I will be preparing the complete business plan, and see how far do I get testing this idea.

I cook with oils and herbs and even meat lovers have tried and love my baby food. Zucchini Tomato pasta.... yumi! Actually I eat the same stuff I cook for my son, i just don't shred/blend mine and I do use some salt on mine. But same menu.

Maybe I can get moms to 'hire' me as their personal cook. That is a different business model and might be easier on the law/regulation/limitation stuff.

I might be willing to pay for a legal consultation on the subject...

I wouldnt be the first one, i am reading how sprouts and other started by cooking for small groups. I know it is hard, but I think it will be worth seeing how far I get.
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#12 of 13 Old 04-24-2009, 02:34 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I can not start from home due to fda regulations...

How about I teach moms how to cook and safely store the baby food meals... less appeal because it lacks the convenience...
Or maybe I can sell my recipe book
Or how about I partner with an existing caterer business? Maybe moms would pay a difference to have their kids eat organic extra nutritious foods through the preschool program?
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#13 of 13 Old 04-24-2009, 03:08 PM - Thread Starter
 
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AMAnda! I didn't realized you had mentioned the classes, it seems I need to start there
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