Waiopehu College

News from the Pehu Kai Crew

The PEHU KAI CREW would like to welcome all our new and returning students to the start of the 2022 school year.

The Pehu Kai Crew are the in-house team that supplies our students lunches under the Free and Healthy Lunch Programme and started operating in February 2021. For our first year we were based in a temporary kitchen in the Wharekai in Te Hau Aroha, however in the last weeks of term 4 we took up residence in our repurposed kitchen in what was the old canteen.

Made up of eight Crew members our team produced over 100,000 meals last year and we have come back ready to do it again for 2022.

We often showcase pictures of our meals and economical tips on Facebook (search for Pehu Kai Crew page) and can try to answer any of your queries on pehukaicrew@gmail.com

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PEHU Café Opens!

Our new Café space is made up of our modern cutting edge kitchen and a student café zone that has transformed the old canteen into a sleek modern café, allowing our students to enjoy hot beverages and snacks, to socialise or study in a fantastic environment. Thanks to the 2021 Student Council it is even equipped with a smart TV for students to enjoy.

From late February coffee and other hot drinks made by some of our barista trained senior students will be available for students to purchase from the coffee hut and enjoy during the morning tea and lunch breaks.

What makes up our Healthy Lunches?

Each school day we provide one healthy main course item served at tutor group plus healthy snacks and fresh fruit are available throughout the day around the school.

Our lunch menus are developed by our kitchen team based on guidelines from the Ministry of Education. In brief this means that our meals need to be a balance of quality protein (lean beef, chicken, fish and dairy products), wholegrains as well as quality vegetables. All meals are created with a minimum of fat, sugar and additives ensuring our lunches are packed with the best ingredients for growing bodies. We are proud to utilise local producers where we can and usually use free-range chicken and eggs.

While we don't cater to individual preferences we had great success in 2021 developing meals that proved popular with our varied teenage audience. Our approach is to provide a variety of dishes to suit differing children's tastes and from differing cultural backgrounds. So, while lunch one day may not appeal to them another day it should be to their tastes. We hope you will encourage your children to experiment with different food and reinforce the importance of healthy food to their future health and wellbeing at home.

What if my Child has a special Dietary Requirement (SDR)?

Amongst your child's registration information we should have received notification of any allergies or food intolerances. If you are unsure this has been passed on or, if from Tuesday 8 February your child hasn't received a separate meal please contact the school office to double check we have the correct information.

The Ministry of Education has provided updated guidelines for what dietary requirements schools need to cater for in the 2022 year.

We will provide meals for:

  • Common Allergies (dairy, egg, tree nuts/ peanuts, sesame, fish, shellfish, kiwifruit, wheat and soy.
  • Common Intolerances. This includes non-Coeliac gluten sensitivity and lactose intolerance.
  • Religious dietary requirements
  • Ethical dietary requirements (Vegan/Vegetarian.)

Should your child have complex/multiple food allergies please email us at pehukaicrew@gmail.com with the concerns and a contact phone number and we will contact you to discuss any options we can offer. While we try to meet most requirements and have strict protocols for our Dietary Requirement students, we are a busy commercial kitchen that does use allergen containing ingredients so there is a small risk of cross contamination.

These lunches will be delivered to the classrooms along with the other lunches. As much as possible we try to ensure that these are similar to the food offered to the rest of the students. Should the snack on the day be suitable for for a student (i.e. a yogurt for a dairy free student) they can come to the main kitchen and we will get an alternative snack.

Your child will recognise their meal by our SDR colour coding. Periodically we will be naming their food individually so we can gain an understanding of the uptake of our lunches from our Special Dietary students. Should we identify that your child doesn't appear to be eating their lunches we will make contact with you to discuss.

Please note: Nuts, seafood and some minor allergens are generally not included in our meals. However, if a meal does contain an allergen we are aware of, the affected student will get a SDR lunch on that day.

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Thank you for taking the time to read through this information and we wish you all the very best for the 2022 school year.

Ngi mihi

Hamish Gregg

Catering Manager