Contact us

Delivering festive fare that works for everybody – and all the foods that get eaten- often requires creative thinking.

Otherwise, catering teams risk wasting hours of work preparing a special menu – only to discover that many of their pupils don’t like the traditional Christmas meal. So, how can you deliver a meal with a special seasonal appeal while not dramatically increasing costs and food wastage? We asked Libby Lewis, Catering Manager at Priory School in Slough, to share her approach.

Libby says, “At Priory School, we love Christmas and serve up to 700 meals across four sittings, all on one day! The dining hall gets specially decorated to provide the right festive ambience that goes hand in hand with our specially created Christmas menu.

The challenge

My big challenge is to deliver meals for a diverse pupil cohort aged between three and eleven, who come from dozens of different native cultures, countries, and religions. Every child in the reception and years one and two at our school gets a free school lunch. Once they’ve started eating with us, they’re more likely to stay. This early start helps pupils to enjoy school food more and reduces the tendency to snack throughout the day.

Libby’s solution

When it comes to Christmas dinner, children like the basis of a roast but are a bit fussy when it comes to vegetables. So, we cook only carrots and peas, as they are the kids’ favourite. We omit sprouts, as few children eat them. For the vegetarian option instead of turkey, we bake butternut squash in a pastry with cranberry sauce. And, we also offer vegan pigs in blankets that are suitable for pupils with halal requirements.

Only a few children enjoy the flavour of traditional Christmas pudding. So we have come up with a festive alternative: a cocoa-flavoured cookie dressed up to look like a Christmas pudding. With around 700 to prepare, batches can be prepared two days ahead, easing pressure for those serving Christmas lunch on the day.”

“I have been using Pelican as a one-stop shop solution for a number of years as I can buy all I need to organise successful festive Christmas fair!”

If you need help managing a Christmas lunch, Pelican will support you!

Our team of experts will help you source all the products you need, from turkey to crackers, without paying more than you need. Please get in touch at
We are here to help.

Other Related Resources

Contact us