Cypad Meal Selection & Register
Meal Selection & Register, transforms the way children, teachers and caters approach school dinners. It joins-up how children select their meals with what school kitchens prepare and links this in an exciting way with teaching and learning for various subjects. Children learn what a nutritious meal looks like and how to choose healthy food; caterers benefit from increased take-up and less binned food. Schools benefit from the additional learning point it offers, as well as consistent messages on good nutrition and health lifestyles across school and catering contracts.
Meal Selection & Register also has other benefits such as improving language, building confidence, supporting diversity and transitions and generating reports to be shared across multiple sites. It is integrated with SIMs and links selecting meals and taking the register electronically in one go. It can be integrated with other in-house and external school management information systems.
Healthy Food Choices and Attendance
At the start of the school day, children use the classroom whiteboard or any other touch screen to pre-select meals, using Meal Selection & Register. Choices are aggregated and fed immediately to the kitchen. Attendance is taken at the same time and fed into SIMS. At lunchtime, children are marked off using Meal Register on a tablet. If a student comes late or goes home sick the information is updated through SIMS.
The Meal Selection App is shown on the whiteboard framed in animated figures or objects capturing many themes. These can include seasons, themed days such as International food day, sports day, or world cup season. Schools can select from the Cypad album or make requests. These can be books or topics being studied in school.
Parents can look at menus both historically and in advance, to monitor what children are eating. Allergen information is included and choices restricted accordingly.
Learning & Teaching
Message boards and scrolling bars carry food facts related to themes, lessons, special events or new menu items as the school and caterer chooses. Colourful food photographs are used so that the children see what the different dishes looks like. They are taken though a variety of screens so that they chose a variety of items and not just bread. Special diets and packed lunches are included involving everyone.
Schools already using the system speak about positives such as supporting transitions. New students widen their vocabulary, speak more in class, and become more confident. Those with English as another language benefit and are supported in adjusting to new foods. In some instances, parents join in so the whole family benefits.
Caterers already using the system say their cooks know how much of each menu item to make as well as portions. They also know which are the children’s favourites and can plan better so less food is wasted. In the past where schools, did not have Meal Selection, cooks would estimate how much of each menu item to prepare and often some children would not get what they wanted as some dishes would run out. Caterers say with the selection data in advance they can plan ahead better. They know what quantities to cook, hold less stock and get feedback when introducing new meals. They save on paper, time: no waiting for lists from classes to get to the kitchen. They save on dead stock, and binning.
Reports for Leaders: Catering, School, DfE/Ofsted
Meal Selection & Register supports the preferred whole school partnership or inclusive approach to healthy food learning & culture. It brings together not just children, parents, teachers, caterers and cooks, in a seamless two-way information flow but also Caterers, Headteachers and Governors.
It covers requirements of the new DfE guidelines on school food, calling for evidence of teaching, catering teams and governors working together, whilst being well informed about compliance with standards, health & safety, take-up of school dinners, related finance. Also called for is evidence of the establishment of a healthy food culture in schools.
For Ofsted, it provides positive evidence of a consistent approach to healthy food learning from dining room and kitchen through to classroom and enrichment activities. Meal Selection & Register also aggregates data, to report across contracts/schools in MATs and multi-kitchen catering: decision makers are well informed for planning and development.
Security, Service, Procurement
The system is fully secure and data protection compliant. Cypad has been developing and operating web-based school catering software for use on touch screen and mobile devices for over 10 years. A complementary web-based desktop provides services for managers and supervisors.
Comprehensive support service is provided with a 24-hour tablet replacement system. Cypad software is used in over 4,000 school kitchens and LAs across the UK. The company has creditable supplier approval status under the OJEU standardised YPO Electronic Kitchen Management procurement framework.
Set-up is easy and can be done in two weeks. This usually involves a phase 1 trial for Cypad to provide training, and set-up in line with client needs and get everyone familiar with the system. This is then followed by a planned rollout across contracts and or classes.