HAWTHORNE, N.J. — Her then-first grade daughter had been coming home from school cranky and tired when Gabriella Wilday realized that the youngster wasn't eating during the day.
The solution has since grown into No Fuss Lunch, a Hawthorne-based supplier of cage-free turkey meatballs, pumpkin banana bread, quinoa salads and other healthy foods for schoolchildren at reasonable prices.
Wilday's creations are now also making their way to family dinner tables twice a week through her new No Fuss Family program.
With help from her team, Wilday, of Ridgewood, has been serving up organic meals from her Hawthorne kitchen to 39 school districts across four counties since 2012 .
“We’re all about healthy but also delicious,” she said. “We’re hoping to satisfy the pickiest eaters and even kids that suffer from allergies.”
The Ridgewood school district’s lunch program had given Wilday a month-long break from packing lunch before she realized what was wrong with her 6-year-old daughter.
When she brought a bagged lunch to school for her, Wilday saw other parents dropping off Chinese takeout, pizza and deli sandwiches on a table outside of the principal’s office.
“A healthy, nutrient-dense lunch for under $6 a day is a reasonable expectation for lunch vendors,” she said. “But there wasn’t anyone out there doing it.”
Parents log on to the No Fuss Lunch website and order based on menu items or days of the week. They can also call the headquarters for allergy-related accommodations.
Each lunch comes with water, a healthy entree, a vegetable, fruit, dipping sauce and a homemade, gluten-free treat.
Wyckoff resident Liza Fonti, who “cuts corners on everything I can,” finds the No Fuss solution ideal.
“My kids ask for [No Fuss Lunch] every week,” said Fonti, who recommends Wilday’s gluten-free brownies.
Wilday said she is hoping corporations will "step up and help subsidize the costs....There are so many communities that could benefit from the program."
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