Warm Welcome are always on the look out for host families in Birmingham as demand for student homestay increases. Warm Welcome offer homestays to students visiting short-term for study trips or work experience and longer term for those preparing for University. The main market for these services has traditionally been the 18+ age group but as the market has developed, the current trend is for parents of junior students aged 10 – 16 requesting homestay for their children as it’s a great way for them to experience British life and foreign travel whilst immersing them in English to practice and improve their language skills.
Due to the younger age of these students they are not expected to source their own lunch but have it prepared for them by their host. In this article we look at some cost-effective ways to provide varied and nutritious packed lunches for your student guests.
So, what should a packed lunch include?
1 – the Great British sandwich/roll/cob/bap/barm – whatever you want to call it !
There’s a whole host of sandwich combinations that you can provide your student without breaking the bank. You can base your ideas around the ham and cheese combo, obviously for Vegetarian, Vegan or Muslim guests ham is out of the question, but for our non-Muslim, meat-eating guests ham is still considered by many to be the cornerstone of the British sandwich. Other popular choices are egg mayonnaise, egg salad, tuna, chicken with sage and onion stuffing goes down well too, so we are told. You could also add some carrott and cucumber sticks for added variety and nutrition too.
2 – A piece of fruit
An apple, a banana or an orange further enhances the nutritional aspect of your guests packed lunch so try to include one or the other and keep those colds at bay.
3 – A packet of crisps, a chocolate bar or a piece of cake
Not particularly nutritional, we know, but still an excellent component of the packed lunch. Naughty but nice as they say.
4 – A bottle of water
In days gone by a bottle of mineral water was considered a bit of a luxury with a packed lunch and the trend was for flasks to be filled daily with fruit squash but nowadays you can get a multi-pack of 12 x 500ml bottles of water for as little as £1.45 so if your student is here for 3 weeks, you’re covered for under £3.00. Students can refill their bottle throughout the day from the water machines at their school but they should receive a fresh bottle each day from their host.
Please get in touch and share your experiences of providing packed lunches for students. We always welcome ideas from our host community and like to share so feel free to send in those photos!
Founder and Managing Director of Warm Welcome Homestays - Birmingham born and bred, English Language Teacher and long track-record of working with students, homestay hosts and language schools in the UK and overseas, including living and working in Asia for a number of years.