Family meal planning and kids’ lunchbox prep is no mean feat for busy parents – and Teuko knows that. The founders, Jessica Gury and Alexandra Gabalda, are two French moms who have the same challenge every week: to pack healthy and delicious food for their little ones.
We caught up with Jessica, co-founder and CEO, to find out more about what Teuko offers to parents all over the world.
Tell us more about Teuko…
Teuko is an online community for parents who regularly pack lunches for their children. Our mission is to help families get easy, healthy, and fun lunchbox ideas, recipes, and tips, all in one place. We also want to help reduce diet-related diseases and obesity – one lunchbox at a time!
How did you come up with the idea?
Teuko started with me and my friend, Alexandra. We’re two French moms based in San Francisco who prepare lunch boxes every day for our kids. We met several times while volunteering at our kids' school, but it was pure coincidence when we met again and found out that we were both trying to pack healthy lunches our children would enjoy.
Almost 3,000 lunches later, and after 10 years working in management of complex tech projects, Alexandra and I found our mission: to bring technology into the daily lunch-packing routine, saving parents time and leaving them inspired and motivated.
“Teuko” is a word invented by my daughter when she started to speak. In her world, it means “cute”, and also expresses satisfaction when learning something or succeeding in a task!
Since so many of us are focused on good nutrition, are there any food products that are off-limits?
We don’t restrict any products. Our community naturally tends to pack simple, fresh, and wholesome ingredients, but it’s OK to see a few manufactured foods here and there because there are many reasons why families pack in different ways. We all have different cuisines, cultures, and backgrounds.
We also live in different places and some families, let's not forget, may be living in a food desert where access to healthy food is limited. The common point is that we're all trying hard to feed our children, for them to have enough energy for a whole day of learning at school and for their activities, and to feed their souls so they can be happy.
Nutritionists are invited to share their recommendations via blog posts. Also, the five food groups are indicated when our users upload their lunchbox ideas, but that's it. And, by the way, we've been demystifying French school lunch menus – did you know that French kids sometimes have donuts or beignets for dessert?!
Teuko is a community created by parents for parents, and as long as our community keeps sharing lunchbox ideas with kindness, empathy, and with the love of food, that's the beauty of it.
What are the major issues that parents come up against when packing lunch for their kids?
No matter your expertise or effort, the same problems present themselves every day. How do you pack a meal that’s healthy and delicious without expending too much time or effort? How do you come up with new ideas when you're starved for inspiration? A huge number of parents must ask these questions every day, since half of the kids in America bring lunch boxes to school.
Parents are looking for ideas, efficiency, and motivation. That's where Teuko – with easy, healthy, and fun lunchbox ideas all in one place – can empower lunch-packing families! We have more than 12,000 lunch ideas for them to enjoy via our Teuko feed. They can browse categories or filter them using our search tool.
It can be a challenge to get kids to eat enough fruit and veg, do you share tips on how parents can get that balance right?
Many parents reached out and shared that their children were picky eaters but using Teuko helped them to introduce new foods and combine more fruits and veggies in their kids' lunches.
An example of the feedback I particularly loved was from Victoria. When she discovered Teuko, she immediately shared it with her daughter in order to show her how much variety and inspiration we can find in other kids’ lunches.
Teuko changed her lunch-packing experience by transforming her daughter’s relationship with food, improving both lunchtimes and dinnertimes in their family, and I think that’s awesome.
What’s next for Teuko?
The plan is to keep on building a better food system and a healthier future for our children. One lunchbox at a time – all around the world!