As a family with a mixed heritage background, our children have been introduced to diverse flavours from the point of weaning. Angelo went through a fussy phase in the earlier stage of his toddler-hood, but he’s now back on track. He knows what likes and its food full of flavour and he doesn’t mind a little spice. However Angelo is not alone in having a palate for a wide range of foods. In the last twelve years (my time in this country) think British cuisines has taken on a new twist. There is a lot of fusion and creative dishes be whipped up across the country. We are constantly being inspired by the numerous cookery programmes on the tele. I feel this has trickled into the ready meals that can be found in the supermarkets and online for babies and toddlers. So, its only natural that this generation of kids are willing to try new things. As a family we don’t eat out much at the moment. Its challenging enough getting a full meal at home with two active kids, never mind a restaurant, however it has been our experience that family eating establishments we have tried in the past, don’t have a range of healthy food options for children. I understand that it may be a matter of cost, but is it really acceptable for SO MANY of these family eateries to offer children fish fingers and chicken nuggets. Not only is it unimaginative, you only have to taste these selections to know that they are not freshly made. Organix recently made me aware of the Out to Lunch Campaign which they are engaged in, in partnership with the Soil Association.
The Out to Lunch Campaign devised a league table from their findings on the children’s menus of some family restaurants. Here the findings from their research:
- Post horsegate, only one chain could reliably tell parents where their meat comes from
- Almost half of restaurants do not offer vegetables or salad with a majority of their children’s main meals
- Only 1 restaurant offers children’s cutlery as standard
- Jamie’s Italian, Wagamama and Wetherspoon’s ranked highest
- Burger King, KFC and Prezzo have scored the least points on a league table
To view the full league table visit. “The Out to Lunch campaign is calling on all high street restaurants and pubs to:
1. Offer all young diners the choice of a children’s portion of adult meals
2. Serve freshly prepared food, not ready meals
3. Offer free water to families on arrival
4. Offer children’s cutlery as standard
5. Make breastfeeding mums feel welcome
Out to Lunch is asking families to carry out four simple steps to back the campaign:
- To tell restaurants what they think. The Out to Lunch downloadable Campaign Pack includes a review slip to make is easy for families to leave it behind on the table.
- To be vocal and share feedback with family and friends.
- To vote with their feet. If a restaurant is not up to scratch, don’t go back.
- To support by wearing the ‘I support Out to Lunch’ badge on their Facebook and Twitter profiles.
For a more detailed insight into the Out to Lunch league table visit. Restaurants can find out how they size up, and get support and advice on the small steps, and bigger steps, they need to make by downloading the Out to Lunch toolkit.”
If you are affected by the foods served on the children’s menu at family restaurants, this is your chance to have your say.
Please note that this is not a sponsored post. The opinions are my own and the research findings were provided from the Out to Lunch Campaign.