Wednesday, January 14, 2015

What exactly we want to give to our litle ones?

It is always amazing when we (me and Du) can have daddy´s company (when he is off... it is not easy sometimes), so we thought it would be good to do something different and as the winter weather does not help to outdoor activities we decided take Du to a space created for the children, full of attractions and colors.
Du loved the experience.
This place also has a restaurant for families eat something there, but as I'm not surprised ... the offer is nutritionally poor.

As you can see in the picture there are fries covering nearly all the menu, a really sad situation as a parent that try everyday give the best and nutritious food for her child.

During that day I could remember me that some months ago I wrote an assignment exactly about this: Kids Menus in UK and now I am sharing my conclusions with you.
Just have a look.
During my research I analysed menus from some nursery and kindergarteners, 2 big fast food companies (Pizza Hut and Burger King), Prezzo Restaurant Kids Menu, and some pubs and British style restaurants.
Looking to all these menus there are some things to consider or to conclude:
In what regards pubs and British restaurants;
- It is common sense (at least between chefs – and I am one) that when putting together a menu for kids its content must match with the normal Menu (adult’s one) due to the need to keep costs down
- The dishes presented are almost the same across the country, seems like someone designed a short Kids menu sample and chefs just pick up the dishes that would performer better with their Adult’s menu and it is done. Chicken and fish goujon, sausages and mash or spaghetti bolognhese are examples of that
- Broccoli, carrots and cucumber are winnings vegetables in kids menu. The use of same vegetables makes them boring for kids
- Fries are as well an item so many times seen in kids menus not just here in UK, but also in western world and this item should not be part of a children’s menu due to their massive amount of fat (oil), high glycaemic index and normally served with salt, so high in sodium

Big restaurant companies like Pizza Hut, McDonalds, Burger King and Prezzo are making efforts to change, even if slowly. Clearly, we can see that Nutritionists are being called to the table and helping these companies to make smart and better nutrition choices.
- In Prezzo and Pizza Hut, because they both present an Italian style cuisine, their menus are not so bad or poor for kids. In fact, because Italian cuisine is rich in vegetables (not just broccoli and carrots), pasta dishes, flat bread and, even looking for pizza dishes, they are really simple and smart, the offer is quite good and appropriate for children

When looking to Nurseries and kindergarten’s menus;
- All that I saw were good in terms of nutrition and variety, providing kids an ample amount of products that it is not just good in terms of nutritional sources but also for a more wide palate
-More money is involved better is the Menu. Interesting to see that big companies, and even the ones known as fast food international companies, are putting more effort to improve the nutritional value of kid’s menus.
I do not know if the fact of obesity is a global epidemic that is [pushing governmental authorities to make changes (in terms of law and public campaigns) is pushing these international companies or if they feel parents are looking for something different and healthier that is making big food brands changing with not just in terms of ingredients and combination but also in what regards menu’s design (more colour, with games, etc).

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