British parents urge restaurant industry to revamp children’s menus

>> New research reveals Brits are fed up with traditional children’s menus and are demanding more food options for their kids.

A poll by restaurant booking platform, Bookatable.co.uk, found that 78% of British parents believe there are a lack of food options offered to their children at restaurants, with the same unhealthy options like chicken nuggets and pizza continuing to appear on most children’s menus.

According to the findings, 59% of British parents said they think the food offered to kids in restaurants is unhealthy, dull and needs to be re-imagined. While over half of parents that took part in the research believe restaurant food for children has improved over the years, many still believe the industry has some way to go tomaking the restaurant experience ‘inclusive’ to children. Instead, two-thirds felt restaurants put all of their focus into creating enticing adultmenus with less effort put into their children’s food offering.

Asked how they thought restaurants could help make their kids bemore adventurous and healthy when dining out, a fifth of respondents said they would like to have more control over portion sizes. 31% claimed that they want chefs to create dedicated children’s tasting menus to encourage them to eat a greater variety of food types, while 21% said they’d like restaurants to provide pictures ofmeals so that kids could choose their own healthy option.

Joe Steele, CEO of Bookatable.co.uk, commented: “Whilst children’s restaurant menus have come a long way over the years and the industry hasmade a great deal of progress, there is stillmore that we can do to innovate and appeal to the family audience. All too often, the usual suspects like chicken nuggets and pizzas pop up on kids’ menus and the more they eat them, themore they are likely to choose what they know instead of trying new healthier foods.”

In response, Bookatable has launched a ‘Culinary Kids Campaign’ in partnership with Marcus Wareing’s latest London restaurant, Tredwell’s, to create a special kids tasting menu aiming to expand the palates of little ones with grown-up flavours.

The Bookatable ‘Culinary Kids campaign’ also has the backing of some of the country’s top chain restaurants including Busaba Eathai and Las Iguanas who are developing their children’s offering.

Laura Ford, marketing manager at Busaba Eathai, said: “We want to encourage young diners to develop their taste buds and try new foods, and as a result are excited to develop our new kids menu focusing on introducing children to the textures, smells and flavours of modern Thai food. To prioritise taste and discovery, we have toned down the spiciness of some of our dishes to accommodate young guests to ensure a delicious dining experience for all the family.”

For more information on family dining, Bookatable has created a section on its website dedicated to family-friendly restaurants and family dining inspiration www.bookatable.co.uk/child-friendly-restaurants.

Why not read of the rest of the September issue of Stir it up right here

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