The competition was run by London’s ethical food magazine, The Jellied Eel , together with the Ethical Eats caterers’ network , and saw almost 30 of London’s eateries offering kids’ meals shortlisted . The competition ran from mid-October to mid-November 2012, with those voted in the top ten by the public going to a panel of judges.
The Streatham pub impressed the judging panel – Malcolm Clark from the Children’s Food Campaign , Jellied Eel editor Ben Reynolds, and Kelly Parsons from Ethical Eats – for serving imaginative kids’ food. It features lots of fruit and veg, seasonal ingredients from local suppliers, less salt, and bread made from scratch.
Owner of the Manor Arms , Richard Coltart, said:
‘We’re thrilled to have received this accolade and recognition as offering the best kids meals in the capital. We believe that every pub should aim to be a real hub for all those who live and work around it, including children, who are so often overlooked in our industry. I have children myself, so know what’s needed to make eating out a great experience, but we are always trying to be better. Participating in the competition has made us think even harder about what we are offering.’
Runner-up in the competition was Rainforest Café , in Piccadilly Circus, for a well-communicated menu, emphasising organic produce, and having plenty of veggie options. It was also commended for healthier dessert options like fruit salad. Most other shortlisted menus offered only ice cream.
Kelly Parsons, of catering network Ethical Eats, commented:
‘The Manor Arms and Rainforest Café stood out from the shortlist, but it was great to see good practice from other entrants too. We particularly liked Brasserie Blanc’s three-part kids menu, for babies, under eights and over eights, with over eights encouraged to pick half-adult portions. Few other restaurants recognise that not all children want to eat the same things, and the half-portions are a good way to break away from the ‘breaded and deep fried’ usual suspects.’
Jellied Eel editor, Ben Reynolds, added:
‘We’ve found some worthy winners, but we still feel London’s restaurants could be doing more to make fruit and veg, and healthier options more prominent on kids menus. Chain restaurants are starting to improve labelling under the government’s Responsibility Deal, so our independent eateries shouldn’t fall behind.’
Malcolm Clarke of the Children’s Food Campaign said:
‘Eating out is a fun treat for children, but it doesn’t have to be an unhealthy one. It’s the little things that restaurants can easily do to help parents which can really make a difference; like including side portions of vegetables as standard, ensuring that fruit-based desserts and natural, no-sugar-added drinks are clearly-labelled options, and minimising the fried products on offer. We’d like to see more restaurants follow the good example of our winners, by putting good value nutritious children’s meals at the heart of their business and going that extra mile to show that healthier choices can be fun and tasty too.’
You can read the full article on the winners in the latest Jellied Eel
For more information contact Ben Reynolds – email@example.com or 0203 5596 777.
1. The Jellied Eel
The Jellied Eel is a free quarterly London magazine about ethical eating, with a readership of 50,000. It is produced by BIG Media and London Food Link, part of the charity Sustain: the alliance for better food and farming and distributed via 170 outlets across London. The Jellied Eel was a finalist in the Guild of Food Writers 2012 awards, best magazine category.
www.jelliedeel.org Twitter @jelliedeelmag.
2. Ethical Eats
Ethical Eats is a network for restaurants and caterers across the capital interested in sustainability. It is run by the charity Sustain: the alliance for better food and farming.
www.ethicaleats.org Twitter @ethicaleats.
3. The Kids’ Meal Competition finalists included:
All Star Lanes, ASK Italian, Belgo, Brasserie Blanc, Bumpkin, Byron, Café Rouge, Carluccio's, Coffee and Crayons, Frankie and Benny’s, Frizzante, Hard Rock Café, Jamie’s Italian, Le Café Anglais, Monkey Nuts, Pizza Express, Planet Hollywood, Rainforest Café, Sam’s Brasserie, Smollensky’s, Sophie’s Steakhouse, Sticky Fingers, The Manor Arms, The Rosendale, The Sun, The Yacht, Wagamama, and Woody’s.
4. The Children’s Food Campaign aims to improve young people’s health and well-being through better food – and food teaching – in schools and by protecting children from junk food marketing. It is supported by over 150 national organisations and co-ordinated by Sustain: the alliance for better food and farming
www.childrensfood.org.uk Twitter @childrensfood
5. The Manor Arms is at 13 Mitcham Lane, Streatham, London, SW16 6LQ. www.themanorarms.com
6. The Rainforest Café is at 20 Shaftesbury Ave, London, W1D 7EU. www.therainforestcafe.co.uk
Sustain annual conference - 8 December
Published 6 Feb 2013
Ethical Eats: Ethical Eats ran a network of London restaurants and catering businesses that care about sustainability.