Restaurant chain Wetherspoons has topped the UK league table for healthy children’s menus.
The popular family pub chain beat 21 other brands to the top, including the similar pub-style restaurant Harvester, French-themed Café Rouge, Italian Zizzi and world food chain Giraffe.
The table was put together by Organix and the Soil Association, which rated some of the UK’s most popular restaurant chains according to things like healthy menu options, dining experience and the quality of food.
Despite not being able to walk too far in any country without bumping into a McDonald’s or Burger King outlet, neither ranked too highly in this league. McDonald’s came in at 11th
for ‘best option for families’, and Burger King last.
Shockingly eight out of the 21 chains had no vegetable or salad options on their children’s menus and only half would even admit whether their food was freshly cooked, or where it was sourced from.
Despite its cheap and cheerful pub image, Wetherspoons was voted the best restaurant for UK sourced food and was commended for serving vegetables with every menu option.
The report said: "It was one of the best we've seen for making healthy eating easy."
It also said that trying to attract children with catchy slogans and popular toys when there were no healthy options to pick from was totally unacceptable. Burger King appears to be the main culprit for this as the only ‘healthy’ option is the bean burger.
Joanna Lewis, head of policy at the Soil Association is concerned by high street restaurants, which don’t seem to be meeting even the most basic standards any family would expect when they spend money eating out. The majority of the most popular chains still offer children the usual chicken nuggets, chips, burgers and beans options.
One in three children are overweight or obese before they even start secondary school, suggesting it is time for big name brands to crack down on unhealthy menus and be more imaginative with their offerings.
Chains like Wetherspoons have a huge influence on what children eat and the new table shows that a handful of restaurant chains are going in the right direction.
If you want to know more about healthy eating for children, you might benefit from speaking with a nutritionist. A nutritionist will put together a healthy, fun meal plan for you and your family to enjoy. Find out more by visiting our Life Stages page.
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