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Big ideas for little mouths

A product round-up of all things kiddie friendly, from menus and activity packs to the latest food and drink items

Cater for all diets with chicken and veggie nuggets

Offering meat and non-meat products for children’s menus makes good commercial sense, says Central Foods, which offers two types of nuggets.

Its Golden Valley Chicken Nuggets are made of all breast meat, with absolutely no mechanically recovered chicken, and are also Halal approved.

Offering versatility, as well as being served up as classic nuggets and chips, they’re also great in a pitta or wrap with salad, or alongside a baked potato and salad, or popped inside a posh bun with some slaw and turned into a gourmet burger.

Meanwhile, for those youngsters who are vegetarian or vegan, or who prefer a non-meaty option, KaterVeg! Vegetable Nuggets are ideal. They contain whole vegetable pieces of carrots, sweetcorn, green beans and cauliflower, but no GMOs or hydrogenated fats, and are Halal approved too.

Central Foods 01604 858522

Frozen treats for all year

New Forest Ice Cream has designed a fun impulse range that consists of everything children could want, from flavoured ice lollies through to wrapped ice cream desserts and individual portioned tubs which feature a handy lid-in-spoon design. Here it offers 10 top tips to help chip shops offer a children’s ice cream menu that works all year round.

1.    Serve a premium quality brand that will offer marketing support.

2.    Always ensure you have stock of the most popular flavours; vanilla, strawberry and chocolate as well as a range of wrapped goods for younger children.

3.    Ensure your products and marketing around the range are suited to children – pester power still works!

4.    Look to offer additional income generators – flakes, sauces and toppings

5.    Consider stocking more unusual seasonal varieties – customers will often make a purchase if they are intrigued by something new or more unusual, New Forest Ice Creams Bubble Gum or Toffee Crunch Swirl make delicious all year round alternatives to the standard flavours.

6.    If your establishment has an eat-in option, give customers the option to trade up in size with a variety of sundaes - few will ever go for the smallest!

7.    Have a dedicated dessert menu – it can increase dessert take up by at least 25%.

8.    Promote the brand you serve – menu boards, stickers etc will all drive in the family market.

9.    Ensure your staff are trained in selling, rather than just offering dessert.

10.  Offer meal deals which come complete with a dessert. Different deals for adults and children will often work best.

New Forest Ice Cream 01590 647611

Box it up

Present your children’s meals in packaging they will love with these four themed boxes from Henry Colbeck.

Available in Sea Life, Animal Friends, Treasure Quest and Dino Park designs, the boxes feature a handle making them both practical and appealing to parents and children. Made from 100% recyclable material, the boxes are extremely lightweight, are easily constructible and can also be recycled after use. Each pack contains 250 boxes with a mix of designs in each one.

Henry Colbeck 0191 482 4242

Dare to be different

Offering something a little different from the usual choices can be a great way to extend an outlet’s appeal to children and families, believes Young’s Foodservice which has just the products.

Its Mak ‘n’ Cheese Mini Fishcakes are filled with mackerel, MSC Alaska Pollock and vintage cheddar and, at 20g, make the ideal size for children’s portions. For outlets wanting to put a twist on the traditional fish finger while catering for children with a slightly larger appetite it offers Young’s Chip Shop Jumbo Battered Fish Fingers. Coated in chip shop style batter, they can be deep fried in just six minutes at 180°C.

And, finally, its MSC Omega 3 Fish Fingers, Free From Wheat, Gluten and Milk are ideal for the increasing number of children now suffering from food allergies.

Young’s Foodservice 0800 132 096

Refresh your soft drinks

Including a zero sugar soft drink or water is a great way to make your children’s menu more appealing without having to make huge changes, says T.Quality.

As well as popular favourites such as Coke Zero Sugar and Pepsi Max. T. Quality also offers Perfectly Clear, a range of zero sugar flavoured still and sparkling natural spring water in a sports cap bottle. In addition, another great swap would be to its Simply Fruity, a range of fruit drinks with no artificial colours or flavours and only 2% of a child’s recommended daily amount of sugar per bottle.

T.Quality 08452 505605

Colouring kids can carry home

Craftis has expanded its range of activity bags adding a colour-in fabric version to its already popular paper versions.

Ideal for keeping children amused at the table, each bag contains an A4 fold out Bizzi book, stickers, a colourful selfie photo frame, some googley eyes, a novelty moustache prop and a pack of triangle shaped crayons.

The bags are made from 30% recycled material, are fully recyclable and are available in four designs - Woodland, City, Under the Sea and Knights. They cost 55p each and are supplied in packs of 200 with 50 of each design.

Craftis 01327 358508


Kids mealtime planning is more stressful than finding childcare

A quarter of mums (27%) find planning menus for their children more stressful than finding childcare (24%), according to a new survey.

The research by weighing scales brand Salter Cook also sees 30% of mums admitting to not having enough time to make a meal from scratch and 43% saying they resort to takeaways at least once a week due to running out of mealtime inspiration.

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