Healthy options

Pubs serving some of the healthiest children’s food: Soil Association

By Nicholas Robinson contact

- Last updated on GMT

Many pubs have made major improvements in their children's food offer
Many pubs have made major improvements in their children's food offer
Pubs offer some of the healthiest children’s meals on the high street, research published by the Soil Association (SA) today (21 October) has shown.

The SA ranked the health of children’s food in 21 of the UK’s most popular high street restaurants, including five major pub chains, some of which were among the highest scoring for healthy children’s food.

Harvester and JD Wetherspoons charted second and fourth healthiest overall respectively, while Beefeater, Brewers Fayre and Hungry Horse ranked eleventh, fourteenth and sixteenth respectively.

The SA’s Out to Lunch Campaign was compiled in conjunction with an army of parents. The first list was published in 2013.

Many still failing

While the majority of the food businesses surveyed by the SA were serving healthy and UK-sourced produce, many were still failing, it claimed.

More than 65% of parents asked didn’t think children’s food in the foodservice sector was good enough.

Pre-mashed potatoes from Holland, fish fingers pre-cooked in Poland, chicken from Thailand, cheese from Australia and chicken products with more than 19 ingredients in them were found in some of the businesses on the list.

Fewer than half of the chains indicated where their food came from, while others were offering free refills on sugary soft drinks, the SA added.

Displaying bad practice

Although some chains were displaying bad practice, 10 served vegetable or salad portions with every meal – up from six in 2013 – and nine chains included information about where their ingredients came from – up from five in 2013.

Rob Percival, from the SA, said: “Adults expect to be offered real food and real choices in restaurants – we think children deserve the same.

“We’ve found some up-market eateries are designing menus [that make] healthy eating for children almost impossible and price is no guarantee of quality – our league table shows lower-cost restaurants are outperforming more expensive chains.”

Meanwhile, Percival highlighted Harvester as one of the chains that had made major improvements to its children’s meal options over the past two years. The Mitchells and Butlers-owned chain had risen three places up the list since 2013.

Rank

Restaurant/pub

Change since 2013

1

Jamie's Italian

0

2

Harvester

+3

3

Giraffe

+10

4

Wetherspoons

-1

5

Wagamama

-3

6

Prezzo

+13

7

Cafe Rouge

0

8

Pizza Express

+7

9

Ask Italian

-3

10

Frankie & Benny's

-2

11

Beefeater

+3

12

Zizzi

+5

13 

Carluccio's

-9

14

Brewers Fayre

+4

15

McDonalds

-4

16

Hungry Horse

-4

17

Nandos

-7

18

Pizza Hut

-2

19

Strada

-10

20

KFC

0

21

Burger King

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