Jumeirah Hotels & Resorts is launching an innovative new culinary concept this month especially for its littlest diners – FoodieKiDS. The all-new children’s menu is informed by global research, in which more than 5,500 parents of children under 12-years-old, from six different markets, were interviewed about their children’s eating habits. The extensive research took place on three continents, with respondents from the US, UK, Russia, Germany, KSA and UAE.
According to the study, 77% of parents think that hotels around the world need to provide more healthy options on kids’ menus. Meanwhile, 79% of parents said that an attractive, varied and healthy food menu for children would enhance their experience and give them peace of mind that even on holiday, they are making the right choices for their children’s well-being. Parents also said that their children were most likely to eat junk food with low nutritional value while on holiday, with the top three most eaten foods globally for young travellers being pizza – 44%, chicken nuggets – 35% and chips – 32%. Despite the limited options available on many children’s menus, 58% of parents said they still tried to ensure their children ate something nutritious with every meal while on holiday.
With October half term just around the corner, UAE-based parents are preparing to face the proverbial meal-time battle ground yet again as they try to get their children to have a well-balanced diet on holiday. The research showed that 26% of parents admit that their children shy away from trying anything that looks unusual or that they haven’t heard of. Worryingly, 25% of parents say their kids tend to eat much more unhealthily when on vacation, with only 18% saying their children would typically eat vegetables on holiday, and even less – only 6% – saying they would eat a salad. Despite trying to encourage healthy eating, 42% of UAE based parents say they struggle with the fact that unhealthy options are too visible and are usually on display in a restaurant so their children see them and want to eat them. Almost a third of surveyed parents, 30%, say there are a lack of healthy food options available on children's menus, and another 30% say there are very limited food choices for children in restaurants. Interestingly, a third, 33%, say the healthy options never look very appetising and one in four, 25%, say they are not very imaginative.
Commenting on the new FoodieKiDS menu, Jumeirah Group’s Chief Culinary Officer Michael Ellis said: “Everyone enjoys a treat on holiday, but the staples on many children’s’ menus can be repetitive and do not necessarily offer much nutritional value. Parents have told us it can be a challenge to get their children to eat varied and wholesome food when dining out or on holiday so we wanted to support by giving them even more choice in terms of delicious dishes packed with goodness that the kids will love.”
Through the FoodieKiDS menu, Jumeirah has elevated the options available, providing dishes that are both enticing and nutritious for their youngest diners.
“Our talented chefs came up with an imaginative menu with a healthy twist that we know children will want to eat, because some little foodies helped us create it. A group of young diners tasted our healthier options, had fun with our theatre on a plate and told us what they wanted from their menu. Having worked and eaten at some the world’s best restaurants, I’ve seen firsthand how chefs can be creative and innovative with various ingredients to present an appealing dish, which helped to influence the menu. We have been trialing and researching lots of different options and we’ve put our food to the test and scrutiny of our biggest critics: children, and we found that when prepared and presented in a way to appeal to kids, our dishes with more fruits and vegetables, wholemeal options and less salt were a huge hit. At Jumeirah, we like to do things differently when it comes to dining and always strive to meet the ever-evolving needs of our guests so they can live the moment and make the most of their time with us. FoodieKiDS does just that and is something that will not only give parents extra peace of mind, but also make their stay with us even more memorable,” Mr. Ellis added.
The FoodieKiDS menu will be piloted at the group’s flagship family resort, Jumeirah Beach Hotel, before being rolled out across its wider portfolio. In the lead up to the upcoming launch and beyond, Jumeirah Beach Hotel is offering complimentary meals to kids under 16 when staying with their parents at the hotel from 5 October until 31 October 2020 on the Ultimate Staycation package. To learn more, visit: www.jumeirah.com/FoodieKiDS.
Health and safety are Jumeirah’s top priority for everyone who visits, stays, dines or works with Jumeirah Hotels and Resorts. All hotels and restaurants are strictly following the directives of the UAE Government and have extensive preventative measures in place for the safety of all. All guests will have their temperatures checked on arrival, will be required to wear masks when transiting public areas and must strictly adhere to social distancing measures.
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