Healthy menu options for kids - Kids’ Choice
If your business offers healthy kids menu options then we would like to show parents that we support you. Sign up for our free 'Kids' Choice' initiative below, meet our criteria and get Heart Foundation endorsement on your kids' menus.
Kids' Choice is a Heart Foundation initiative that support cafes, restaurants and bars that want to serve healthier food to children. It works by allowing your food service to use our Heart Foundation Kids' Choice branding on your children's menu to highlight the healthier menu options. All we ask is that your recipes meet our criteria for inclusion. There are no costs to your food service for participating in this initiative.
For a complete guide to providing healthier foods for children and gaining Heart Foundation endorsement on your menu, download our chefs' resource Kids' Choice - A chef's guide to catering for children (PDF)
What are some easy first steps?
Firstly, kids have a broad range of likes and dislikes so provide a range of foods that look and taste different.
- Where possible offer adults' meals in smaller portions for children or use foods from the adult menu to create your children's menu
- Be open to the suggestions from parents and allow them to ask for modifications to the dishes offered to meet their children's dietary needs
- Offer fruit and vegetables as the default side dish for meals, less healthy options such as chips can still be offered but make them a separate choice
- Consider reducing the portion size of fries or serve wedges or chunky roast potatoes
- Serve wholegrain breads and pasta and use brown rice instead of white rice
- Eliminate or reduce the amount of fried menu items
- Offer water and low fat milk instead of sugar sweetened beverages
- Grill or bake meats rather than frying them
- If you don't sell many children's meals consider making bulk lots and freezing them in portions. Many simple stews, meat balls and bakes can easily be re-heated without affecting the quality
- Make children's meals bright and colourful
- Offer colourful fruit based desserts.
Why provide healthier options for kids?
The days of chicken nuggets and chips as the mainstay of children's menus at restaurants, bars and cafes are numbered. Catering to children in any food service is important. These are your future customers so it will pay to keep them interested, nourished and eager for more.
Providing interesting healthy meals that appeal to children can be a point of difference for your establishment. The children's menu could be used as a selling point as many parents are becoming more health conscious, and always want the best for their children.