Jamie's Italian tops menu child-friendliness league table

Jamie's Italian tops menu child-friendliness league table

Jamie's Italian, Wagamama and Wetherspoons have topped a league table that looks at the child-friendliness of menus at chain restaurants and pubs.

The Out to Lunch survey by the Soil Association and Organix examined the food offers available for children at 21 high-street brands, and scored them a number of criteria including healthiness and sourcing.

However its findings led the two organisations to call for more to be done to improve the eating out experience for children. These results include 12 out of 21 of the children's menus being found to be dominated by nuggets, burgers and sausagaes.

Eight out of 21 chains don't include vegetables or salad in the majority of their children's main meals, while 10 don't include a portion of fruit in their children's puddings.

Just 11 out of 21 chains were willing to say if their food was freshly cooked and where it comes from. Of the 11, four were making and cooking the majority of their children's food in the kitchen: Jamie's Italian, Wagamama, Carluccios and Café Rouge.

In the wake of the horsemeat scandal, only Jamie's Italian could reliably tell parents where its meat came from, and only one offers children's cutlery as standard.

Jamie's Italian, Wagamama and Wetherspoon's came out on top of the league table, while Burger King, KFC and Prezzo scored the least points. Although average meal price varied from restaurant to restaurant, this did not determine where chains came in the rankings.

Joanna Lewis, head of policy at the Soil Association, commented: "Our investigation reveals that most high-street restaurants are not even meeting the most basic standards families should expect when they eat out.

"Restaurants need to raise the bar and listen to parents who are saying they want fresh food not ready meals for their children, and the same kind of variety you'd expect as an adult. In the wake of horsegate, it also rings alarm bells that only one restaurant knows where its meat comes from."

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