A lot of time and effort goes into planning the perfect summer menu, but in order to remain competitive and meet changing customer demands, you should also look at changing up the children’s menu for the season.
Creating a successful child-friendly menu for summer requires caterers to do three main things: offer healthy options, make the dishes look exciting, and include some tried and tested favourites. To find out how you can do that, read on for the tops tips from Country Range.
Offer Healthy Options
One of the biggest pain points for families looking to eat out is the lack of healthy options available on most children’s menus. While pizza and chicken nuggets are sure to go down a treat with the young diners themselves, they are not the ones footing the bill, and parents are increasingly vocal about wanting a wide range of options, with a focus on healthy dishes and organic ingredients.
In the summer months, this means offering a selection of seasonal flavours, as you would on your regular menu, steering towards lighter dishes than what you would serve during the colder months of the year.
As children are far more adventurous with what they eat nowadays, you can include plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables on your child-friendly menu for the summer, along with some popular grilled choices such as chicken, burgers, and hot dogs. To create a dish that will go down well with both parents and kids, make sure you offer healthy sides like fresh salads, rather than chips, with your seasonal menu and stick to leaner cuts of meat.
Make the Dishes Look Exciting
Children, more so than adults, eat with their eyes so it’s important that your summer menu is vibrant and colourful. Thankfully, plenty of healthy options like sweetcorn, peppers, and other vegetables have an eye-catching hue, so make sure that you liaise with your food suppliersand order plenty of these ingredients for the summer months. Our range of frozen vegetablesis the perfect way for caterers to meet the growing demand for vibrant and flavourful vegetables, while also being a convenient and time-saving option.
When creating a child-friendly menu for the summer, it’s vital for caterers to also think about desserts – the favourite part of a meal for any child. Classic desserts like ice cream and jelly are perfect for the summer months, as temperatures soar and dinners of all ages look for cool and refreshing dishes to finish off their meal. You should also speak to your suppliers about any fruit-based desserts they can supply to you as these are yet another dish that will be likely to gain the approval of both children and parents. Our own selection of fruit-based desserts includes sweet treats like the Country Range Premium Summer Fruit and Elderflower Gateauand the Country Range St Clements Orange Bell– both sure to be a hit with young diners!
Include Some Tried and Tested Favourites
Of course, any child-friendly menu must also include some tried and tested favourites alongside the more adventurous dishes. However, you should still put an emphasis on making these healthy. There’s no reason why family-favourites like chicken nuggets and fish fingers can’t be swapped out for chicken goujons and handmade breaded salmon sticks instead. These will still be familiar enough to be appetising to children but offer a much healthier alternative – especially when served with a healthy side salad.