Jumeirah Hotels & Resorts is launching an innovative new culinary concept this month especially for its youngest 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 included respondents from the U.S., U.K., Russia, Germany, Saudi Arabia and U.A.E.
According to the study, 77 percent of parents think that hotels around the world need to provide more healthy options on kids’ menus. Meanwhile, 79 percent 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 vacation, they are making the right choices for their children’s wellbeing. 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 travelers being pizza (44 percent), chicken nuggets (35 percent) and chips (32 percent). Despite the limited options available on many children’s menus, however, 58 percent of parents said they still tried to ensure their children ate something nutritious with every meal while on vacation.
In addition, the research showed that 26 percent of parents admit that their children shy away from trying anything that looks unusual or that they haven’t heard of. Despite U.S.-based parents trying to encourage healthy eating, 36 percent 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. Thirty-seven percent of parents say there are a lack of healthy food options available on children's menus, and 34 percent say there is a lack of variety and very limited food choices for children in restaurants. Interestingly, 27 percent say the healthy options never look very appetizing and almost one in five (18 percent) say they are not very imaginative.
Through the FoodieKiDS menu, Jumeirah has elevated the options available, providing dishes that are both enticing and nutritious for their youngest diners. Jumeirah Group chief culinary officer Michael Ellis said the new menus were created with input from children. “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,” he said in a press statement.
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 leadup 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 October 5 to October 31, 2020 on the Ultimate Staycation package.
Note: All Jumeirah hotels and restaurants are strictly following the directives of the U.A.E. 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.