I took my daughter to one of her friend’s birthday party the other day which was organised and held at a soft play centre which happened to be within a restaurant. It was great, while the mother’s chatted over copious amounts of cups of tea; the children played happily paying no attention to us whatsoever!
It was soon time for lunch, the kids had exhausted themselves and were clearly in need of refueling. The food, which as part of the package was brought out, platefuls of cheese in buns, chicken dippers, battered fish, corn on the cob and the obligatory chips of course! I looked around the table and said to myself ‘Where is the colour? What was presented before a table of at least 25 kids was only what I can describe as a sea of beige! Actually I tell a lie hiding among all this food was a glimmer of colour, and I don’t mean the bowl of tomato ketchup. Sitting there over shadowed by its counterparts was a small bowl and I mean small, containing about 10 pieces of fresh tomatoes and about half a sliced cucumber to share among 25 children. Clearly a token gesture or what!
As an Osteopath I am passionate about improving the health of my patients, I understand the benefits of good nutritious food and healthy food choices and as a mother I endeavour to provide healthy foods to eat for my child. Don’t get me wrong she would eat ‘junk’ food all the time given the chance, but there has to be a balance.
I am not a restaurateur, but I question “Would it really be that more expensive to provide a platter of fresh fruit and veg for example carrot and cucumber sticks, apple or orange segments, grapes and some slices of melon?” Some would argue that it’s not worth providing such foods as it is presumed that the children will not eat them. Or is it the restaurant’s economic bias that dictates what kind of foods is provided? Either way I think that children or parents should be given the choice. Yes I know that there are some very fussy children out there who won’t touch a piece of fruit let alone a carrot stick, but that is a small minority. I believe when children are sitting around a table with 25 of their peers and his/her mate tucks into a juicy grape or nibbles on a cucumber, there is hope, you never know that child may be inclined to try it themselves.
So I urge us parents when we are organising our kids parties and to the event managers who plan these parties, PLEASE let a platter of fruit and veg be the norm at children’s gathering not the ridiculed!