Thumbs Up for New Children’s Menu


As a nation, we are becoming increasingly aware of the importance of a balanced diet, and this isn’t exclusive to adults. We’ve all heard the reports that suggest a concerning number of children are now overweight, and that greater efforts need to be undertaken to educate children on the value of eating more healthily and being active.

With this in mind, we spoke to both parents and children, and asked them what they would like to see on our new Kids' Menu. As well as having more options, a lot of parents said that a menu that included smaller versions of what the adults had to choose from, was more appealing. Following this input, we invited some of our younger customers, aged two to 12, to join us for a tasting day, to get their feedback on some of the new dishes.

These tasting sessions, combined with the insights we have from the tens of thousands of visiting children who have ordered from our pubs in the past, has helped us to develop our new Kids' Menu.

The results, according to Oakman Inns’ Chef Director, Ross Pike, spell the end of what he calls “Beige on a Plate.” He explained: “As well as offering healthy options that will go down well with parents and their children, we’ve tried to create family-friendly pricing with a “Formulae” of three courses and one of our six side orders for just £9.  That could be Carrot & Pepper Sticks with red pepper & garlic hummus as a starter, followed by our new 5 A Day Bolognese served with Broccoli & Carrots, and an Apple Crumble and Vanilla Ice Cream to finish.”

One of the young menu tasters was Antonia Woodbridge, aged 5. Her mother, Charlotte Woodbridge, commented: “Oakman Inns has managed to create a balance between the normal demands of a child and the always-present concerns of the parents. I really like the idea of the fixed price menu and the ability to select a choice of sides to go with what is already an interesting, nutritious menu. My daughter, Antonia, loved it.”

To encourage children to try new flavours and ingredients, Oakman Inns has introduced a new Sweet Potato Hash dish with rocket, avocado, feta, toasted pumpkin seeds and tzatziki. Ross Pike added: “We know that going out for dinner is often a treat, so it’s all about keeping a balance, which is why we’ve also left some firm favourites on the menu such as Beef Burgers and Pizza, as well as their own Sunday Roast and Breakfast Menu.”

The menu launch also marks the start of our new partnership with outdoor activity provider Go Ape. On each of the activity sheets that comes with the kids' menu, each month there is the chance to win a high-ropes climbing experience at any one of Go Ape's 32 locations around the country.

Hannah Milton