As the nation’s growing appetite for plant-based meals continues, fast-growing meals provider to independent schools, apetito, has launched six new plant-based dishes as part of its innovative ‘Culinary Inspirations’ series.
The increase in consumption of plant-based food is now one of the most notable food trends across the country, with 10% of children aged 8-16 years old in the UK following a vegan or vegetarian diet and a further 44% actively looking to eat a more plant-based diet.
Increasingly, families are turning to plant-based meals right from an early age and according to Plant-Based News, 70% of British children want more vegan and veggie meals served up at school, in line with their family menus and increasingly, schools are under pressure to meet this shift in demand from pupils and their parents.
apetito’s in-house chefs and dietitian worked alongside guest chef Lydia Downey, who specialises in plant-based cooking, to create this vibrant collection of dishes, which include a fragrant Thai Red Curry, creamy Butternut Squash Risotto, and an exotic BBQ Mexican Bean & Jackfruit dish.
“These new meals are packed with exciting flavours, designed to expand the palette of children, who may not have tried them before, whilst encouraging them to eat a different type of cuisine.
“Nutrition is incredibly important when creating a dish, particularly focusing on elements such as protein and fibre as well as including a varied assortment of vegetables, all of which are essential considerations when making a plant-based meal.”
apetito knows how important it is, when catering for children, to provide enough energy and protein to help them grow and develop. This includes iron, calcium, vitamin B12 and D. Good plant-based sources of protein include soya, pulses, and beans, and a well-planned plant-based diet, such as dishes from apetito’s range, can provide children with all the nutrients necessary for good health and development, including essential fats, protein, alongside vitamins and minerals.
Furthermore, a plant-based diet is better for the environment and can reduce food-related carbon emissions by 50 per cent. Research has associated vegan diets with the lowest emissions of carbon dioxide and so increasing plant-based options helps make catering services more sustainable.
Mandy Chambers, New Markets and Innovations Manager for apetito, said:
“With more families opting to follow a plant-based diet, whether for animal welfare, environmental or health reasons, it is important to provide choice and variety to schools and responding to changing needs of pupils. What’s more, plant-based options are suitable for almost all children and food doesn’t have to be out of the ordinary.
“And, as with all our meals, these new plant-based meals represent great value, and all dishes can be easily cooked from frozen on site by schools’ own teams”.
With over 200 meal options to choose from within the whole apetito range – there is something to suit every child’s taste and dietary needs, whilst also delivering great value at a time when cost is front of mind for all.
For bursars and headteachers who would like to enjoy an apetito food sample tasting session, or discuss how apetito can support their business, please open the pop up on the site and register your details on https://www.apetito.co.uk/schools or phone 01225 562882.
Full list of plant-based dishes:
- Vegan Thai Red Curry
- Fajita Style Tempeh
- BBQ Mexican Bean & Jackfruit
- Vegetable Gratin
- Beetroot & Feta Frittata
- Meat Free Mushroom and Chicken-Style Pie
- Katsu Curry
- Butternut Squash Risotto