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Bedfordshire children turn food critics to help create local pub’s exciting new children’s menu

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Girl tasting food at The Anchor in Aspley Guise

Local children deliberated, cogitated and digested when they were invited to become food critics and decide what dishes should feature on the healthier new childrens’ menu at a Bedfordshire pub.

Twenty-four children from Aspley Guise Lower School, Eversholt Lower School and Husborne Crawley Lower School, took part in the after-school menu tasting session at The Anchor at Aspley Guise, Bedfordshire.

The tiny tasters sampled around 14 dishes during the tasting session with the pub’s head chef Stefano Boi and nutrition advisor Catherine Turner-Perrott of Dotty’s Kitchin, who is helping create the nutritious new menu.

The children decided what dishes should earn a place on the exciting new menu which is to launch in the middle of March.

The Anchor’s head chef Stefano Boi says: “We thought it was really important to bring the local schools and local community together and ask the children what they want to eat. We had a great time at the tasting session and relished the opportunity to share our passion for food with the children and get their feedback on our ideas.”

He adds: “Eating shouldn’t be a chore for children and they shouldn’t be in restaurants to sit behind a tablet waiting for their food to come, but are an important part of the whole dining experience. So we are making sure the food on the new menu is fun, interactive and nutritious.”

Mother of two Turner-Perrott, who started Dotty’s Kitchin two years ago to help inspire her then fussy eater daughter to try new foods by cooking together, says: “The children tried lots of new foods and ate lots of vegetables in the dishes and there were happy faces all around. The feedback from both the children and parents has been amazing. There is a lot of love and thought going in to this menu, which shows that childrens’ menus don’t need to be about dull, beige, frozen food.”

The new menu will include crudité pots for every child to enjoy while waiting for their main meal to arrive and feature make your own dishes, interactive food and fruit based desserts which are low in refined sugar but high in flavour and fun.

A new childrens’ loyalty card is also being introduced at The Anchor, which will run alongside the new menu, to reward young guests who finish their meals.

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