WAGAMAMA’S NEW VEGAN MENU FOR KIDS

To celebrate the launch of a new vegan menu for kids, wagamama unveils the top 30 vegan foods to try before you’re 12

To mark the launch of its brand-new vegan children’s menu, wagamama is inspiring little noodlers nationwide by revealing the top 30 plant-based foods to try before they’re 12. The carefully curated list aims to encourage kids to be more playful with their palettes with a selection of fun flavours, crisp and crunchy textures.

Working with Specialist Paediatric Dietitian Bahee Van de Bor, wagamama has devised a colourful combination of exciting foods and flavours to encourage children to go outside their cuisine comfort zone. The vegan list was carefully selected based on natural, unprocessed foods, with a focus on ingredients that are nutritionally beneficial for children on a plant-based diet.

The new children’s menu also includes the tofu challenge, where kids are encouraged to try a piece of tofu in vegetable broth for free at all restaurants across the UK. 

wagamama top 30 things to try before you’re 12

 

1.       Tofu – For protection against heart disease and also help reduce bone loss

2.       Edamame – Useful snack for kids as an additional way to sneak in protein into children’s diets

3.       Sesame seeds – Contribute iron and zinc but also a range of vitamins and minerals

4.       Peanuts – Rich in antioxidants and a good source of zinc

5.       Guava – High in Vitamin C which is an immune booster and protects from infection, such as the regular coughs and colds

6.       Banana – The prebiotic fibre in bananas help the growth of friendly “good” bacteria in the gut to help maintain a healthy digestive system

7.       Broccoli – At least 50% of calcium present in broccoli is absorbed by the body. A nutritious vegetable with multiple vitamins

8.       Spinach – High in iron, which is important for transporting oxygen around the body

9.       Sweet potato – Rich in beta-carotene, a vitamin important for immunity and vision

10.   Red split lentils – Rich in iron and a great source of fibre

11.   All beans: chickpeas, butter beans, haricot, adzuki – Excellent source of plant protein and carbohydrate with soluble fibre – supporting a healthy central nervous system and children’s learning capacity

12.   Soba Noodles – High in fibre and also higher in protein compared to standard wheat based noodles

13.   Beets – Nitrates in beets are thought to help promote cognitive function

14.   Carrots – Rich in vitamin A, fat-soluble vitamin that children require for vision, immunity as well as normal growth and development

15.   Amaranth – High protein grain that is complete with all essential amino acids and antioxidants

16.   Oats – Contains beta-glucan fibre which helps prevent constipation

17.   Blueberries – Overall beneficial for heart health, brain function, low in calories and anti-inflammatory properties

18.   Mango – High vitamin A content making it a great food source for immunity, healthy hair and skin

19.   Walnuts – Perfect ratio of the essential omega-3 fats to help the body make DHA that has an important role in brain development

20.   Almonds – One of the best sources of vitamin E foods (23.9mg/100g) but is also rich in iron

21.   Apple – Most of the fibre and antioxidants are on the skin, so encourage kids to eat with the skin left on

22.   Passion fruit – Vitamin A is important for immunity, vision and healthy skin

23.   Mushrooms – An affordable source of selenium with a “meaty” texture

24.   Bell peppers – The vitamin C in bell peppers also helps the absorption of iron from plant foods

25.   Artichoke – An excellent source of fibre that help feed the healthy bacteria in the gut

26.   Kale – The calcium in kale is highly bioavailable with at least 50-60% is absorbed

27.   Butternut squash – A nutritious food for kids that is high in both vitamin A and is a source of vitamin E and potassium

28.   Aubergine – especially rich in anthocyanins, a type of pigment with antioxidant properties that’s responsible for their vibrant colour

29.   Rapeseed oil – Rich in poly and mono fats, it is also a source of parent omega-3 fats which the body can convert to a small extent to DHA (DHA has a role in the normal development of the brain and eyes)

30.   Calcium fortified plant drink – Children following a plant-based diet require a reliable source of calcium such as soy or oat-based calcium enriched drink

Images of children by Lauren Jayne Hall