apetito launches new plant-based dishes

The number of Brits turning to a plant-based diet is growing at a startling rate, as more and more are making the decision to go vegan.

According to finder.com, by the end of 2021 there could be 13 million Brits (26%) who are vegetarian, vegan or pescatarian. If those who plan to ditch the meat actually follow through with their plans, around 1 in 10 people in the UK (11%) will be following a vegetarian diet, (8%) will follow a pescatarian diet and (7%) will be following a vegan diet.

In light of this, apetito, has launched eight new plant-based dishes as part of its innovative ‘Culinary Inspirations’ series.

Plant-based food is now one of the fastest-growing food trends across the country, with the number of vegans in the UK quadrupling since 2014.  As of 2019, there was an estimated 600,000 people in the UK who follow a vegan or vegetarian diet and more than a quarter of all evening meals in the UK are plant-based.

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 delicious Thai Red Curry, creamy Butternut Squash Risotto, and an exotic BBQ Mexican Bean & Jackfruit dish.

Lydia commented:

‘These new meals are packed with exciting flavours, designed to expand the palette of younger 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 developing a plant-based meal.’

apetito knows how important it is, when catering for little ones, 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 and 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.

Simon Myatt, divisional head – Nurseries, 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 all children no matter their dietary requirements. 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 nurseries’ 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.  An apetito main meal (consisting of a protein, vegetables, and carbohydrates), costs an average of just £1.80 per child with dessert and lighter tea-time options also available for a small additional cost.

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

For nursery owners and managers 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/nursery-meal-services/ or phone 01225 562882.