International Chefs Day - Chefs Q&A's

Chef Justin Clarke believes a child’s eating habits are defined during the first few formative years.

Monday, September 11, 2017

1). What do you think, is the current status of foods offered to children in OOH?

I personally believe that eating behaviors evolve during the first years of life when children learn what, when, and how much to eat through experiences with food and by observing the eating behaviors of others e.g. parents.  The first years of a child's life, may be the optimal window for promoting the development of healthy eating behaviors in children. During this time, children's food preferences are also influenced by availability, accessibility, and familiarity to foods as well as parental modeling. If parents were to take more time and learn, select and even cook at healthy food with their children, obesity would dramatically decline.


 2). What do you think can be done to make it healthier? - Below are two great examples of what can be done.

a). With effect 1st July 2017 The Department of Health following a full public consultation announced tough new rules banning the advertising of high fat, salt or sugar (HFSS) food or drink products in children’s media. The rules will apply across all non-broadcast media including in print, cinema and, crucially, online and in social media. The rules will apply in media targeted at under-16s

- Ads that directly or indirectly promote an HFSS product cannot appear in children’s media

- Ads for HFSS products cannot appear in other media where children make up over 25% of the audience

 -Ads for HFSS products will not be allowed to use promotions, licensed characters and celebrities popular with children; advertisers may now use those techniques to better promote healthier options

- The Department of Health nutrient profiling model will be used to classify which products are HFSS


b). Teaching children the importance of staying well hydrated, the British Water Cooler Association (BWCA) has launched a ‘Why Water Matters’ fact sheet, outlining the mental and physical benefits of drinking water.

Promoting the tag line ‘think drink to help you think,’ the free sheet hopes to remind schools of the benefits of water coolers, stating:

“Being well-hydrated helps children achieve their optimum performance both mentally and physically, and water is one of the healthiest means of achieving good hydration levels.”

“For school-age children, water is a great way to hydrate: it is tooth-friendly and calorie-free so helps prevent obesity.”

“Juices and other drinks containing natural or added sugar are okay as an occasional treat with a meal, but should never be the main source

of hydration.”


3). What tips and tricks do you have for preparing healthier food for children?

One of the best and most simple trick for me when working with children is – I talk about how we ‘eat with our eyes’, which means if something looks good on the plate, we will want to eat it! I explain that today we are going to focus on making what we eat look really enticing! If we make healthy food look really good, we are more likely to want to eat it and that will help us stay fit, strong and healthy.