We’re NOT a vegan food brand. Here’s why…
Plant-based diets are gaining rising popularity for various reasons; concern about animal welfare, health benefits, environmental concerns or personal preference (1).
We only use fresh sustainably sourced fish which carries the MSc certification which guarantees sustainability. Here’s why…
Children’s nutritional needs are very important due to their rapid growth and development. Therefore, if a family chooses to exclude whole food groups e.g. dairy, then this may lead to an increased risk of nutritional deficiencies and potentially an impact on growth. It is therefore essential that advice is sought from a Registered Paediatric Dietitian if following a vegan diet.
Some families are choosing a flexitarian approach to eating (known as semi-vegetarian) and they may eat some meat, fish, eggs, poultry and dairy. V&Me adopts this flexible approach and each week offers a vegetarian day, two servings of fish, red meat twice a week, a chicken dish and the remainder of the week contains 7 plant-based savoury options such as the ever popular Indian dhal, vegetable moussaka and the taste adventure Portobello mushroom with parley risotto cakes!
Iron deficiency is the most common deficiency in childhood and has a huge global impact. Deficiency can lead to issues with growth, fatigue, poor appetite and cognitive development (3). Whilst some plant-based foods are a good source of iron (e.g. seeds) we know that it is harder for the body to absorb iron in this form. Iron is more bioavailable (body is able to absorb it better) from animal sources and therefore it is useful to include these in the diet (1). At V&Me we pay particular attention to this nutrient across our menu and include fortified products where possible (e.g. fortified oats and milk).
Whilst red meat provides a good source of iron, zinc and protein, the advice for the general population is that we shouldn’t be eating it every day, and especially not in a processed form. V&Me never serve any processed meat products and when we do serve red meat we opt for free range, higher welfare meats and choose lean cuts. We use different cooking methods; our Japanese curried beef and beef bourguignon is slow cooked so that the meat is tender and the sauce retains nutrients.
Sometimes families can be unsure how to cook fish at home or don’t like it themselves. Ordering from V&Me ensures your little one doesn’t miss out! We serve 2 portions of fish a week (one is white fish and the other an oily fish). Fish is a good source of protein, iodine and omega 3 fats. Iodine is essential for growth and brain development in young children. Anyone who avoids fish and/or dairy products could be at risk of deficiency. Omega 3 fats are essential to your child’s health and important for cognition, brain development, and visual acuity (1).
We only use fresh sustainably sourced fish which carries the MSc certification which guarantees sustainability. We take care to remove all bones as these can be a choking risk. Try our zesty salmon or mildy spiced kedgeree (you won’t find these on the supermarket shelves!)
Have you heard of eating 30 plant points each week and how this can improve gut health? (2) Our weekly menu far exceeds 30 plant points! Look out for our next blog on this coming soon…
1. BDA Food Facts Omega 3, Sustainable Diet, Diet, Behaviour & Learning in Children, Iodine, Vegetarian and plant-based diets
2. American Gut Project https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5954204/pdf/mSystems.00031-18.pdf
3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK448065/ https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32330927/