Hyatt debuts healthful kids' menu items

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Hyatt Corp. on Tuesday began offering new kids' menu options that are part of a comprehensive plan to move toward offering more healthful and sustainable foodservice options throughout the chain’s hotel properties.

The Chicago-based hotel chain’s new initiative, dubbed “Food. Thoughtfully Sourced. Carefully Served,” includes ambitious mandates that take step-by-step shifts toward the use of all-natural meats, cage-free eggs and sustainable seafood throughout roughly 400 foodservice outlets in more than 300 full-service properties worldwide.

Susan Santiago, vice president of food and beverage for Hyatt Hotels & Resorts’ North America operations, said the company began developing the program about 18 months ago after hearing increasing requests from guests and meeting planners looking for better dining experiences.

Hyatt’s research included beta tests comparing the consumer response to various healthful or sustainable dishes when listed on menus next to a more conventionally prepared version. Santiago noted that guests choose the healthful or sustainable option 30 percent of the time — even when it was priced at a premium. “We would have considered it a success if they chose it 10 percent of the time,” she said.

As part of the program, new menu options for kids are available throughout Hyatt’s full-service hotels in the U.S., Canada and the Caribbean, which include about 115 properties.

Among the new kids' options is a three-course organic menu for kids developed by renowned restaurateur Alice Waters of Chez Panisse in Berkeley, Calif. Waters’ menu includes a romaine hearts, carrot curls and a radish rose for dipping in a lemon vinaigrette; grilled chicken with pesto sauce, roasted potatoes and cherry tomatoes; and strawberry and orange slices served with a honey-sweetened juice in a cup made from a real orange.

The larger kids initiative, dubbed “For Kids, By Kids,” includes dishes developed with input from children, such as 11-year-old Haile Thomas, who hosts an online cooking show called “Kids Can Cook.”

Dishes include Top Your Own Taco at breakfast with scrambled eggs and cheese in a whole-wheat tortilla with various toppings. At lunch, there’s a chopped salad with roasted chicken, vegetables, brown rice and a yogurt-basil dressing served in a container that kids can shake up themselves at the table.

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