Paignton Zoo Environmental Park and Living Coasts, Torquay’s coastal zoo, are helping visitors and local people to improve their diets. The attractions are among local businesses working with Torbay Council to put more healthy choices onto children’s plates.
The Growing Kids project runs throughout the Bay and is led by the Food Safety Team at Torbay Council. Nicolas Legendre, Food Production Manager at Paignton Zoo and Living Coasts, explained: “We have been instrumental from day one of the project. Our zoos were chosen because of our high food hygiene rating scores and the fact that we welcome lots of visitors, many with children.”
The two zoos, run by the Whitley Wildlife Conservation Trust, have campaigned against palm oil – the production of which destroys natural habitat – and promoted ethical products such as shade-grown coffee, a crop which can be raised beneath the jungle canopy.
Nick again: “The key considerations of the Growing Kidz project are to offer milk and water as drink options, to provide two vegetable choices for every meal, avoid extra salt, sugar and oil and have fruit as a dessert alternative. We put on starchy options like rice and pasta instead of just chips.”
In June Torbay Council hosted a children’s cook-off competition to find a new healthy children’s menu. The restaurants at the two charity zoos have been serving up the winning pasta dish. Paignton Zoo Environmental Park is a registered charity. For more information go to www.paigntonzoo.org.uk or ring 01803 697500.