Survey reveals UK museums and attractions serving the healthiest and least healthy food for kids

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24th October 2018 15:05 - Museums, Libraries and Archives

Survey reveals UK museums and attractions serving the healthiest and least healthy food for kids: A nationwide survey into the food available for children at museums and attractions across the UK has uncovered where families can find the healthiest and least healthy food options. 
The Out to Lunch Survey by the Soil Association found that at many UK attractions there were more healthy options available to adults than there were for children - but also revealed there are attractions offering a wider variety of healthy options in their food halls and cafes. There are also those who the Soil Association say are ‘denying children healthy choices’. 
Gathering information about the various venues, undercover diners went along to the attractions armed with a wide-ranging list of questions. Attractions could pick up points depending upon the respondent’s rating with a possible score of 160 available. Some of the questions asked included: ‘Do chips accompany everything on the menu?’; ‘Are vegetables incorporated into meals?’; ‘Is free tap water available?’ as well as questions about how family-friendly the food outlet at the attraction is. 
Coming top of the league table, the Royal Botanic Garden in Edinburgh scored 3.5 stars out of 5 and a score of 105 out of 160 for its menu - making a huge leap from last year's results where they were down in 11th position. The attraction serves fresh produce from its own garden plus sources ingredients locally. In second was the Eden Project (100/160) followed by Chester Zoo (99/160) ZSL Whipsnade Zoo (98/160) and the Science Museum (94/160) which offers a selection of healthy food options and vegetarian menu and was a new entry to the league table.
Also in the upper half of the table were Wales Millennium Centre (90/160), Durham Cathedral (87/160) and The British Museum charting at number 8 with a score of  86/160, -- a climb of 10 places since 2016 following adding a portion of veg or salad to kids meals or lunchboxes. 
The bottom end of the table
With room for improvement according to the Soil Association survey were Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum in Glasgow and Legoland Windsor, both joint bottom of the table in 22nd place with just 45 points. Third from bottom was Wiltshire's Stonehenge in 20th position (61/160), with London's The National Gallery (63/160) and MAC Birmingham (65/160) fourth and fifth from bottom respectively.
The Soil Association’s Rob Percival said of the Out to Lunch campaign: “The attractions at the top of the league table are showing that healthy and high-quality food can be fun and affordable. The attractions at the bottom are not giving families the opportunity to enjoy a balanced meal.”

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