One of the great things about the startup world is meeting likeminded people with a passion for what they do.
A couple of weeks ago we went for coffee with the Wild Child Kitchen team and chatted about all the great things that they are doing in the food industry and how they are trying to encourage a healthier future for children in London.
We asked their founder, Natasha, 5 questions so you can find out more:
- What is Wild Child Kitchen and how did it come to fruition?
Wild Child Kitchen is a new healthful delivery service for children. We offer a range of both chilled and frozen products, ready for parents to heat and serve or store away for busy days.
After spending a lot of time with my godson, Max, and his brother, Myles, I realised there was a gap in the market for nutritious food for children delivered to your door. The wellness industry has exploded over recent years, but it is still focused on changing habits in adulthood – I think we should be spending more time empowering families to make healthier choices as early as possible. After doing some research I decided to take the plunge and resign from my job in the City. I then spent the next few months working my notice and testing lots of recipes on all my friends’ children! Wild Child Kitchen soft-launched in June last year, when we carried out our pilot. We then refined our menu and officially launched in October. During that time, we also started working with a wonderful nursery in Kensington as their food partner and widened our delivery area.
- What message are you trying to promote to families and children about food and how we eat?
Rethink kids’ food! Our mission is to inspire the next generation of foodies with a menu of creative, colourful meals and snacks. Our dishes are designed to excite children’s palates and encourage healthy relationships with food from a young age. We want children to feel more connected to what they eat by helping them better understand the world around them, where their food comes from, and how it makes them feel.
Eating should be enjoyable – taste development is an incredible adventure and one that should be supported by positive messaging. Somewhere along the way our conversations around food have become polarised and that could prove incredibly dangerous for everyone’s wellbeing, and young children in particular.
Use organic and locally sourced ingredients. We promote seasonal eating and encourage families to enjoy the best that the UK has to offer at different times of the year. We have become so used to having everything available on store shelves all year-round; this type of consumption is not sustainable and we miss out on the incredible flavour profile of seasonal produce.
Eating should be an inclusive experience. With allergies and intolerances on the rise, we want as many little foodies as possible to enjoy our offering, and therefore cook without gluten, dairy or nuts. We are also building out our plant-based offering so veggie and vegan foodies have more to choose from.
- Tell us about the food. Where does it come from, how is it prepared and what does a menu look like?
We’re really proud to use seasonal and organic ingredients wherever possible and work with some of the UK’s leading suppliers. All our products are prepared in our Battersea kitchen, by a great team of chefs who are passionate about changing the face of children’s food.
We never add salt or refined sugar; giving our customers peace of mind that their children are tucking into food that is not only delicious but prepared with their wellbeing in mind. We change our fresh specials and snacks frequently, while our frozen section is stocked with regular foodie favourites like Fish Pie and Shepherd’s Pie. We’re currently developing our snacks range – the newest addition to our kitchen is a dehydrator – and we’re really excited to reveal some nutritious treats with a twist very soon. Watch this space J
- What sort of reaction have you had from children and families?
Our pilot last summer was a huge success. We had some really beneficial feedback which helped us refine our offering in time for our relaunch in the Autumn. Since then, we’ve been able to expand our delivery area so things are definitely going in the right direction! Many parents have been happily surprised at how willingly their children devour new foods (especially veggies!) in our dishes. And little ones particularly like our use of colour throughout the menu. Customers love that our packaging is all plant-based and they have told us the portion sizing is spot on.
Our work with our flagship nursery partner in Kensington is extremely encouraging too, with students responding very positively to the international and seasonal nature of our menu. We’ve had children raving to their parents about our broccoli & cauliflower cous cous and fussy eaters digging in to our beetroot hummus – it is amazing to see their development and we feel so lucky to be contributing to this.
- How can a family start using you service?
Simply head to wildchildkitchen.co.uk – take a peek at our menu and then choose which dishes you’d like us to deliver. At the moment, we’re delivering to most of Central, Southwest and West London postcodes. You can check if we cover your area by using the postcode checker on our website. Send us an email ([email protected]) if you and your friends would like to see us delivering to your area as we add postcodes when we know there is enough demand!