Children's Food Guru Annabel Karmel Forced To Backtrack On 'Healthy' Menu Claims

14/08/2014 16:52 | Updated 22 May 2015

Children's food guru Annabel Karmel backtracks on 'healthy' menu claims

Children's food guru Annabel Karmel has been forced to remove the word 'healthy' from burgers, sausages and snacks after the claims were branded 'outrageous' by a rival nutritionist.

Mrs Karmel, who has built a multi-million-pound empire telling parents how to cook healthy meals for their children, had been signed up by retail chain BHS to develop a 'healthy and nutritious' children's menu for their restaurants.

But Harley Street nutritionist Yvonne Bishop-Weston was horrified when she saw the dishes, which included burgers, sausages, chips and ice cream, were being promoted on posters and menus as healthy options.

"It is outrageous that food such as burgers, sausages, and sugary snacks are being advertised as healthy," she said.

"Parents and children are bombarded with healthy eating messages. But they are now being faced with confusing advertisements in their local shopping centre for healthy kids' meals."

Miss Bishop-Weston contacted trading standards officers in Croydon, South London, who took up the claims with executives at the store. And the chain, which is owned by billionaire Sir Philip Green, has now agreed to change the wording on the menus.

Neil Alcorn, from the food and safety team at Croydon council, said: "We have been told they have had several high-level meetings with Annabel Karmel regarding the wording for the children's meal boards in the store and have agreed that the word 'healthy' will be removed from the menu boards."

In a joint statement, BHS and Mrs Karmel said: "New menus will not include the word 'healthy'. Instead, they will focus on specific nutritional benefits of each individual product.

"All of the meals sit within Government nutritional guidelines per meal for children aged five to ten."

Miss Bishop-Weston welcomed the store's climbdown as a 'small victory,' but said she would have preferred the menus to have been overhauled – offering food that was 'actually healthy'.

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