Eating well is something we take very seriously. Our top priority is making food that is delicious as well as nutritious. At COOK, eating well has always been about knowing a meal has been hand-prepared with care using great ingredients, just like you would at home. We recognise we have an important role to play in supporting you in making informed choices when it comes to what you eat.
That means a balanced approach to eating, based on the government’s Eatwell Guide and suggesting sides when what you buy at COOK isn’t a complete meal. A balanced diet supports a sustainable and healthy lifestyle, so we aspire to have something suitable for everyone, whatever the occasion. We believe in the principles of intuitive eating and aim to strike the right balance in promoting both healthier and more indulgent meals and puddings, and to never position the latter as something you should eat every day.
Our Overall Approach
To help you make a healthier choice by providing a clearly identifiable range of dishes – namely Love Eating Well meals, identified by the yellow heart on the label. We will continue to give you a choice of Love Eating Well dishes which all contain less than 30% of the daily Reference Intake (RI) of calories, fat, saturated fat, sugar and salt, in addition, many of our meals have at least one of your 5-a-day and all have a source of protein. Protein is vital to contributing to the maintenance of muscle mass.
Our main aim is always to make the tastiest prepared meals you can buy, but we are also constantly striving to improve our nutrition by reducing, where possible, the saturated fat, salt and sugar content.
With the Love Eating Well dishes, we are making it easier for you to make informed choices with clearer nutrition labelling online and in our menus. In 2021 we are looking at how this might role out on the packaging. (Read on for more about our Love Eating Well meals.)
We will maintain our commitment to expand our selection of meat-free and plant-based meals across our entire menu. In addition, by 2022, we will ensure there is a vegan option in every category. At the time of writing (Christmas 2020), over 27% of our overall savoury menu is now vegetarian.
Eating together helps to nourish relationships, it’s good for both body and soul, and it helps prevent fussy eating among both children and adults. 2020 has shown this more than ever. In 2021 we will do more to encourage eating together, both internally with our teams but also with you, our customers, both with the immediate family and larger groups, once we are able to socialise safely again.
Low Calorie Meals
You’ll find easy, tasty lunch options and award-winning classics.
Our Love Eating Well meals mean you can sit down to a delicious meal and keep an eye on nutrition at the same time. The range is made up of Pots for One (perfect for a quick lunch), our new Wholebowls (a go-to for a healthy dinner), and a broad selection of main courses throughout the rest of our menu that are more substantial and, in most cases, will need side dishes to create a balanced meal. All these meals are approved by a nutritionist.
We have introduced clearer nutritional information online and on the packaging for all our Love Eating Well dishes, focusing on the following:
Calories: these remain the most widely recognised measure of energy, so this will be helpful if you are being a bit more conscious about what you eat. To find out more about how many calories you should be eating go to www.NHS.uk.
Source of Protein / High in Protein: We include ‘source of protein’ (meaning that 12% of the energy value of the food is provided by protein) or ‘high in protein’ (meaning that 20% of the energy value of the food is provided by protein) for all Love Eating Well dishes where applicable according to the EU health and nutrition guidelines. Protein is vital to contributing to the growth, repair and maintenance of muscle mass and good health (nutrition.org.uk).
Source of Fibre / High in Fibre: According to the National Diet and Nutrition survey (NDNS), fibre intake for both adults and children is still too low, so sharing this information should help you reach the suggested daily fibre intake for you and your family. Government guidelines recommend getting 30g dietary fibre a day. ‘Source of fibre’ in our meals means there is 3g of dietary fibre per 100g of food and ‘High in fibre’ means there is 6g of fibre per 100g of food.
1 of your 5-a-day: According to the NDNS survey, fruit and vegetable intake has hardly changed over the nine years the survey has existed, and it still falls below the recommended 5-a-day. You’ll find the number of portions of veg in each of our Love Eating Well meals online to help you on your way. You’ll also find suggestions for vegetables to serve with your COOK meal, where appropriate.
Low Sat Fat: This is listed to help those of you specifically looking to reduce your intake of saturated fat.
Low Fat: Again, if you are specifically looking to lower your fat intake, this info is available. Low fat foods contain no more than 3g of fat per 100g.
Low Sugar: Where a meal is listed as ‘low sugar’, that means it is in line with EU regulations (less than 5g of sugar per 100g). Sugar, of course, will always be used in our Puddings Kitchen, but we would never recommend tucking into a pavlova every day! Whenever we develop new savoury recipes, however, we always try to avoid adding refined sugar unless it’s entirely necessary.
Low Salt: We don’t use artificial additives to enhance flavour in our kitchens, but that doesn’t mean we’re ignoring the amount of salt in our meals. When we develop new recipes, we also keep an eye on how much we use, working to the Public Health England targets.
We are committed to promoting less and better meat in your diet and more vegetable-based meals. The amount of meat we eat in the UK is unsustainable and is impacting both our nation’s health and our planet. We work with farmers and suppliers who are committed to improving farming practices in both animal welfare and sustainability (learn more about them here), but at the same time, we are on a mission to expand our range of vegetarian and plant-based meals. Demand is steadily growing, we’re pleased to say. Look out for our Be More Herbivore campaign every year.
Look for the Yellow Heart on the label and put some tasty, healthy meals on the table with our Love Eating Well dishes. Working with our nutritionist, we are on a mission to make it as easy as possible for you to find delicious, hand-prepared healthy ready meals that can be part of a balanced diet.