Isn’t it the best feeling when your family sits gathered around the table beaming away because of the meal you cooked? Yet preparing it probably started prompting many questions to pop into your head. Am I including the right amount of beneficial nutrients for my kids? How can I cleverly prepare their tasty favourites while cutting back on salt and saturated fats? What can I cook that they will all like?
A scientific discussion hosted by Nestlé Middle East, which recently took place in Beirut, highlighted four main ways MAGGI is creating the good food moments we are striving for with its unique strategy. The iconic brand is going about providing tastier and healthy food as part of its efforts towards achieving some of Nestlé Middle East’s 20 commitments to society.
As well as moving to 100 percent simplified ingredients and creating products from wholesome ingredients we have grown up with and love, the so-called “Kitchen Cupboard,” the company is putting nutrition at the heart of what they do. This includes continuously reducing salt and unsaturated fats in their products and making nutrition information readily available to help us make informed choices. Plus, MAGGI intends to introduce products fortified with beneficial vegetables, grains and pulses. Passing on the goodness of homemade cooking, which is believed to have a positive impact on people’s lives, is another aim. Whether it’s the 2,000 English and Arabic recipes on their website, the NESTLÉ NUTRITIONAL COMPASS that provides nutrition information and portion guidance or helping underprivileged families, MAGGI is making it easier for everyone to prepare healthy and appealing homemade meals. Finally, the utmost care is taken when handling products from field to home to ensure freshness.
To get to know more about the benefits of these four steps, we talk to Sarah Kanaan, Nutrition, Health & Wellness Manager at Nestlé Middle East. We also ask her the best ways to add meaning and fun to family meal times.
Why is it so important to offer products that include familiar ingredients in your ‘Kitchen Cupboard’ initiative?
We understand that people are increasingly looking for ingredients they know in their food, and prefer to immediately understand what it is they are eating.
With Maggi, we believe we have a unique opportunity to make a positive impact on people’s lives. Our purpose is creating good food moments for individuals and families by creating products with ingredients that you know and love, putting nutrition at the heart of everything we do and passing on the goodness of homemade cooking. This is why the “Kitchen Cupboard” initiative is so important for us.
- We use only great tasting ingredients you know and love, so you understand exactly what goes into the food you are preparing for your loved ones.
- We aim to offer products including familiar ingredients, all while meeting strict nutritional criteria and maintaining the taste consumers have loved over generations.
- We invest in ingredients valued for their intrinsic goodness (taste, nutrition and culinary appeal).
- We know what homemade cooking tastes like and why it is so good. That’s why we use authentic and nutritious ingredients in our products and recipes to guarantee delicious homemade meals
- Already, MAGGI Excellence Soups, MAGGI Mixes and the newly launched MAGGI Chicken Bouillon with Natural Layer of Herbs are meeting the "Kitchen Cupboard" criteria and our long-term commitments are to reformulate and evolve our product portfolio to contain only ingredients you know and love.
You also aim to add ingredients like oats and lentils. Why are they so wholesome?
We aim to invest in ingredients valued for their intrinsic goodness in terms of taste, culinary appeal and nutrition, such as grains and pulses. Lentils and oats are known for their nutritious contribution to our dishes as they are high in fibre, high in iron, a good source of plant protein and rich in antioxidants.
How does homemade cooking make a positive impact on people’s lives?
Cooking at home allows individuals and families to have more control over ingredients that go into what they eat.
Our ambition is to pass on the goodness of homemade cooking to all generations by:
- Inspiring people to prepare tasty and balanced homemade food more often.
- MAGGI believes homemade cooking makes a positive impact on people’s lives, one example is through our rich content of over 2,000 English and Arabic recipes, as well as cooking and nutrition tips available on the MAGGI website.
- MAGGI launched its very own series MAGGI Diaries, a culinary journey designed by women for women in the region who are determined to make a difference in the community and the region through food and family gatherings.
- MAGGIs ‘1,000 Women for Good’ initiative, first launched in 2012, collaborates with over 1,000 women in KSA, Jordan and Lebanon to provide yearly around 14,000 underprivileged families in the region with food baskets to help prepare nutritious and tasty meals during Ramadan.
- The NESTLÉ® NUTRITIONAL COMPASS can be found at the back of all MAGGI packs to deliver nutrition information, advice and portion guidance to help consumers make informed choices and raise their awareness on the right portion of consuming our product within a healthy and balanced diet.
Are there any practices you can think of that can add fun and meaning to family meal times?
Definitely, engaging your kids in meal preparation or table setting is an added value to meal times as they would be more tempted to eat from the food they have prepared. Mealtimes are also a great occasion to pass on good eating habits to your kids, and the earlier you start, the better they’re engraved for life for the adoption of a healthier lifestyle.
How would you describe a good food moment?
A good food moment is created with balanced meals that taste great for you and your family, consisting of nutritious ingredients you know and love in the right portions with plenty of vegetables. The magic of course is in the gathering of family and friends, bringing everyone together at the table and sharing life’s moments with food.