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Pre-schoolers having a healthy breakfast at Zinfandel's

Good and healthy habits from an early age

Pre-schoolers having a healthy breakfast at Zinfandel’s, with carefully designed dishes and ‘mini’ etiquette school 

At a healthy breakfast with pre-schoolers, the Esplanade Zagreb Hotel, Čigra Kindergarten, gastronomic association Chaîne des Rôtisseurs, and publishing house Profile Klett announced their joint project – Being Green Is IN

The project Being Green Is IN was born out of a great desire to encourage parents, educational institutions, and ultimately children, even from a young age, to think about the healthy habits that are necessary in order for children to develop and grow properly, and for their overall health, strength, and happiness.

The first in a series of activities was Healthy Breakfast at the Esplanade with the presentation of healthy ingredients created into delicious dishes, presented to the children by the Esplanade’s Executive Chef Ana Grgić Tomić and her team of chefs. In addition, the Zinfandel’s Maître d’hôtel presented the children with the basics of appropriate behaviour and etiquette, and after socialising, the children were presented with certificates, as well as recipes for preparing their own healthy breakfasts at home.

Esplanade Zagreb Hotel, Čigra Kindergarten, gastronomic association Chaîne des Rôtisseurs, and publishing house Profil Klett have joined forces and initiated the implementation of a joint project – Being Green Is IN.

It is a project that aims to instil healthy eating habits at educational institutions, in parents and children, to make them familiar with ingredients and flavours that can be both delicious and fun, emphasise the seasonal and the local, as well as highlight the importance of minimal processing in order to preserve nutrients. In addition, the project will deal long-term with topics such as the elimination of processed foods, harmful fats, sugar, and food additives, while topics such as the impact of nutrition on the health of the body, the relationship with the environment, and the reduction of food waste and a responsible attitude towards resources will be discussed with children and professional associates.


I am particularly happy about this project because I myself am the father of a small child in whom, with my family, I have already instilled numerous healthy habits, which is something I am proud of. I believe that every parent wants the best for their child, but it is possible that the impact of advertising, living standards, the high prices of healthy foods, and the accessibility of unhealthy foods, as well as a lack of free time, can greatly affect maintaining a quality lifestyle. But sometimes it only takes a little will, and sometimes a good impetus to kickstart small decisions, which will ultimately bring about big changes. I am glad that we are participating in this commendable project, because besides representing a long-standing institution in society, the Esplanade Hotel has had a strong influence on the culinary scene throughout the years, on the presentation of novelties in business, but also on the education and training of quality hospitality staff. I am happy that through numerous planned activities, we will be able to influence the decisions of parents, and hopefully also those of institutions, as well as the choices of the youngest members of society, on whose shoulders the world rests,” highlighted Ivica Max Krizmanić, General Manager of the Esplanade Hotel.


The pre-school group of children, as well as the teachers at the Čigra Kindergarten, specially dressed up for their visit to the Esplanade. The transportation of the children in luxury vans as well as refreshing bottles of water was organised on this occasion by the company Permansio. Both little ones who had already visited the Esplanade, as well as those coming for the first time, were delighted by the impressive building and the presentation of the hotel, and were particularly impressed by the famous people who had stayed in the hotel. The real reason for their visit was to experience the Zinfandel’s restaurant, with a healthy, but delicious breakfast. The menu designed by Chef Ana Grgić Tomić included eggs in various combinations, avocado spread, cottage cheese spread, and colourful sticks of fresh, crunchy vegetables, and besides tasting, the children had the opportunity to socialise with the chefs while having a fun meal preparation. In charge of choosing desserts was Mirjana Špoljar, the Hotel’s Chief Pâtissière, who this time replaced sugar and white flour with healthy ingredients, so the children could taste a juicy muffin with carrots, fruit skewers, oatmeal with almond milk, chia pudding with bananas and honey, rice grits with cocoa, milk rice with vanilla and cinnamon, chocolate brownies with red beet, and other interesting combinations. To boost everyone’s energy, Vjenceslav Madić ‘Master Kishoni’ and F&B Manager created vitamin boosters with fresh fruits and vegetables. The little ones were delighted with the juices, made with wild berries, red beet, ginger, celery, lime, apple, orange, and mango, and served with a straw made of dried apple.


At the Esplanade’s breakfast, kindergarteners showed great interest in healthy and tasty food. In conversation with Chef Ana Grgić Tomić, she revealed to the children which foods are the best to start the day with and gave them advice on how they can participate in creating healthy breakfasts themselves, along with their parents and other family members. “When it comes to food, children are sharper than the sharpest culinary critics! Many have a very short list of what they want to eat, due to the dominance of sweet flavours and processed foods from an early age. It is up to us adults to encourage them to explore new flavours and gradually adopt healthy eating habits. At the hotel, some little ones tasted a hotel breakfast for the very first time, while others were excited to meet a professional chef face-to-face, the kind they usually only see on TV. They listened attentively to advice about which foods to choose for breakfast, and it was a great compliment to me when they said how happy they were with the dishes we served them,” said Ana Grgić Tomić, Chef of the Esplanade Hotel Zagreb kitchen.


With this project, we decided to draw attention to modern eating habits and to how much they have changed from what they used to be, due to hectic life circumstances. Since patterns of healthy and balanced eating are adopted from a young age, we want to follow our own example and include our little ones in a series of activities related to food. We teach them to distinguish between foods, help them prepare simple meals, and together build their basic knowledge about nutrition. We believe that it is extremely important to stimulate their curiosity and develop their interest in food in a positive and interactive way. We believe that the “Being Green Is IN” project will also extend to the family life of Čigra’s children, which is why in addition to our workshops for children, we are also preparing additional materials for their parents,” said Martina Petrović, Head of Creative Content at the Čigra Kindergarten.


In addition to serving breakfast, the Zinfandel’s Maître d’hôtel, Stjepan Okun introduced the children to the culture of table manners. Although they demonstrated that they knew some rules, the kindergarteners listened with interest about restaurant etiquette – from proper seating, correct hand holding, proper use of napkins and cutlery, to how to use which utensils. “The kids are great, all this is very interesting to them, they observe us with great interest, they absorb and learn quickly. I believe that something of what I told and showed them will remain in their memory and that they will apply it the next time they visit a restaurant,” Stjepan Okun added.


After breakfast, the kids were ceremoniously presented with certificates for the successful completion of the Esplanade mini-school for etiquette and healthy breakfasts, and were also given recipe booklets for preparing fun breakfasts with their parents, signed by the Esplanade’s Chef Ana Grgić Tomić, Chief Pâtissière Mirjana Špoljar, and Vjenceslav Madić ‘Master Kishoni’.


The children were delighted with their visit to the Esplanade, and their honest statements particularly pleased the cooks and Chef Ana Grgić Tomić. Luka B. said: “I never knew healthy food could be so tasty. I want to take mum and dad here tomorrow so we can all eat healthy.” Noemi S. added: “Today was the most beautiful day in kindergarten for me because we went to breakfast at the Esplanade. I’ve learned that healthy food is good for the body and that healthy food makes our leg muscles strong.” Ennio M. K. praised beetroot juice, and Katja ?. would like to move into the hotel.


Representative of the gastronomic association Chaîne des Rôtisseurs, one of the project’s partners, Tomas Vukadin, with great pleasure and pride supported the initiative of the “Being Green Is IN” project, which is aimed at improving the dietary habits of our youngest. Education on the importance of a healthy diet and learning about the cultural aspects of eating are extremely important for forming a responsible attitude towards food from an early age. We are excited to be a part of this wonderful project and we believe that the experience the children from the Čigra Kindergarten gained at the Hotel Zagreb Esplanade will be invaluable not only for them, but also for their families. Through these activities, children not only learn about the importance of a healthy breakfast and a sustainable approach to food, but also develop a sense of community and respect for the effort that goes into preparing a meal. Chaîne des Rôtisseurs proudly stands behind every effort aimed at enriching life through quality food and education, and we are especially focused on educating young people, in this case children, who on occasion even teach us “older” folks a thing or two. As such, this project perfectly reflects our core values.




Download of event photos and visuals (Esplanade Zagreb and Čigra Kindergarten Archive):  Zdravi doručak u Esplanadi – Biti Green je IN





Sanda Sokol

PR & Marketing Manager, Esplanade Zagreb Hotel, Mihanovićeva 1, 10000 Zagreb, P. 01 45 66 036, [email protected]

Martina Petrović

Head of Creative Projects, Čigra Kindergarten, Josipa Marohnića 3, HOB Centre, Zagreb, M. 099 648 7808, [email protected], www.cigravrtic.hr

Addresses of facilities: Radnička 50, Green Gold; Vrtni put 1, A1 Campus





Čigra | Dječji vrtić , Chaine , Profil Klett , Permansio Deluxe Getaways


Published: 26.3.2024.

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