By Muhammad Riaz Usman
Khaleej Times, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) In an effort to tackle the rising issue of obesity among children in the UAE, entrepreneur Sara Ghosn created “Yum in a Box.” Each meal is packed in a colorful box designed to appeal to children of a specific age and comes with games that enhance the meal time experience, making it something they look forward to.
Sara Ghosn has always loved children and this care for their well-being inspired her to create Yum in a Box — a nutritious and well-balanced meal option for children between the ages of two to 10 years.
She was raised in the UAE and is very familiar with the eating habits of children in the region. This project is an extension of her passion for children of this generation.
“I got the idea several years ago when I was working on a passion project in university and began to understand the importance of a healthy lifestyle for children,” said Ghosn.
After completing her studies, Ghosn decided to take an initiative to change children’s perception about healthy food in order to tackle the rising issue of obesity among children in the UAE.
“Once I came back to the UAE, I realised that healthy food options for children in the market were very scarce. This was when I decided to start Yum in a Box,” she said.
Yum in a Box offers carefully-designed and customized breakfast, lunch and snacks menus using unique recipes made up of essential ingredients that children require.
Healthy eating habits
“Through this initiative, I hope to instill healthy eating habits in children from a young age and help develop a good relationship with good food,” she said.
Each Yum in a Box meal is packed in a colorful box designed to appeal to children of a specific age and comes with games that enhance the meal time experience, making it something they look forward to. The boxes are currently being delivered to nurseries directly and will soon be available to school canteens and private homes, based on each mother and child’s requirement.
“While the presentation of the food is key for children — since they are easily influenced by its look and feel, we give it a lot of prominence. We also plan to raise awareness of the importance of healthy eating among parents and children through a series of activities that will be rolled out in the coming months. Our ultimate aim is to change the way children perceive healthy food,” she said.
Ghosn said there aren’t many players in the market who offer a life-changing solution to children’s eating habits.
“I can’t help but feel that people have given up on pushing healthy food on children because of their fussy nature. You see that in restaurants all over the world and especially in the Middle East. By providing them with a choice that fits kid criteria in terms of look, feel and taste, we are creating a new alternative. We would like to present ourselves as the answer to every parent’s wish,” she said.
Ghosn said before launching Yum in a Box, she went through several phases of research, planning and execution for the development of the brand in the best possible way.
“We hired professional nutritionists who are in charge of crafting menus and chefs to whom we have outsourced the preparation of food. We are looking to expand to more nurseries, schools and very soon directly to homes,” she said.
Ghosn is a graduate of the Istituto Marangoni in London where she earned a bachelor’s degree in graphic design. She is a marketing and communication specialist who began her career with Team Young & Rubicam in 2012 before taking on several marketing roles with leading retail companies such as Azadea Group and Marquee.
Her personal savings were her first source of funding for the launch of Yum in a Box.
“Everything I worked hard for during these past few years has been put into this project. Of course, I would never have been able to pull all of this together without the constant moral support of my family and friends as well. But I can happily say that this is a true start-up business that I am building with complete financial independence,” she said.
Ghosn believes the UAE is one of the best places for entrepreneurs to launch a start-up.
“This is one of the most advanced markets in the region where the infrastructure is second to none and the rules of engagement are clear, this paves the way for healthy competition. There is a huge gap in the market for this specific field now and what makes it even better is that people here are always open to new concepts and ideas — in fact, they encourage it,” she said.
Ghosn encourages young entrepreneurs to take chances to turn their ideas into realities.
“If you are confident in your business idea and have done due diligence to validate its viability, then you need to go for it and execute it to perfection. It’s worth the risk,” she said.
She said the strongest point of the UAE for a start-up is that it is a very receptive market and there are still a lot of gaps to be filled in a variety of industries and sectors.
Ghosn said she attributes her success to strong family values and “particularly my father whose visionary business mind and constant encouragement were key in pushing me to make this jump.”
She said she always gives extreme attention to detail because she believes this is the main element of success in business.