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NOW CLOSED: Young's 'Twice a Week Challenge' feedback thread

(151 Posts)
AnnMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 20-Feb-12 14:28:23

This thread is for the 25 Mumsnetters and their families that are taking part in the Young's "Twice a Week Challenge"

Here's what Young's say about the "Twice a Week Challenge":

"The UK Government's general advice is to eat two portions of fish a week, one of which should be oily, and we'd like to show folks how easy it is to meet this target. Young's has a wide range of delicious fish meals so you needn't get bored of eating the same dishes and there's something that all the family will enjoy".

"Jamie Oliver by Young's has recently launched a frozen-fish range for Young's, championing high-quality and sustainable alternatives to species such as cod and haddock. The range includes MSC-certified fish fingers, crispy fishcakes and little meals created especially with kids in mind all made from Young's responsibly sourced salmon and Pollock and packed with hidden veg and low in salt. What is more, the pollock in Jamie's range is filleted and frozen within hours of being caught, keeping it as fresh and delicious as possible and all the recipes use chunks of fish and not minced fish, so you can be confident knowing you've got a quick and healthy meal on standby whenever you need it"

Below are a few questions for you to answer but please feel free to add any other thoughts or comments you may have.

Please also state which products you tried throughout the "Twice a Week Challenge". Everyone who adds their feedback will be entered into a prize draw to win Jamie Oliver goodies worth £100 - the winner can choose between JO kitchenware to the value of £100 or a £100 voucher for one of Jamie's Italian restaurants (locations nationwide).

Please add your feedback giving overall first impressions at the start of the 2 week challenge period and then answer these questions towards the end of the fortnight. We'd also love to hear how you get on during the challenge and your recipe and meal idea tips.

Thank you and good luck with the prize draw!

Questions to be answered at the start of the challenge

~ How easy generally do you find it to introduce fish into your family's diet?
~ Do you eat frozen fish as well as fresh? If so why? If not why not?
~ What was your overall impression of the Young's range? What did you like? What didn't you like?
~ Is sustainability important when you?re choosing meals to feed your family?

Questions to be answered towards end of challenge

~ Out of the products you tried, which did you / your family like best? Why?
~ Which didn't you / your family like? Why?
~ Would you buy Young's products again? Why?
~ If you didn't eat frozen fish before, have your opinions of frozen fish changed at all? If so, why? If not, why not?
~ How easy / difficult did you find it to introduce fish into your family's diet? Why?
~ How convenient did you find the meals? Were they quicker than how you usually cook fish meals? If so, why? If not, why not?
~ Going forward, do you think you will try to include fish at least twice a week in your families' diet?
~ If it came up in conversation, would you recommend the Young's range to your friends? Why?
~ Is sustainability important when you?re choosing meals to feed your family?

Thanks, MNHQ

OP’s posts: |
OnlyWantsOne Mon 20-Feb-12 14:39:19

* dropping in smile

SnapSnafu Mon 20-Feb-12 14:50:17

Just been looking through websites of Asda, Waitrose, Tesco, Sainsbury's locally, to see who's got the best availability, and whose prices are best. None of them have anything other than fishcakes from the JO range, I was disappointed to see, although they stock the main Young's ranges quite well. I'll be going into my local (not huge Co-op) today to get something Young's for tea today, and planning a trip to big town tomorrow to stock up for the fortnight. Will also check Morrison's. (Trying to make my £50 for 5 of us go as far as possible).
Anyone found the JO full range anywhere?
<Excited to be doing this, and dh now thinks mumsnet might be ok after all>

SnapSnafu Mon 20-Feb-12 14:54:31

Oh, I should have said, Asda have the JO fish pies too. Not one of them has the JO fish fingers, which I was keen to try.

Unless I find the situation instore is different to what the sites say, but they do delivery from these stores, so I'd be surprised.

bellatrixrocks Mon 20-Feb-12 15:25:29

I got my vouchers last week and went fish shopping at the weekend! very excited to be taking part!!
I went to my local sainsburys and couldn't find any fresh youngs or JO fish but got some frozen. I got...
chip shop fillets in batter
scampi bites ( was feeling brave, not sure I'm gonna like those...)
JO pollock fishcakes
JO salmon and pollock fish cakes

I only spent £10 and filled up my little freezer!

We are going to have the chip shops fillets with chips and peas tonight & I'll report back

Questions to be answered at the start of the challenge

~ How easy generally do you find it to introduce fish into your family's diet?
not very tbh! My dd is fussy but eats fish at nursery. dh & I occasionally have fish & chips but never cook fish at home.
~ Do you eat frozen fish as well as fresh? If so why? If not why not?
We usually have fish fingers in the freezer for dd, I don't really know how to cook fresh fish so frozen feels safer!
~ What was your overall impression of the Young's range? What did you like? What didn't you like?
I was impressed with the range, I was surprised there was so much choice. I will try as many differnent things as possible to see which ones we like.
~ Is sustainability important when you?re choosing meals to feed your family?
yes, it is to some extent. I suppose I think its the same as buying free range eggs and chicken

ShatnersBassoon Mon 20-Feb-12 15:51:39

So far I have bought these items, all of which were on special promotion:

2 fresh breaded fillets, £1.50 special offer
JO fish cakes in two varieties, £1 per box of 4
2 JO fish pies, £1 each
Box of battered fish fingers, £1

~ How easy generally do you find it to introduce fish into your family's diet?

Very easy. My children aren't fussy, and my husband loves all fish and seafood. I'm the one who struggles to eat fish, having been brought up by my mum to believe it's revolting and smelly.

~ Do you eat frozen fish as well as fresh? If so why? If not why not?

I only buy frozen, prepared fish, as I don't know how to handle fresh fish and get confused by the choice at the fishmonger's counter.

~ What was your overall impression of the Young's range? What did you like? What didn't you like?

I did initially look for fresh fish, as this product test had made me think about cooking with fish and I'd looked for recipes etc, but the only Youngs non-frozen fish available at my large Morrisons was breaded fillets and some strange-looking pink fish sticks. I did buy the fresh breaded fillets, but with hindsight I realise I might as well have bought frozen as they'd be fresher by the time we came to eat them (assuming fresh fish deteriorates and frozen fish remains as fresh as when it was frozen).

The frozen range was pretty broad, but as they were all prepared items like fish cakes, pies, scampi, I was a bit disappointed that I had to revert to items I've always felt were 'safe'.

~ Is sustainability important when you?re choosing meals to feed your family?

Yes, although I have to admit to knowing nothing more about than avoiding cod and haddock.

40notTrendy Mon 20-Feb-12 15:53:05

Went to our local Morrisons and I was delighted to find so many Youngs products on offer! We bought JO fish cakes, the JO fish pie, haddock fillets, fish sticks and kippers! That's about filled our freezer for this week, we'll have the fish cakes tomorrow before pancakes...! I had the kippers for lunch, but no one else was tempted and didn't like the smell. I'm going to try not to get the fish fingers yet as I'd like ds to try other things.
It's not too hard to get fish in once a week, but at the moment ds only eats fish fingers and he's not having those twice a week!
We tend not to eat frozen fish as I've always thought it wouldn't taste as good or be as nutritious so I'll be interested to see what it's like. I
There was more choice than I thought, but confusing tbh, didn't realise there could be so much variation on a theme of breaded/battered fish!
I'm going to try either Sainsburys or Tesco for next week to see if they have a different choice.
I do think sustainability is important, especially when it comes to fish, when we buy fresh fish we will try coley or pollack, or seasonal/local fish and seafood (Cromer crabs for instance)

OnlyWantsOne Mon 20-Feb-12 16:16:49

In "my" tesco they only stock the JO fish fingers from the JO range...

and no fresh youngs fish at all!

TheTempest Mon 20-Feb-12 16:26:39

I went fish shopping yesterday, was ridiculously exciting by it. Went to a huge Tesco's to try and get as much of the full range as possible but having looked at all of the various supermarket websites, it was the best of a bad lot.

I agree with many of the PP that the range of fresh fish was very very small (only breaded fillets available for us) and even the frozen range wasn't very big. The only JO products available were the fishcakes in 2 varieties which we bought. I also bought the frozen small bags of prepared wite fish and salmon which I made into a Salmon in cream cheese parcel last night, some Youngs fish fingers and I will be venturing out agin as I still have £20 left for next week.

It was very yummy, and has definitely widened my range as I will definitely make that again.

We are having one set of the fishcakes tonight so I will report back on how they are. We generally don't eat pre prepared food, so I am disspaointed that the majority of the range is convinience food.

~ How easy generally do you find it to introduce fish into your family's diet?
It has been easier than I thought so far. I was not very confident on how easy it would be before this challenge.
~ Do you eat frozen fish as well as fresh? If so why? If not why not?
I have always eaten more frozen/tinned than fresh and it looks to be saying the same unless I can find a more well stocked supermarket for fresh items.
~ What was your overall impression of the Young's range? What did you like? What didn't you like? I liked the products that were there, and I like the packaging. The salmon was very nice and the recipe on the bag was helpful. I didnt like the fact it was so restricted and it may just be my Tescos but the range was spread out almost across the whole shop. This made it very difficult to make the best choices about what to buy.
~ Is sustainability important when you?re choosing meals to feed your family?
To be honest, it's not something Ive thought about before. I have started to look into it following a question on the other thread though.

insanityscratching Mon 20-Feb-12 16:35:53

Today I have bought frozen cod fillets,smoked haddock fillets,and king prawns because tomorrow I intend to make fish pie. I generally use fresh fish for this so I'm interested to see whether it's equally as tasty because it has worked out cheaper. I'll serve this with peas and sweetcorn.
I've also bought Jamie Oliver Pollock fishcakes and fish fingers that I'll serve with chips and mushy peas later in the week.
I really like the look of the gastro Basa fillets so plan on doing those next week probably with boiled potatoes and most likely the scampi because that's a firm favourite here.
It's pretty easy to get fish into mine so long as they don't look too fish like so they like fish pie, fish fingers, scampi, battered fillets but a fish with it's head on would send them running for the hills.
I buy fresh and frozen fish every week. The frozen stuff is usually in the form of battered fillets, fish fingers, fish cakes etc. The fresh I generally buy fillets and either serve them very simply or make a fish pie.
They didn't have the whole range in Tesco today so intend trying Sainsburys and Morrisons for next week. I think the packaging is distinctive so it's easy to pick out amongst the other brands.I'd like to try the things I don't routinely buy so I think buying elsewhere will help that.
Yes sustainability is important although I guiltily buy cod quite regularly as that's my particular favourite blush

40notTrendy Mon 20-Feb-12 16:41:20

I'm just wondering about what you say Tempest, about the range being spread out. I would have liked the scampi, prawns or calamari too, but I assumed Morrisons didn't stock that as I didn't see it, however it may have been elsewhere in the freezer section. Also, I only saw breaded fresh fish too.
Do we know if the vouchers can still be used at the end of the two week period? Because of the offers, they went a long way this week and I may have one or two left over! Will I still be able to use them?

SnapSnafu Mon 20-Feb-12 16:59:31

Oooh, local medium-sized Co-op had quite a lot from JO and Young's range. Was pleasantly surprised, but no special offers. They did have the JO fish fingers!

4 JO pollock fishcakes, 2x4 cod fishcakes - that will be tonight's tea with various veg and cost £4.

Questions to be answered at the start of the challenge

~ How easy generally do you find it to introduce fish into your family's diet?
Not that easy. DH eats it but moans if we have it too often and doesn't like the taste of oily fish "repeating". 9yo tries to claim she doesn't like white fish, but likes chip shop fish, and is reluctant about fish pie. Tinned tuna is ok with her. The 6 and 5 yo eat fish at a meal reluctantly, including fish pie and tuna. They all like prawns, and have tried some other shellfish.

~ Do you eat frozen fish as well as fresh? If so why? If not why not?
I do, but the rest of the family don't really, because of general fish-reluctance.

~ What was your overall impression of the Young's range? What did you like? What didn't you like?
I didn't know the JO stuff was Young's and while the quality and lack of colouring, etc, is great, for example the fishcakes are twice the price of Young's own, and the nutrition breakdown is rather similar (though real potato rather than reconstituted dried, etc). Not sure I would stretch to £6 (JO) for fishcakes for 5 of us generally, but £3 (Young's), I would. The scampi, etc, is quite expensive. It all makes for handy quick foods though, effectively a ready meal, and those are handy some of the time.

~ Is sustainability important when you?re choosing meals to feed your family?
Yes. Not sure about all this cod - my 9yo is likely to make a comment about that (although I think the debate is quite complex myself). She doesn't fancy the pollack fishcakes just because of the name though...

MissBerta Mon 20-Feb-12 18:12:24

Well, we are a family geared up for the 'Twice a Week Challenge', here!

My freezer is full of Young's fish, we travelled a bit further to a Sainsbury's nearby only because Waitrose didn't stock a huge amount of the range. I could only find Jamie Oliver fish cakes (salmon & pollock and pollock on its own) & JO fish fingers but also scampi, smoked haddock fillets, salmon chunks, white fish fillet chunks (pollock) prawns (this is for a fish pie) Kingsmill breadcrumb covered haddock, 'Gastro' lemon/tempura basa fillets, wow! loada of options to cook with there! We've eaten the scampi (delicious) and the JO pollock fishcakes (also lovely.)

How easy generally do you find it to introduce fish into your family's diet?

I make a fish pie around once a fortnight, it's very well received except by my younger son. I make it with fresh fish so will be trying out all the frozen smoked haddock, prawns, white and salmon chunks this coming Friday. DH not keen on prawns but hoping he won't notice too many in the pie 'cos I love 'em! I tend to make a salmon stir fry once a week, again with fresh salmon, I'm going to try this with the remainder of the salmon chunks, all (except my younger son!) love this meal. Now...on to my younger son. He adored the scampi, really wolfed it down and even ate some of his brother's. The Jamie Oliver pollock fishcakes went down a storm. I don't think they're overly 'fishy', nice and mild. This is why their great for fussy fish eaters like mine. Nice size too, one is enough for one person (I bought two packs, they are sold in packs of two.)

~ Do you eat frozen fish as well as fresh? If so why? If not why not?

Only fish fingers really, and that's not even me because that's the meal their dad cooks when I'm at work. I just haven't ever explored the frozen fish aisle at the supermarket.

~ What was your overall impression of the Young's range? What did you like? What didn't you like?

I love the frozen fish fillets, especially the salmon, I wish I could have bought some salmon fillets but there weren't any in Sainsbury's, I'll be interested to see how the salmon cooks up later in the week. I'd like to see more of the 'Gastro' range. Would have loved the chip shop box too, wonder where you can buy that from?! Would have perhaps liked to have seen Jamie Oliver do some fish goujons.

~ Is sustainability important when you?re choosing meals to feed your family?

Umm, I avoid cod. That's about it. I should know more but I don't really. As someone else pointed out, if you buy free range chicken and eggs it should really extend to fish too.

MissBerta Mon 20-Feb-12 18:13:57

Their....oh shoot me now! They're

AnnMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 20-Feb-12 18:23:17

Thanks for all the feedback so far folks...if you've had issues finding the full range in the local store please can you email me and I will ask them to look into the best local stockists for you - save you going round to different stores. It may take a short time but I know Young's would be happy to help with this!

OP’s posts: |
MonsterBookOfTysons Mon 20-Feb-12 18:41:38

Marking place till on laptop later smile

AnnMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 20-Feb-12 18:44:49

Have heard from the team at Young's re availability of whole range "Not all supermarkets stock the full range so our general advice would be to shop in superstores as opposed to the smaller local supermarkets as they're more likely to carry more of the range.
The vouchers will not expire following the two week trial so testers are welcome to hang onto these and use them at later date if they don’t use the full value for the challenge". HTH

OP’s posts: |
40notTrendy Mon 20-Feb-12 18:53:43

Getting addicted to this thread now....
Thanks Ann for answering the issues.
Also, now I've seen what other people have bought I want to go and get more fish, but I haven't got room for it yet!
I'm envy at other's people's meals grin

Bonkerz Mon 20-Feb-12 19:33:44

Well DS is excited about fish! He hasn't touched fish since he was small!!

oldsilver Mon 20-Feb-12 19:35:35

Let the fishy fest begin....

~ How easy generally do you find it to introduce fish into your family's diet? Not easy at all. Both DP and DS are fussy/faddy eaters.
~ Do you eat frozen fish as well as fresh? If so why? If not why not? Tend to only eat fish fingers full stop (see above answer). It's a shame cause I love fresh fish of all kinds. Once in all blue moon DP will splash out on a fish and chip supper. And the odd tuna sandwich in the Summer.
~ What was your overall impression of the Young's range? What did you like? What didn't you like? Will let you know at the end. Tend to normally only buy supermarket own brands or from the chip shop.
~ Is sustainability important when you?re choosing meals to feed your family? It is hence the once in a blue moon fish supper. I wouldn't normally go through and read a website on a food producer to the extent that I have the Young's one recently. But, for instance we like to check tins of tuna are rod or pole fished.

Tonights tea: JO Salmon and Pollock fishcakes x 4 with boiled swede/potatoes and salad.

DS (6) took one bite and spat it out. He tried another bit later and spat that one out too. The taste was too strong and he didn't like the potato in it. I was very proud of him for trying it though - he is not one for new foods hmm

DP thought the fishcakes could be a lot bigger. We both had 1 1/2 each (DS had 1 to himself - which I ended up eating half of) and it wasn't enough for DP. The hint of lemon wasn't obvious in one bite and overpowering in the next. He also though it could have done with having more fish in - couldn't see any salmon - just white fish in his share.

I thought they were very lemony which tended to wipe out the taste of the fish. If I hadn't had ds's share as well I would have been hungry too. Texture fine, some nice chunks of fish - mostly white, think I saw a speck of pink at one point - but could have done with more fish than potato.

All in all, general old's household opinion is not something we'd go for again - a bit bland apart from the overpowering lemon bites and too small.

Hope this is the kind of thing they are looking for smile

No fish tomorrow it is PANCAKE day [yum] grin

HarlotOTara Mon 20-Feb-12 20:27:59

Went to Tesco on Friday to buy some fish and was disappointed in how small a selection of Youngs products there were, mainly battered or breded fish. However what was there was on special offer so for £15 bought one pack of fishfingers and one pack of omega 3 fishfingers as well as two packs of Jamie's fishcakes and four bags of cut up fish - 2 salmon, one smoked and one white fish and some kippers. Had fishfinger sandwiches on Friday which were very yummy and made a fish pie on Sunday using three bags of the fish. I adapted Nigella's Blakean fish pie recipe and added the frozen fish straight to the sauce and cooked it in the oven - was a big hit in my family and would definitely use these again. I did drain the frozen fish to get the ice off so that the sauce wouldn't become watery and it didn't. My dd2 who is incredibly fussy loved the kippers which she had for lunch on Saturday - I was very surprised.

We will have some fishcakes later this week and I will go to Sainsbury to see if there is a better selection. I'm not a great lover of breaded or battered fish
so hope that I can find other Young's fish products.

How easy generally do you find it to introduce fish into your family's diet? We all loved the fish pie I made and that could become a regular thing

~ Do you eat frozen fish as well as fresh? If so why? If not why not? I don't buy a lot of fish and if I have bought fresh I would freeze it for the future so have no problem with frozen fish.

~ What was your overall impression of the Young's range? What did you like? What didn't you like? So far I really liked the bags of fish chunks and would use them often. I was disappointed with the range of Young's products in Tesco but will try other stores. Not keen on breaded and crumbed fish (apart from fishfingers)

~ Is sustainability important when you?re choosing meals to feed your family? Yes

startail Mon 20-Feb-12 21:05:38

I wish, DD2 won't eat fish at all and DH will eat the sort that comes in batter!

SnapSnafu Mon 20-Feb-12 21:14:27

We had the JO pollock fish cakes and Young's cod fishcakes tonight. dd2 (6) didn't like the JO ones, because they have parsley in and she never likes "green bits" on stuff, but everyone else did, and we all liked the cod ones. 2 each for the kids and 2.5 for me and 3.5 for dh (so we all got to try the pollock ones). Didn't really notice much difference between the 2 types though, apart from the parsley taste being noticed by dh (I didn't), so we didn't think we'd buy them again as they're twice the price of the Young's. Would cost us £6 to have enough of those, as opposed to £3. The nutritional content was much the same, with the JO ones having real potato instead of smash in them, and pollock instead of cod.

So, tasty and sufficient. Went down well. Served them with shredded cabbage and a mix of sauteed butternut squash/leeks/mushrooms. And tomato bread.

bellatrixrocks Mon 20-Feb-12 21:39:29

well, dinner was very successful!
the battered chip shop fillets were really nice! Dh & I thought they were delicious and super fussy dd (2) ate almost half a peice of fish - amazing for her as all she eats is chips and raisins atm!
I would definitely buy them again and can see them becoming a regular thing for tea

I would like to make a fish pie next week - has anyone got a nice easy recipe they'd like to share with me? grin

MissBerta Tue 21-Feb-12 09:47:12

bella This is my fish pie recipe. I have always used fresh fish pie mix so I'll adapt it for the frozen version! If mine is too complex, or you don't have time, then I can recommend Jamie Oliver's easy version fro his Ministry of Foof book, though it's not all that creamy, it uses creme fraiche, I use a cheese sauce.

I'm going to poach the frozen fish chunks/salmon chunks/prawns/smoked haddock fillets in a pint of milk. While you're doing this hard boil three eggs and boil up some potatoes for the mash topping.

Remove the fish, melt some butter in a sauce pan, add plain flour and use a small amount of the milk to make a roux, then gradually add the rest to make a white sauce. Add grated cheese, a bit of parsley if you like.

Put the fish into the dish you're cooking the pie in, add the chopped eggs and sauce. Top with mashed potato.

This is my failsafe recipe, we like lots of sauce so it's quite creamy.

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