The ‘kids menu’ usually has three items: grilled cheese, chicken fingers or spaghetti, served with a sweet beverage. Unless there is a piece of lettuce to decorate the plate, these meals don’t fulfill a single nutritional guideline. From what I’ve observed, the kids that are served these meals find them as unappealing as do the adults.
According to Bon Appétit magazine, chefs are parents too and are developing kid-friendly meals with real food. As one chef put it, allowing kids to eat as regular people is a good step toward having them eat healthier meals and expand their palates.
While the higher end restaurants are offering higher end food for children (house made hummus with dukkah and figs), mainstream chains are modifying their choices to become less brown. Since most restaurants have online menus, discussing options and making choices before leaving home can steer kids in a healthier direction. Water is the best beverage for children.
Dieters long ago discovered splitting entrees – an option if you have kids that like the same food. But – kids have their own palates and many are adverse to very strong flavors.
Family meals can be anywhere – it’s the time together that is more important than the food. We don’t need to drop our standards when eating outside of the home.