What is with the kid’s menu at restaurants?
Why are the options always chicken fingers, pizza, or butter soaked white pasta topped with cheese? And sugar, sugar, sugar?
Why do restaurant chains believe that children have no taste buds? Or sense of adventure?
Listen, my kids LOVE the kids menu. They love grilled cheese and pizza when we go out…but I’m not going to lie. They barely ever finish it, and they’re mostly there for the french fries. Which…I mean, I totally understand.
French fries are delicious.
But why is it that we can’t go out to dinner and expect our kids to eat off the regular menu? Why are we setting the bar so low?
Was it always this way?
I read that the children’s menu began back sometime around prohibition to keep children SAFE from disease. SAFE.
Well, I can tell you right now, the deep fried kids menu of today is doing nothing to keep kids safe. It may not contain any diseases, but it’s certainly causing some.
Typically, the food served on the children’s menu has barely any nutritional value and is clogging their tiny little arteries while raising their insulin levels through the roof.
Restaurants are now showing calorie counts on their menus, which is good and bad news for everyone. Of course, it’s great to be educated and aware of what we’re putting in our bodies, but I’m afraid people will go exclusively by the calorie count and not by the ingredients in the food.
For instance, iceburg lettuce has basically no calories. It also has no nutrition.
I like to focus on the KINDS of food we’re putting into our body and not focus on the numbers. When you eat real, whole foods, the numbers don’t matter because you’re doing your body a favour. Of course you need to pay attention to fats and sugars and calories when you’re eating crappy food. But you go with the best bad option, right? The one with 800 calories instead of 1000?
I’m not evil. I let me kids eat some of this stuff. Here’s where I have the issue: some families go out to eat on a weekly basis. In fact, some families go out to eat multiple times a week. These are the families and children I’m concerned with because the kids will get used to eating this bland, deep fried food and not know any better. They’ll lose their taste for real food. It can come back, but it’s harder to crawl back up a steep mountain than it is to hike on a trail with an occasional hill.
In other parts of the world, a children’s menu might include seared salmon, a green salad, sushi, homemade soup, etc. I’m sure there are also more “kid-friendly” (as we would call it) items as well, but for the most part…it seems kids eat real, whole foods, that their parents eat in front of them.
How awesome is that?
If you want to make a change, today is the day to do it. I’m daring every family that reads this post to NOT order off the kids menu next time you go to a restaurant.
If you must order a full sized version of something, bring the leftovers home for your lunch the next day. Just try. See how your kids do.
My daughter was gnawing on some ribs last month. I don’t eat a lot of meat, but she was absolutely loving it. Not the best option, sure, but it wasn’t from the kids menu. Because my kid LIKED RIBS. *GASP*
I wish children’s menu just meant smaller portions. For now, I’m going to do my best to steer my kids towards sharing some of the regular menu items and maybe getting a side of fries to split.
Treats are treats, and I’m all for them. Really. But when we do the same thing over and over again, how can we expect different results?
Let’s challenge our kids and OURSELVES to be better. Let’s do this.
It’s a simple change. But one that will make a world of difference.
So what is your favourite restaurant? Have you found a kids menu that is a little better? Let me know and I’ll post about it.