Over the last few years, my family’s experience has been that from the most humble café to the most prestigious restaurant, the menu for children has been depressingly the same: chicken nuggets, burgers, fried fish, pizza, pasta and chips (with everything). Do you agree that children’s menus should be so limited? I don’t!
I feel very sad that my child’s experience of food is limited in this way. My son Jack who is nine now, is really happy to eat shellfish, mushrooms, spinach, quail and asparagus, to name just a few things that never appear on children’s menus.
I understand that cafés and restaurants want to keep kids happy (and by default their parents) but I do think that we do our children a disservice by limiting their palates and expectations in this way. I have been pleased recently to see a little bit of movement in this predictable menu making. I’ve seen steak, ribs, rice, pork and a few other more interesting things creeping in, and I hope they continue to do so.
As parents let’s ask for more interesting things for our kids to eat, and as food producers, let’s aim a bit higher in terms of children’s menus.
I have found that if you have the time, email the restaurant in advance, and most are pretty accommodating about portion size and leaving out sauces or dressings to make a meal work better for a child.