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DS(2.5) is a great eater. I think the reaosn he's such a great eater is becasue he's never eaten junk. I buy organic whole foods and cook from scratch. Heck, some foods he doesn't even know exist. And I'm quite happy about this.

But every once in a while we like to go out to eat, usually to a nice place that serves fresh food. (not a TGIFridays or the like) I will usually scan the menu for something along the lies of wild salmon with veggies or roasted chicken with veggies for DS. But every single time, the waiter comes over saying they have a kids menu or don't worry-the chef can make chicken fingers or mac and cheese for DS.

I get really annoyed. Firstly, DS's curiosity is piqued by the mention of a kids menu and second, maybe, just maybe this is one of the reason we have disease and obesity running rampant in the youth of this country...we expect kids to eat bugers and hot dogs and mac and cheese and chicken fingers but leave the good stuff...the veggies and lean proteins to the adults? What the heck?

I really wish kids menus would not exist. It promotes unhealthy eating.
 

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I'm with you on this one. I'd love to see a kid's portion option instead. So you'd have the entire regular menu, the senior section with slightly smaller portions, and then the kid option, with kid-sized portions of anything (nonalcoholic) on the menu. That would be awesome.
 

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I'm in total agreement with you.
I usually ditch the kid's menu and split whatever I'm having with my DD. Portions are usually too big for one person anyway!
 

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My DD usually gets a little sample off of everyone's plate. We never do the kid's menu thing.

One restaurant that we sometimes eat at that I like their kid's menu is Texas Road House. They have things like ribs and steak bites and such on there which is nice.
 

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Yes. In fact, I started a whole thread on it in F&F a couple of months ago here. There was a lot of good discussion about the financial implications of the children's menu, too.

We don't eat fast food and I'm proud that dd, at newly 8 years old, doesn't know what McDonald's food tastes like. She appreciates good food. At 2.5, her favorite food was steamed mussels. She has always loved fresh, well-prepared food. There really *is* something to avoiding the convenience foods parents so often give in to. I mean, 80 years ago, it was either made from scratch or it was not eaten. Obviously children survived on something other than kid's menus. Why do restaurants think this has to be the norm now? Why are kids given only unhealthy, processed options?

Dd almost never eats off of the kid's menu even at very nice restaurants (if they have them... often they don't). If we don't want the same thing to share, we just bite the bullet and order an adult meal for her. Restaurants in the US are ignorantly incapable of making a children's portion of an adult meal. We never had this problem when we lived in Europe. At least somewhere in the world they expect kids to eat small healthy meals instead of unhealthy chicken nuggets, fries, mac and cheese, hot dogs and hamburgers.

Yep, another frustrated parent when eating out. And dd is frustrated, too.
 

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Kids menus have never been a problem for us. If my 5 year old has one handed to him, he usually looks at it and says, "this looks disgusting." And orders something from the regular menu. If you don't give your kid crappy food, they won't want it.
 

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Kid's menus!


I usually split an entree between my two boys, or order them two different appy's. (For example last week we went out with my parents and I ordered smoked salmon won-tacos for one, and steamed mussells for the other. They shared them both and I gave them some of my veg.)

There is never anything on the kids menu that appeals to by sons either.
 

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I've never "resented" kids menus - after all I've never been forced to order for my kids from one. My kids have always been free to order what they want, or split a dish between them, or share one with DH or me.

Kids menus are a convenience for some people who choose to utilize them. The kids menu does not affect me in any way, so why should I resent it?
 

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We tend to avoid the kids menu and either share or order 2 side orders for her, one veggie and one protein. I don't understand why restaurant folks think that kids only eat fried food or chees-intensive foods. DD loves vegetables and most kids menus do not have any, unless you consider fries (which she doesn't even like). I am happy to see, though, that one of our regular family restaurants, in addition to the usual kids menu fare, have added some healthy meals, only smaller portions - grilled fish or chicken with steamed veggies, kid-size veggie omlette, and a few other choices that I would even eorder for myself.
 

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Right there with you and I'm not even a parent!
I don't understand having kids menus full of junk to offer kids.
It's horrible and most of them offer the same things. I won't even entertain the kids menu once I start taking my dd out to eat.
 

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I too, tend to avoid the kids menu and so I can't resent it.

Some places near us have options for the kids menu, so if I order her grilled chicken I can also get steamed veggies, or something of the likes..and I normally do that. At our diner I just get her eggs, bacon and a juice and ask for smaller portions and they deliver.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by choli View Post
I've never "resented" kids menus - after all I've never been forced to order for my kids from one. My kids have always been free to order what they want, or split a dish between them, or share one with DH or me.

Kids menus are a convenience for some people who choose to utilize them. The kids menu does not affect me in any way, so why should I resent it?
For some people, it's the principle that counts.

Rather than offering child-sized portions (to cut down on waste and cost to the consumer) of the adult menu, if you want to pay less and get a portion that is more appropriate for young tummies, you have to order off of the child's menu.

When you order off of the adult menu, the food may not do well as leftovers, so what's not eaten is wasted. Dd loves fish and this is always the case... if someone at the table doesn't finish it, it just gets left behind. Once the fish is reheated, it's horribly overcooked and nobody wants to eat that.

And in our case, we have just one child. If dh and I are both hungry and want to eat our food, we have to order a whole other adult-sized entree for dd because there isn't enough to share from ours and we don't have another child to split it between.

The solution, which they know already in other parts of the world, is to just offer "half-portions" of food for people who are either not as hungry or for children. Usually, they even make money off of this. For a half-portion of, say, a $14 pasta dish, they can charge $8 instead of $7 and people will be happy with that.

I also think it's insulting to children to assume they only eat crap. Kids can have a refined palate, too.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Masel View Post
The kid menus are horrible for milk allergies. Cheese everything!
So true!! We have never really eaten at a lot of chain restaurants, but with food allergies the consistency of their food makes it sometimes less stressful. Red Robin is one chain that is great for food allergies, and they have healthy choices on their kids menu. The boys can get grilled chicken on a stick (food on sticks is fun!) and steamed broccoli. Plus when you let them know about the food allergies they make sure the details are put on the ticket for the kitchen. We found out that PF Changs handles food allergies in a similar way. They print out a menu of safe foods to choose from, so I picked something that I could share with both boys.

We don't order from most "kid" menus because of the food allergies, but I can absolutely understand the frustration with them.
 

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I totally agree! We just split the entree or make a smaller meal out of healthy side orders.
 

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I don't get the resentment either.

Restaurants offer kids menus because they think it will be a more pleasant experience for everyone if they make a small effort to cater to young people who don't have adventurous palates. They don't want kids to be having dinner-time meltdowns in the dining room. They want customers to know that these options exist.

I have never had trouble asking the waiter for a half-portion of anything on the menu. Just because they don't list it doesn't mean they won't do it. It's not a big deal, just "Could we get a half-portion of this?" Generally, the answer is yes.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by choli View Post
I've never "resented" kids menus - after all I've never been forced to order for my kids from one. My kids have always been free to order what they want, or split a dish between them, or share one with DH or me.

Kids menus are a convenience for some people who choose to utilize them. The kids menu does not affect me in any way, so why should I resent it?
That. We don't order much off the kids' menu because of allergies, but I've never been offended to be handed one.

My kids like good food as well, but sometimes when we go out, we all eat something much less healthy than we eat at home. And I really don't care, with as rarely as we go out. Maybe other parents feel the same way. Maybe it's a treat for their kid to get the mac and cheese or corn dog.
 

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I distinctly remember BEING a child and going out with my parents and having the waiter offer us a child's menu. And I was always pretty offended because I wanted normal food instead of... well, back then it was usually spaghetti or hot dogs I guess on the kids' menus. (Now it's mac and cheese and chicken fingers, I guess.) I wanted (and luckily received) grown-up food.

When we go out sometimes we do order a kids' menu item but only if EVERYTHING is messy on the menu - and that's rare, usually there's something they can eat. Our two are such messy eating toddlers that sometimes it's easier on all of us if they just get a grilled cheese or something that they can't mess up too badly. Sometimes you can just order something without sauce (like a chicken parm without sauce, so basically a chicken cutlet) but sometimes you don't want to make a big deal out of it. Plus they get healthy food at home so the health factor doesn't bother me for once in a while eating out.

You know where I've never seen a kid's menu (though I'm sure they exist) - a Chinese restaurant.
 

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My dd's favorite food is chicken and at least half of the places we go to has a grilled chicken option on their kids menu. So I usually order that for dd. If it's not already an option I ask to sub a veggie of some kind (usually broccoli) for the fries that are usually the side. It's usually not a problem.

My dd is a bit picky in that she does not like sauces of any kind. So anything I order for myself with a sauce is most likely not going to appeal to dd, though I usually offer a few small bites even if she has her own food. I do like having the option of ordering something kid sized for her because I don't have to choose my food based on what I think she'll eat.

I don't resent kid's menus and while it would be nice if you could order a kid's sized portion of anything off the regular menu I can see how that would make prep in the kitchen more difficult.
 
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