There was an interesting article in the NY Times this week about eating out with kids. Because so many meals are eaten in restaurants these days, kids have become accustomed to having kid food. The article explores what happens when a restaurant doesn't offer a kids' menu.
With my youngest turning 29 this month, and being an old hippie, my kids never rarely anything off a kids' menu. Being of a certain age, the concept of "kids' food" didn't exist when I was young. Let's talk about kids and food after the fold.
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Looking Beyond The Children's Menu talks about restaurants that do not have children's menus. A chef explains:
Mr. Marzovilla welcomes young children at his restaurant, even discounts their meals on Sunday evenings, and is not above serving a simple appetizer portion of pasta to please little ones. But he has strong opinions about food, and about the messages parents convey to their offspring through what they eat. Children’s menus aim too low, he argues — they’re a parenting crutch.Don't kids deserve the same quality of food that adults do? I am always surprised to see kids' offerings in nice restaurants that feature the same few foods - chicken strips or nuggets, burgers, grilled cheese, hot dogs, and PB&J. And french fries, of course. All the hyper-palatable foods we learned about in the series based on "The End Of Overeating" by Kessler.
“The table is very important,” Mr. Marzovilla explained as we sat around one at his restaurant early Sunday evening with our five collective children. “It’s about nutrition, it’s about family; you go right down the line. And the children’s menu is about the opposite — it’s about making it quick, making it easy, and moving on.”
My kids were encouraged to try everything but never forced. They were also allowed to have foods they didn't like. They ate most veggies, especially ones we grew ourselves. They saw mom approaching food as a recreational activity - cooking and eating - and grow up thinking many unusual foods were a treat. As adults, they eat just about everything and are very adventerous eaters.
If you have kids, what do they eat? If they eat anything, how did you accomplish that? What is the most unusual thing your kids eat? What was the most unusual thing you ate as a child?
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