Restaurant Menus Are Failing Our Kids

Have you ever noticed how limited many kids’ menus are at restaurants? Honestly, it never really hit me until we were on vacation last month. Ninety-five percent of the choices for kids consisted of chicken nuggets/tenders, hot dogs, cheeseburgers, macaroni and cheese, or grilled cheese. Of course the options for sides included fries because there is no other way to prepare potatoes apparently. Some offered fruits and vegetables…but not all.


I know many people are brainwashed to believe that is the complete food pyramid for many kids. Is that just because that’s all that we’re offering?

Case and point. During a dinner out while on vacation, my 4-year-old was not in the mood for the typical kids’ choices. She moaned and groaned. When she asked what I was having and I answered steak, she asked why she couldn’t have that too. Good question. So, I asked the waiter if I could order a smaller steak for her. While he said they couldn’t do that (hmmm…okay, can’t you just cut a smaller piece of meat?, but I digress) he did tell me I could simply order a beef kabob that was listed as an “add-on” on the adult menu. While this satisfied her carnivorous craving, I asked myself why this couldn’t be an option on the kids’ menu. Sure, I could have just given my daughter some of my steak, but that still doesn’t solve the problem. Plus, mama wants to eat too! Why are kids locked into a box of hot dogs and grilled cheeses? Can’t we do better for our kids? It’s no wonder we have a childhood obesity problem in this country.

Maybe some of it comes down to the all mighty dollar.We all know restaurants are making some bucks on their kids’ meals. Sorry, but when you’re charging $5.99 for a bowl of mac and cheese and a drink, I know there is profit to be had. A box of Kraft mac and cheese goes for about one dollar…and that’s a whole box that feeds more than one kid. It doesn’t take a mathematician to figure out who’s coming out on top here. It’s certainly not the kids and parents. If it’s not mac and cheese then it’s a $4.99 “meal” that consists of a hot dog, fries, and a drink. Sure it’s cheap, but mama always said, you get what you pay for. There is nothing nutritious going on in there. Why not offer more balanced “adult-like” meal options? Maybe baked chicken, steak, dare I even go so far as suggest fish? If restaurants have to charge more then so be it. It will then be on the parents to decide whether they want to pay an extra five bucks for their kid to have a better quality meal. Until or should I said if this happens it looks like I’ll be ordering that beef kabob from the adult menu for my kid.









My Kid The Food Critic

“Mom, this service is horrible.”

“Mom, this mac & cheese is nasty.”

“Mom, how can a restaurant run out of ketchup?”

My 5-year-old is a food critic. She pays attention to every detail of each dining experience and has a comment about everything.

While some people may think this is obnoxious, my husband and I find it hilarious. The really funny thing is that most of the time she’s right!

Case and point. We walk into a rather new restaurant and get seated. We get handed our menus. We decide what we want. We wait. And wait. And wait. No one has come over to even acknowledge us.

“Mommy, they haven’t even come to ask about our drinks.”

She’s right. We’ve been sitting for nearly ten minutes and no one has come over. It really does border on poor service and my kid knows it.

“Mommy, the service here isn’t too great.”

Thankfully she doesn’t say it too loudly because just as she gives her first critique, the waitress finally comes over to take our drink order. Of course my daughter is all smiles. Little does this waitress know she’s being watched by one of the harshest food critics on the east coast.

“Mommy, she’s not too friendly.”

OMG! This kid doesn’t quit. But, once again, she’s kinda right. The waitress kinda seemed like she was either tired or didn’t want to be there. My kid picked up on it right away.

I just nod my head in agreement.

When the waitress comes back to take our food order, both my daughters ordered for themselves. The waitress just looked at them as if they were speaking another language. My daughter gives me that “what’s wrong with her?” look. I pretend not to notice. Instead I translate for the waitress so we get the right food. God forbid the wrong stuff comes out!

So now we wait for our food. And wait. And wait.

“Mommy this is taking forever. I’m hungry.”

Then little sis chimes in too. My mini-food critic in training. I try to tell them to be patient, but I’m hungry too and it has been a long time.


Thankfully once the food finally arrives, it’s actually pretty good. Both my kids eat without complaints. While this may not make up for the slow service, it certainly is a brownie point.

Now onto the ice cream that comes with their meals. They order chocolate. Another waitress brings out vanilla. They stare as if they were just handed a bowl of boogers.

We tell this new waitress we ordered chocolate. She tells us they don’t have chocolate. That’s all fine and dandy, but why didn’t our waitress tell us? That’s a strike.


My kids eat their vanilla ice cream. It is ice cream after all.

When we’re all done, I ask my little food critic what she thought.

“It was okay. Food wasn’t bad, but they need to work on the service part.”

Lol, from the mouths of babes!





CA Restaurant Bans Noisy Kids

If your kids are noisy, don’t visit one California restaurant. It has banned kids! Forget strollers, high chairs, or booster seats…you won’t find them here. There’s a sign right in front just so there’s no confusion!

As a parent of two children, I know how hard it is to keep kids quiet and entertained while eating out. It’s really a game of chance…sometimes they’re good, other times, not so much. But, I also think you need to teach kids how to act out in public, not shun them. With that said, I personally wouldn’t take them to a four-star restaurant. If I’m paying that much money for a meal, I want to be able to thoroughly enjoy it!

What do you think about all of this?