I don’t know about you, but I am obsessed with cooking competition shows, Cut Throat Kitchen definitely blows all the rest out of the park if I had to choose a favorite.
Sometimes I love to hear the perspectives on food from the chefs, it opens my mind to trying new and exciting things. The other night Mr. R and I sat down to indulge in a good hour of our old friend Alton when a guest chef on his show mentioned how much she detested Children’s Menus and refused to use them in her own restaurant because they dumbed down food for kids.
Perhaps I had just had a bad day, or perhaps something with my dinner was unsettled, but whatever it is this statement really “ground my gears”. A series of thoughts shot out from my mind and into the image of this pompous blonde in the TV screen. She was either one or all of these things:
- Short Sighted
- Narrow Minded
- Just Trying To Drive Me Nuts
I am not angry because I want my kids to live off the nutritious diet of chicken fingers, corn dogs, and mac and cheese, I’m mad because I don’t. Here is a chef that takes the time to consider the fact that kids need to nurture a sophisticate palette to grow into a healthy habit formed adult, but instead of doing something about it she cuts kids out of the picture all together.
I am driven nuts when I go out to eat and a chef who has an entire pantry of opportunity laying at their fingertips the only thing they can come up with to inspire my child’s passion for food is a cheese quesadilla. Are you kidding me? How hard would it be to just toss a little spinach even just some shredded chicken in there?
As a mom, this is what I want out of a Children’s Menu:
Portioning & Price Point
I don’t particularly want to pay 20 bucks, for my three year old to shower your floor with artichokes and a 12 oz steak. I want a meal that fits the size of their stomachs.
There is no worse mom guilt than the my kid eats only cheese and fried foods mom guilt. Help a mother out by offering me options with vitamins. I will frequent your establishment more often if I can leave feeling my children received a well balanced meal.
A Challenge to Their Palette
I get it, most kids hate vegetables, but vegetables are a necessary evil to raising a healthy child. Challenging their palette is the most critical step I feel as a mom with a priority of raising healthy children. When my 7 year old step son arrived in June this past summer he pronounced his newly reclaimed disgust for spinach; to the point that he flat out refused to eat it without the accompaniment of tears for extra seasoning. After three weeks and a few creative meals I had him asking for seconds of raw spinach by August.
All it takes is a little thought and planning. You don’t have to be an upscale restaurant to offer nutritional food to kids.