At last–I thought! But some restaurants are still falling behind.
On Sunday, we had brunch with some friends. Here’s what the kids got:
Now I have to admit, I didn’t look at the kids menu and I can’t find it at the restaurant’s website. It’s possible that there were healthier options, but the parents didn’t order them.
Regardless, feeding your kids outside the house can be frustrating. Here are some things I learned from my experience as a dietitian and mother:
Adult food tends to be healthier
Sad for our kids but very true. I started ordering myself a meal my son can eat from. Other options are to split an adult meal between 2 kids, or offer half of it for 1 child and take the rest home. You can also order your child a healthy appetizer, like hummus dip with bread.
It’s OK to pack food from home
Especially when your kids are young. Toddlers don’t understand the excitement of restaurant food yet. This also saves you money. Compare how much you spend on a grilled cheese sandwich (can I mention with tons of butter?) to how much it costs you to pack 2 slices of bread with 1-2 slices of cheese! Other than cheese, you can do peanut butter/jelly or turkey, fresh cut-up fruits, applesauce, or yogurt.
Feed them at home before you go
For two reasons. One: homemade meals are generally healthier than restaurant food. Two: the wait before the meal arrives drives your child to the “too hungry” stage. Older kids will fill up on bread. Younger kids will get fussy–so you’re more likely to give them some bread to keep them quiet! Besides, when they’re fussy and hungry, and you’re distracted and hungry, what’s the easiest, fastest thing to order? Fries!
Speaking on feeding your kids, I read this article this morning and I would like to share it with you: “Why Weight? #8: Balance & Rhythm With Eating”
I have to admit I don’t have all the answers. Even with a 4 year college degree and 9 months of hardwork during my internship, feeding my son healthy meals is an education-in-progress. He’s a toddler now, and I’m sure what works for him might not work for a 6-year-old. That’s why I need your help!
Share your strategies with us. What do you do when you go out to ensure your kids eat a healthy meal? Tell us how old your kids are.