At every single restaurant we dined at this year the “kids menu” we received while visiting countries in Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Europe included the same items;
- Cheese Pizza
- Pepperoni Pizza
- Chicken Nuggets
- Macaroni and Cheese
- Hot Dog
You would expect to find these popular, unhealthy foods from restaurants across the USA, but the rest of the world? Really?!! By the time we spent our 1st week in Europe, our kids got so sick of choosing from the same menu items they asked to order from the “regular” menu simply because they found the kids menu “boring” (not my words).
“Mom, why do they give us kids menus all the time? It’s the same boring food we eat in America and you guys get to eat all the good stuff?”, my daughter Lou Lou asks. It was at that moment we allowed both children to order from a regular menu.
My children are by no means “food snobs”, but they have been introduced to worldly cuisines at a very young age and therefore expect this to be reflected in their “mini menu” when they dine out at restaurants. It would only make sense wouldn’t it? If you’re in Morocco wouldn’t you want a kids menu had kid-friendly Moroccan food items to choose from instead of a hotdog? But, this is unfortunately what you find and it’s sad.
How can we teach our children to try different ethnic foods if every kid menu in the world serves the same thing? And how are we to introduce healthy eating habits to them when they are frequently given menu choices that are unhealthy and limited?
The American diet has grown so popular around the world that its negatively affecting the eating habits of children worldwide. Kudos to the restaurants who have great kids menus that reflect their style of food or cuisine, this is what we need to see more of, this is what restaurants should aim to do. This is what we recommend on every comment card we complete when we dine at a restaurant at home in the US and overseas (if there’s a comment card).
We want and expect the best for our children and so we feel passionate about this subject and will continue to advocate for healthier, creative, custom-made kid-friendly menus to every single restaurant we visit. Many have welcomed our feedback and taken our suggestions seriously and we’re looking forward to returning to those locations again real soon.
Children are REAL PEOPLE and should be allowed to choose and eat REAL FOOD!
So, the next time you dine out do yourself and your family a favor. Take the coloring book and crayons but order something else other than a chicken nuggets tonight and perhaps every night thereafter…