Chicken tenders, French fries, hamburgers, hotdogs, mac-and-cheese…
This hodgepodge of nutrient-devoid fats, carbs, and processed meats appear on virtually all children’s menus at restaurants, regardless of cuisine.
The concept of children’s menus lacks common sense.
Why is it that elementary school-aged kids are only offered a menu of salt, sugar, and fat, at such a critical point in the development of their eating habits? How is it that only once a young person becomes an adult are they offered a healthier menu when dining out?
There are, of course, exceptions. Some restaurants incorporate fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, as well as lean proteins and nutritious fats into children’s dishes. However, this is the exception, not the norm.
Imagine a restaurant without a separate menu for young children. Instead, children ordered the same food as adults.
We only live what we learn.
Next time you’re out to eat with your child, consider sharing your meal with her or him. This approach will not only enhance your eating habits, it will also cultivate your child’s palate.
Restaurant entrées are supersized. By sharing your meal with your child, you’ll either avoid the urge to overeat or avoid wasting food. You’ll also save money, and who doesn’t love that?!
Your child will also reap the benefits of sharing a meal with you. Not only will she or he foster nutritious eating habits from an early age, they’ll also expand their culinary horizons. Not to mention the fact that a meal shared with you will be much more nutrient-dense than an option from the children’s menu.
Looking for more tips to make your family’s restaurant experience healthful?
Check out why happy meals make me unhappy, and discover how to improve the nutrition of your next restaurant meal.
What’s your take on the concept of children’s menus?
Until Next Week…Plan Well, Pack Well, Live Well,
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