I've always hated kid menus. It makes eating out a challenge when the only "Kid" offerings are horribly unhealthy. I've always said that Kidsmenus should just be the adult menus at kid sized portions. More US restaurants should take note. Vegetables shouldn't just be Corn and Fries. Give me a roasted broccoli or brussel sprout or even cherry tomatoes. Delicious food is delicious food. Kids will eat it, you just have to offer them something better than chicken fingers.
We took our kids to a family chain restaurant and noticed that almost everything on the kids menu was a carb. Chicken fingers, grilled cheese, peanut butter and jelly, and mac and cheese. My son shouldn't eat any of that without a vegetable to balance it out and fries don't help. Where's the fiber? Eating out may be a once in a while meal, but it doesn't mean you have to blow it on carbs and salt. We ended up getting him a fish dish with a side of steamed broccoli.
I know a lot of parents are going to say that their kids wouldn't eat fish and broccoli. Or maybe chicken fingers and grilled cheese is all their kids eat. That's fine. If your kids are healthy and can eat that, thats great. But when there are kids with special dietary needs, such as diabetes or gluten allergies, kids menus should reflect that with added options. Going out to eat is one of the few things that help ease a mom's stress over planning meals, not add to it by not being able to find suitable healthy fare for their family.
I once had a fight with a manager at IHop over replacing the chicken fingers in the kids chicken and waffles with grilled chicken instead of fried. I told him my son was pre diabetic and he can't eat the breading along with the carbs in a waffle and he wouldn't help. Instead he charged us $5 for ordering an additional grilled chicken breast along with our other meals. It's situations like that, that make eating healthy emotionally and financially difficult for families.
But it doesn't stop at kid's menus at restaurants, just look at kids lunches in our schools. I don't really understand how a french fry is qualified as a vegetable!? Being that my son has to control his diet due to his high A1C test results, I have to pack his lunch everyday to ensure that he gets an actual balanced meal. I think if schools offered more of a variety of fruits and vegetables, kids would be more apt to eat them. A whole apple or a whole orange is the only option for fruit while french fries and plain steamed carrots and peas are their only options for vegetables. If you were given these as your only options, how often would you eat it? Why not easy to peel clementines, or highly snackable grapes? There is nothing being done to make fruits and vegetables palatable for kids. Roasting a vegetable does wonders for flavor and texture, while offering more variety in fruits makes for a more appetizing sweet treat.
We need to change the mindset of parents in order to change the system. Demand controls supply. If we demand it, if we want to make this change, it can happen. But if we become complacent to ordering high sodium, high carb meals devoid of nutrition for our kids, what will we become?