Think dinner out with the family means seeing your kids order chicken nuggets or mac ‘n cheese again? Not necessarily! According to MSNBC, more and more kids are becoming adventurous eaters, and more restaurants are offering grownup-tasting meals to kids. Like one three-year-old at American Seasons on Nantucket Island, who ate a child-size portion of foie gras – basically sautéed goose liver - and liked it!
With all the complaints about child obesity, more restaurants are creating healthier options, smaller portions, more interesting kids’ menus, and even kid-friendly tours of the kitchens and on-site vegetable gardens. For example, the Russian Tea Room in New York City introduced the popular children’s tea, which includes decaf tea and PB&J on a blini – basically a buckwheat pancake. Loews Hotels created an Adopt-a-Farmer Program to support local growers. They also teach kids simple recipes for fresh produce, and provide seeds they can plant at home.
So, how can you make your kids more adventurous eaters? It’s all about exposure and experience, according to chef and cookbook author Peter Davis. He suggests making it interesting for kids to try new things, like making it a game to order and try something brand new every time you go out. Don’t force it. In other words, don’t give them a plateful of something strange, and insist that they eat it. Instead, give them a bite. If they don’t like it, don’t dwell on it. You never know. The kid who hates fish might develop a passion for wild salmon after they see it caught and cooked, or if they eat at the restaurant at Disneyland that has sautéed salmon on the kids’ menu. Bottom line: When your kids try new foods at a restaurant, they’re more likely to try new things at home, which means you could stop buying tater tots and chicken fingers.