Why Restaurants Now Pay Attention to Kids’ Menus


Kids’ menus these days don’t have to consist only of insipid chicken nuggets and frozen hot dogs. At restaurants across the country, kids now eat just as well as the adults. Think: homemade hummus with dukkah and figs or no-filler beef meatballs served over fresh-ground polenta. As parents’ attitudes towards how children “should” eat change, so do restaurant menus. Here’s why (and how) chefs are investing in their youngest diners.

A Reason to Bring the Whole Family
Chefs are parents, too. That was really at the heart of it for Tony Maws, the chef behind Craigie on Main and the family-friendly Kirkland Tap & Trotter (both in Boston). “Family meals are really important to me. The idea is that parents can come out, have an adult beverage, and enjoy themselves while they’re eating with their kids,” he says. “Years ago, if I envisioned a dining room filled with kids, I’d have heart palpitations.” Now that he’s a dad, he welcomes it, and wanted to build a restaurant that appeals to every member of the family.

The kids’ menu at Kirkland Tap & Trotter. Photo: Kirkland Tap & Trotter

Kids Should Eat Real Food
When Maws started thinking about what it would mean for families to eat at Kirkland, all roads led to one thing: “There has to be real food,” he says. “I understand that different parents feed their kids different things, and I don’t want to be on a pedestal about it, but I have a strong opinion about what everybody should eat. I had a conversation with my son, who was five at the time, and what I ultimately decided was that if we were going to serve chicken, it’s going to be the same chicken that’s on the adults’ menu.” That means, when the restaurant puts spaghetti and …read more

Source:: Bon Appetit