Saturday, April 11, 2009

Holiday Family Meals

As tomorrow is Easter, I'm thinking about kids' eating in the context of large family gatherings. My aunt is taking out our family to a restaurant with a beautiful buffet tomorrow for lunch so everyone will find something that they enjoy to eat. So no worries for me. But I've been at other family gatherings when my kids were younger where they only ate bread. I've also been to gatherings where kids are only offered chiken nuggets and french fries. I think it's sometimes a hard balance to achieve - offering healthy choices yet also offering something "kid-friendly." By relying on kids menus too heavily, I think we've done a disservice to a generation of kids. We send the message that children should eat different food than adults. We end up narrowing the number of foods that our kids will eventually eat, and we feed into an expectation that they will be catered to and offered "special" foods. On the other hand, food from kids' menus is generally much cheaper than adult menu food. Sometimes I would prefer that my kids just eat the $5 kids meal than the $15-$20 adult entree just to save money. Sometimes we've been able to get two of the kids to share an adult entree, but not always. So nutrition, economics, family dynamics, and particular tastes all go into making that decision of what to order. Who knew it could be so complicated?!

P.S. Happy Easter!

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