While the children's menus available in many restaurants can make family dining more affordable, I would encourage parents - and for that matter, restaurant owners too - to consider options other than the traditional children's menu fare (you know what I'm talking about - chicken nuggets, mac and cheese, pizza, etc.) for children dining out. Wouldn't it be great if kids could explore new foods without parents having to pay an arm and a leg?! If smaller sized and priced options for entrees are not available, here are a few tips:
- Consider ordering an appetizer size of a more interesting dish.
- Have 2 kids - if available :) - share an entree. This can be a good exercise in negotiation skills as they work out an agreement between them. If sharing between kids is not an option, consider ordering an entree and wrap up half of it to take home for a future meal.
- Take advantage of buffets when possible. They offer a great opportunity to try little bits of lots of things without committing to an entire dish of anything.
- Allow for some accommodations for children's tastes (e.g., sauce on the side, vegetable substitutions.)
- Act as if there is no children's menu. This may sound crazy to some, but see what your kids can come up with if you challenge them a bit.
- If possible, have your kids look over the regular menu in advance, either online or in print, so that they can start to think and plan about what they might like to try.