Monday, July 8, 2013

Kids Menus Are ... Pathetic

"So ... your kids eat that food?"

It's surprising how often we hear that question when discussing a restaurant with people we know.  My wife and I are foodies, and we enjoy good meals at nice restaurants.  And, we spend a lot of time together as a family, which means our kids enjoy good food as well.  Recently, we had a wonderful meal at The Warming Hut in Breckenridge, Colorado where we dined on beef, bison, and lamb sliders, green lip mussels, bison and chorizo chili, and boar sausage.  It was a fabulous meal - which I accompanied with five pours of nice wines for the "Wine Wednesdays" tasting.  On other days we enjoyed calamari, truffle fries, steamed mussels, and more at great places like Modis and Hearthstone, also in Breck.

My kids enjoyed it as well - especially the boar's sausage.  Yet people are surprised that my kids would eat "that food."  As if it is some bizarre concoction of flavors that would gag an eight or eleven-year-old.  Which brings up the issue of the Kids Menu.  You've seen it - it's the same at every restaurant.  There's grilled cheese, pizza, hot dogs, PBJ, chicken tenders, etc.  The food all tastes the same, and it is nothing but starchy and salty.  How someone can justify paying twelve dollars for a PBJ at a nice restaurant is beyond me.  Yet, people do it because they claim "That's all my kids will eat."

Uh, no.

Kids certainly have more limited and distinct tastes than adults.  The subtlety and richness of many spiced and savory foods are sometimes too much for young palates.  However, there is no reason to simply stuff their mouths with mozzarella sticks and chicken tenders just so Mom and Dad can "enjoy" a nice meal.  Kids tastes develop along with their parents, and if kids will "only eat that," it's much more a parenting issue than one of true palates.  

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