By Fredrica Syren:
Last weekend we went to an all vegan and raw restaurant here in Stockholm. To my kids’ delight, they had a huge menu to choose from: smoothies, breads with dips, cut up veggies with hummus, fruit slices and much, much more. They settled on beet smoothies, cut up veggies with zucchini hummus, apples slices and homemade bread. They were in heaven and ate every bite.
Sadly, this is not the norm when we go out, which we do a lot when we travel. In most restaurants, the kids’ menus offer mostly fried, cheesy or all carb foods. Once in a while, they have a sad little fruit cup with watery fruits. The common theme we see is that there are very few vegetables offered and, if they are offered, they’re hard and tasteless steamed veggies.
When I mentioned this on Facebook, many moms responded to my post and were as upset as I am. One mom even mention how there are zero gluten free options, which is true. One woman said that, instead of a separate kids’ menu, restaurants should just offer a smaller portion of all dishes. I think that is a great idea.
I wonder who on earth came up with the idea that children do not like good, healthy foods? Who said that kids won’t eat the fruits or veggies, so let’s not put too much effort into them anyway? I think it’s just ridiculous not to offer healthy options for children – something more fun than pizza, pasta, fried chicken or pancakes. I know my kids are not unique in that they appreciate well cooked and well prepared foods with lots of colors that look good on the plate. One thing I know from feeding kids is that they love little bowls with dips and small dishes that they can mix and match themselves. And they absolutely love colors on their plates.
So, from now on, every time we’re faced with a sad kids’ menu, I will make a point of being vocal about it. If more parents join me, maybe we’ll start to see a change.