We all enjoy taking our grandchildren out to eat every so often, sometimes we even get tired of cooking for grandchildren. Food is a great source of pleasure, and conversation around the table is another opportunity to bond with them. But the down side of eating in restaurants is the knowledge that the Kid’s Menu is most often a disaster in terms of healthy choices.
Kid’s menus are notoriously filled with high fat, greasy foods, sugary drinks and desserts. With a high proportion of our grandchildren dealing with childhood obesity, it is important that we help them make good choices about their diet. That’s not to say that a once-in-a-while treat is taboo, but in general, we can help them make better food choices for a lifetime of health and happiness.
Here are a few tips to keep in mind next time you take the grandchildren out to eat:
Take a look at menu items to scan for healthy choices for smaller appetites. Even fast food restaurants are adding fruit and veggies to their food for grandkids’ menus. Knowing of healthy options before sitting down to order puts you at an advantage in helping the children make a healthy choice.
Choose restaurants that offer healthier choices. The drive through burger joints offer very little in the way of unprocessed, nutritious offerings. Family restaurants are usually a better option.
Look through the adult menu for a la carte selections. You may find sections meant for the “lite” eater that are perfect for a child’s portion.
Remember to select whole grains over processed, grilled or stir-fried lean meats over breaded and fried, low-fat milk or 100% juice over sugary soda, and fresh fruits and vegetables over sugary or processed side dishes and desserts.
Kids love to make their own ordering selections, so be prepared to give them several healthy options from which to choose. Above all, enjoy your time with your grandchildren and make the meal a time to enjoy time together.
For more information on wise food choices when eating out go to: