Positive Kids Food
In the same way that I found children’s music to have a lot of negativity, I also discovered that most restaurants with a children’s menu only serve “negative food options”. If you’ve ever taken a child out to eat, you know what I’m talking about! The typical menu includes cheeseburger, chicken fingers & fries, mac & cheese, grilled cheese, pizza, spaghetti, etc. Very few restaurants offer anything healthy on their kids menu! There is no reason for this, as there are plenty of healthy foods that are also tasty. From grilled chicken to salmon, steamed broccoli to mashed cauliflower, there are healthy options out there! Below are some restaurants that I have discovered with decent options for kids. I welcome your input! If you know of any restaurant that should be included, please contact me thru email or social media with the name of the restaurant, the healthy menu item(s), and location (city). I have also included some healthy recipe idea starters that our kids love. For full recipes and more ideas, visit our Pinterest page. And again, please share your ideas and recipes!
Positive Kids Restaurants
- Atlanta Bread – healthy sandwiches, fruit, milk
- Bahama Breeze – grilled tilapia, steamed broccoli (seasoned and delicious), fruit cup (grapes & pineapple, bite size)
- Bonefish Grill – several options for kids! Fish bites, although fried, use a real nice piece of fish. They also have grilled chicken and grilled tilapia as options. All come with choice of broccoli or green beans. Just be sure to ask for some butter as the veggies were not seasoned and lack flavor.
- California Pizza Kitchen – grilled chicken, sautéed baby broccoli
- Jason’s Deli – kids salad bar, sandwiches, organic milk
- Longhorn – grilled tenders with steamed broccoli
- Olive Garden –grilled chicken, steamed broccoli, spaghetti; another option is to get the Apricot grilled chicken for an adult, and since the portion is big, just feed your toddler from this tasty, healthy dish!
- Panera Bread – healthy sandwiches, yogurt or apple
- Ruby Tuesday – salad bar (great way to introduce your child to some new foods!)
Positive Kids Recipes
- Summer Grill: chicken breast, pineapple, grilled veggies (yellow & green squash)
Cut veggies in long wedges, brush with olive oil, salt & pepper to taste. Grill everything, including the pineapple! For toddlers, cut veggies small and mix into cous cous. Serve everything with a little barbecue sauce, and watch them devour it!
- Oven roasted veggies (broccoli/cauliflower/carrots/butternut squash): toss with olive oil, salt & pepper, roast at 375 for 20-30 minutes or until veggies are tender. Incredibly delicious!
- Simple Salad (we also call this “Twin Salad”, a name that always gets our twins excited to eat) Rather than make a traditional salad, with ingredients all mixed together, pick individual items, cut them up small and have them all on the plate separately. This way, you can add in new foods for them to try. We initially started with cheese, chicken, carrots, and hard-boiled egg. Over time, we added cucumber, black olives, beets, walnuts, and ranch dressing. Now, the twins usually eat half, and then ask us to mix it all up! They eat it all up!
- Salmon with mustard vinaigrette, rice and sautéed spinach (cut up, mixed into rice)
- Baked tilapia with lemon pepper seasoning, rice with veggie of choice cut and mixed into the rice
- Got leftover rice from chinese takeout? Open a can of black beans and mix with rice for a black beans & rice side dish. Add in some diced tomato & cilantro and serve with baked or pan-seared fish such as tilapia, mahi mahi, salmon or flounder.