Wednesday, March 31, 2010
Vote For Real Food
When it comes to food, I am a big believer that fresh is best (I don't mean to sound like an advertisement there!). Steve and I like to eat healthy, non-packaged foods and we pride ourselves on doing the same with Abbey. She has never had packet food and rarely has sweets (when it does happen, it's usually when one of her grandmothers overrules me!).
I simply don't see the need for her to feast herself on sugar and processed foods. You could say I'm a mean Mum... I say I'm just making the most of having full control over what she eats.
We were recently away with some friends for a few days and, with a hectic timetable, the easiest option was to eat out each night. We soon discovered that a kids' menu consists of four options: nuggets and chips, fish and chips, chicken and chips and dim sims and chips. These meals usually come with a free softdrink. Lovely. A highly nutritious combination of deep fried food and sugar.
I went along with this for the first couple of days. After all, I'm not a complete killjoy. But the problem was that, as Abbey was teething, she had lost much of her appetite. This made me all the more keen to ensure that what she did eat was healthy, to get her through her very active days.
One of the last places we went to for dinner greatly impressed me. The kids' menu took up an entire page and, while there were nuggets/fish and chips options, there were also risottos, roast dinners and pastas. I was so excited to have some options for my daughter, and quickly chose some pasta for her.
Unfortunately, the fuss caused by this meal was ridiculous. The meal came out - a bowl of pasta, on a plate covered with chips. Abbey saw the chips and wanted nothing to do with the pasta. I refused, taking the plate away, and a huge tantrum ensued - the type that makes me want to fall into a hole in the floor when surrounded by a restaurant full of other diners. Steve took her outside to distract her and the plate of chips was removed (perhaps into our friends' stomachs, or taken by a waiter... I didn't care as long as it was gone).
Luckily, when she came back, having forgotten about the chips, to see a bowl of pasta in front of her, she was happy and ate it up. Followed by a pile of vegies from a friend's plate!
My question is - why do restaurants think kids should only ever eat chips?
What I'm planning on doing from now on is querying the kids' meals when I place an order. If there are no other options other than deep fried foods, I'll ask for something. I will also ask for, say, milk instead of softdrink for her, and perhaps a small fruit platter instead of ice cream for dessert.
If we all ask for better options for our children, restaurants would be forced to change their way of thinking. I think our kids deserve it.
Posted at 3:14 PM