Author Topic: Children's Menus  (Read 3570 times)

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Rohanna

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Children's Menus
« on: August 09, 2013, 01:02:13 AM »
I saw this, and I thought people might be interested in the history of "children's menus". It's a lot older a concept than many ehellions think, and rather interesting to see where some of the ideas came from!

http://www.slate.com/articles/life/food/2013/08/children_s_menu_history_how_prohibition_and_emmett_holt_gave_rise_to_kid.html
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Redwing

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Re: Children's Menus
« Reply #1 on: August 09, 2013, 09:50:52 AM »
I read the article via a link from mentalfloss.com.  Pretty interesting and I had thought about posting it here as well. 

All my kids are grown, but my daughter constantly complains about the poor choices available for my granddaughter.  When mine were little, I seem to remember giving them parts of my and my husband's food.

Hmmmmm

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Re: Children's Menus
« Reply #2 on: August 09, 2013, 10:45:00 AM »
I'm tired of parents complaining about the poor choices on the kids menu. If they don't like those options, order from then adult menu. There always appetizer options or side dishes. Or split your entree with them and augment with additional sides or apps.

But most parents want to only pay under $5-7 for a kids meal and there are few meal options that a restaurant can offer at that rate. And when many try to put a more unique or healthy option on the menu, it is seldom ordered and they end up throwing out the ingredients.

Growing up, I remember many restaurants were ok with us requesting a smaller portion of a standard meal and they'd discount the cost some. Or they would let us order a main ala carte instead the full meal with salad and sides.We never ordered from a kids menu. my mom wouldn't even let them be given to us because she assumed the food was of lower quality and this was in the '70s.

I used this same approach with my own kids most of the time. Sure, there were times that the kids wanted chicken tenders and fries and they were welcome to have them occasionally. But if instead they wanted halibut in lemon sauce with broccoli, I wasn't going to expect the restaurant to only charge me $7 for the meal.

Thipu1

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Re: Children's Menus
« Reply #3 on: August 09, 2013, 10:47:16 AM »
When I was a child in the 1950s, there were children's menus but the were usually just smaller portions of the meals my parents ate. 

The meals often had names from nursery rhymes or fairy tales. 

Little Bo Peep included a lamb chop, mashed potatoes and a green vegetable.

Little Boy Blue was usually a slice of roast beef with mashed potatoes, gravy and corn.

Henny Penny would be a portion of roast chicken with the ever-present mashed potato and a vegetable. 

Pinnochio was likely to be the most exotic thing on a kid's menu.  This would be spaghetti and meatballs with a small salad on the side. 

In the summer we would spend a week on Cape Cod.  Although fried clams in most Howard Johnson restaurants were similar to deep-fried rubber bands, on the Cape they were the real thing with bellies intact.  No one thought anything odd about a 7 year-old ordering the fried clams. 





Roe

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Re: Children's Menus
« Reply #4 on: August 09, 2013, 11:29:32 AM »
Children menus have the worst options.

That's why my kids have almost always ordered from the regular menu.  Of course, my children have always been open to eating all types of food.  My 10 y/o has been eating sushi for awhile.

Aside from the bland food options of children's menu, the options are often unhealthy.  My youngest often prefers a grilled chicken salad to a burger. 


Sharnita

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Re: Children's Menus
« Reply #5 on: August 09, 2013, 11:46:19 AM »
The kids' menus at Disney are pretty decent.

Venus193

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Re: Children's Menus
« Reply #6 on: August 09, 2013, 12:28:00 PM »
I need to check the comments I left there.  Thanks for the reminder.

Children's menus should only be smaller portions of the adult ones.  Of course given the current size of restaurant portions I think a parent sharing with a child covers their needs.

shhh its me

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Re: Children's Menus
« Reply #7 on: August 09, 2013, 02:47:12 PM »
I need to check the comments I left there.  Thanks for the reminder.

Children's menus should only be smaller portions of the adult ones.  Of course given the current size of restaurant portions I think a parent sharing with a child covers their needs.

I don't think parents want a whole new menu but there are many dishes that can be sized down way way down. That or appetizer combined with a vegetable and the rice side could be a meal.  A steak house may not have a 3 oz steak but if they serve steak bites as an appetizer a small portion of those with the vegetable of the day and small side.  Ordering a la cart and appetizers doesn't work that well because it still an absurd  amount of food for a young child and possibly will cost more then the adult meals.   

Venus193

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Re: Children's Menus
« Reply #8 on: August 09, 2013, 03:27:21 PM »
Since portions are so large these days I don't see why more parents don't just share their food and pay a "plate charge" to do this if the restaurant would require that.  Much more cost-effective and far less wasteful.

Roe

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Re: Children's Menus
« Reply #9 on: August 09, 2013, 03:52:59 PM »
The kids' menus at Disney are pretty decent.

Yeah. Depending on the restaurant, you can get a smaller sized adult meal for the child.  The Japanese restaurant in Epcot is one of our faves for this reason. 

My son has asked me to upgrade him to an adult plan 'cause he doesn't particularly like chicken nuggets and cheesesburgers. (common options even at Disney)  So next time we visit, I will definitely be paying to upgrade his options.

Sharing meals can be tricky, at least it has been for us.  One, my son doesn't like to feel like he's an afterthought. He wants his own meal.  Secondly, even when you ask for an extra plate, they often forget to bring one out with the meal and while you wait, the meal gets cold.  Third, there have been times when my son wants more and after we share it, it's gone.  So sharing for us hasn't worked out as well as just ordering him his own adult meal.  Leftovers are great too!  He gets to enjoy the meal for lunch the next day.  :)

Margo

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Re: Children's Menus
« Reply #10 on: August 09, 2013, 04:22:58 PM »
I can't find t now, but I saw a saw a photo pop up in my twitter feed recently, of a children's menu where one option was "the bandit option - we provide plate and cutlery and you steal food from your parents plates"

(menu was in English with prices in euros so I'm guessing it was maybe from Ireland)

It seemed like a nice idea!

amylouky

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Re: Children's Menus
« Reply #11 on: August 09, 2013, 04:40:07 PM »
Excerpt from Emmett Holt's book. So.. this is basically feeding your kid cow blood, right?
Eww.

Quote
Beef Juice.—One pound of rare round steak, cut thick, slightly broiled, and the juice pressed out by a lemon-squeezer, or, better, a meat-press. From two to four ounces of juice can generally be obtained. This, seasoned with salt, may be given cold, or warmed by placing the cup which holds it in warm water. It should not be heated sufficiently to coagulate the albumin which is in solution, and which then appears as flakes of meat floating in the fluid.

Beef Juice by the Cold Process.—One pound of finely chopped round steak, six ounces of cold water, a pinch of salt; place in a covered jar and stand on ice or in a cold place, five or six hours or overnight. It is well to shake occasionally. This is now strained and all the juice squeezed out by placing the meat in coarse muslin and twisting it very hard. It is then seasoned and fed like the above.

Beef juice so made is not quite as palatable as that prepared from broiled steak, but it is even more nutritious, and is more economical, as fully twice as much juice, can be obtained from a given quantity of meat. Beef juice prepared in either of these ways is greatly to be preferred to the beef extracts sold.

Venus193

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Re: Children's Menus
« Reply #12 on: August 09, 2013, 04:50:40 PM »
I can't find t now, but I saw a saw a photo pop up in my twitter feed recently, of a children's menu where one option was "the bandit option - we provide plate and cutlery and you steal food from your parents plates"

(menu was in English with prices in euros so I'm guessing it was maybe from Ireland)

It seemed like a nice idea!

I guess so... if you want to undo all your previous etiquette lessons.   :-\

Layla Miller

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Re: Children's Menus
« Reply #13 on: August 09, 2013, 04:55:07 PM »
Since portions are so large these days I don't see why more parents don't just share their food and pay a "plate charge" to do this if the restaurant would require that.  Much more cost-effective and far less wasteful.

This would be awesome.  Restaurant portions almost anywhere are usually too big for me, so I have no idea what we'll do for DD when she's old enough for her own full meal.  On the bright side, I've had a peek at one of the local restaurant's kid's menus and at least some of the items are simply smaller versions of the adult items.  So we might have at least one place in town where we won't be burying her in food!

I've been to one restaurant in recent memory that allowed for smaller or even half-sized orders of things.  I really wish I could have taken that place with us when we moved.  ;D
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Yvaine

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Re: Children's Menus
« Reply #14 on: August 09, 2013, 05:00:04 PM »
I can't find t now, but I saw a saw a photo pop up in my twitter feed recently, of a children's menu where one option was "the bandit option - we provide plate and cutlery and you steal food from your parents plates"

(menu was in English with prices in euros so I'm guessing it was maybe from Ireland)

It seemed like a nice idea!

I guess so... if you want to undo all your previous etiquette lessons.   :-\

How? I'm pretty sure the "bandit" wording was just funny copy for the menu, and that nobody'd actually order that unless they were actually OK with sharing their food with their kid...ergo the kid's not really "stealing," just sharing.