Children's restaurant menu: yes or no

From the moment that restaurants incorporated children's menus, they have been understood as something separate and different from the menu they offer to adults. Years ago, however, restaurants offered half courses for children, or if this was not the case, two children shared an adult menu. But, Should we order these children's menus?Are they better for kids than adult menus?

At present, the offer of dishes on children's menus in restaurants is generally limited to pasta bolognese or carbonara, meat lasagna in which there is a little more variety, pizzas, hamburgers, chicken nuggets, perhaps a mixed sandwich, all this accompanied in most of the occasions by french fries.

When a menu of the day is offered, including a first and second course, the first is usually, again, pasta, or soup, or at most a rice with tomato, and second the classic loin steaks, fried eggs, croquettes or breaded chicken, accompanied again by French fries, and perhaps potato omelette, usually without onion. What all the dishes described have in common is that they lack vegetables, they are rich in saturated fat and fish is conspicuous by its absence.

The question of whether these menus are recommended or not is answered with another question, If we were at home, is that the menu that we would offer our children? In reality, the answer does not have to be a resounding no, because this may be the family menu on some occasion, but it must be a resounding no to the only thing that is offered as children's food, or the only thing that is considered suitable. To offer a child when eating out, limit yourself to these dishes.

Making a review of the mentioned dishes, pasta is a perfectly healthy dish, even as a single dish. Lasagna is too, and even better if you combine meat and vegetables. The same is rice or soup, although legumes are another option, even healthier, to consider as a first course.

As for the seconds, or the combined dishes, any of the mentioned options could be suitable as long as they are part of a balanced dish. Fried ones, such as croquettes or breaded steaks, are best avoided, especially outside the home, since we do not know what oil is used in frying. And finally, the french fries, better to change them for salad, carrot or cucumber sticks, or even apple.

Although it is okay to eat the classic children's menu when outings to restaurants are occasional, it is better that this does not become something habitual. In addition, it is better to try to choose for our children a dish that is just as healthy and varied as the one we would choose for ourselves, even if it is smaller, appropriate to their age and usual intake. Being children should not limit in any way access to healthy and quality products, either inside or outside the home.

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