A typical kids’ menu
A few months ago, I wrote the draft for an elaborate blog post on how we don’t really need kid friendly food. It was basically a rant about restaurants’ assumption that kids are only supposed to like junk, about the fact that food from the kids’ menu is always so BLAND – somehow, despite all the sodium, it is flavorless. Boring. And it’s not well made, either. The pasta is often overcooked, the pizza dough a little too soft.
I then went on to explain that I’m suspicious of “kid friendly food” because I want my kids to learn to love and appreciate good food and inspired cooking. My husband and I are serious foodies and don’t want our kids to be confined to bland, boring food. We want their food to be flavorful and delicious – just like ours.
But then, a few weeks ago, we visited Mendocino, California and stayed at Stanford Inn, an eco-friendly resort. The inn’s restaurant, Ravens’, serves dairy in the morning, but dinner is purely vegan. While we found the food to be absolutely delicious:
Indian Crepe – garam masala scented crepe, roasted yams and vegan mint raitha
Sushi – nori, tofu, daikon, shiitake, carrot, sushi rice, almond butter.
Miso glazed eggplants on a bed of brown and wild rice
In fact it was the best meal we had on that trip – my eight years old daughter wouldn’t touch anything off the menu. Since there wasn’t a kids’ menu, we were quite grateful to have had Goldfish crackers in our backpack!
I guess you could say her dinner was vegan too. 🙂
She did manage quite well with the fabulous, creamy, rich desserts:
And I have learned my lesson: While I love to have my kids order off the regular menu and experiment (and my older daughter is quite good at doing that), and while I agree that kids should be exposed to high-quality, varied food at a young age, sometimes a kids’ menu – or a bowl of Goldfish crackers – can be a lifesaver.