The growing instances of child obesity have forced parents to take a second look at their children’s food plate. As a parent, you want to make sure that your child eats only those foods that fulfill a kid’s nutrition needs. However, there is a limit to the amount of control you can exert.
For all those times when you dine out or for those occasions when you are too busy to dish out a meal, your family has no option but to depend on restaurant-prepared meals. We can see how bad you feel, but it needn’t be so any longer. Restaurants, aware of kid’s nutrition needs and parents’ concerns have special kid friendly menus and meals.
You might ask how they are different from the regular restaurant meals. First, they differ in the ingredients they use. Second, they use healthy food preparation methods. Third, they make sure that the foods they serve are appealing both to the eyes and those tiny taste buds. Here’s a detail on healthy kid’s meals at child-friendly restaurants.
- The Substitution Of White Bread Products With Whole Grains –
Many eateries prefer to use whole-grain products such as whole wheat bread and pastas in place of the white varieties. This is because white bread is hard to digest and calorie-laden. Whole grains on the other hand contain a judicious amount of healthy filling fiber.
- Serving Organic Food –
Organic food both plant or animal products is a healthier, safer and more nutritious option. You might ask why. Organic fruits and vegetables are produced naturally without the use of fertilizers, pesticides or bioengineering. Similarly, animals are fed only natural feed and are not injected with antibiotics and growth hormones to increase produce. If a restaurant serves organic food, go for it.
- Grilled, Baked and Roasted –
The method of preparation also influences the nutritional value of the meal. Foods deep fried in oil have a higher calorie content. Grilling, baking and roasting are better food preparation methods.
- Dispensing With Artificial Colors and Sweeteners –
You might also want to look for meals that do not contain high-fructose corn syrup as a sweetener or any artificial food colors. Fructose corn syrup is high on calories while artificial colors contain toxic substances.
- Healthy Drinks –
Many of the kid-friendly restaurants have done away with sugary beverages and sodas from their children’s menu. Instead, they serve water, fresh fruits juices and milk shakes.
- Low-Calorie Meals –
In many cases, it is not possible to remove certain ingredients because they are the soul and substance of a dish. In such cases, restaurants try to make it healthy by tweaking its total calorie content. This includes using low-fat dairy products. They might skip the extra cheese or serve the sauces and dressings separate. The dishes are also prepared to contain a very small amount of sodium. If not, you can ask for the changes to be made to your dish.
You can also order healthy side foods. Most restaurant meals today include fruits and vegetables such as steamed broccoli, fresh carrots, slices of apple, mandarin orange and the likes for kids and children to nibble on; they have said goodbye to the French fries.
So, here’s the trick to ensure that your kid eats healthy even when dining out. Look for food chains that offer healthy and tasty foods not only for children but also adults and make your reservations there.