At 9 months, our daughter proved she loved to eat adventurously. She outgrew the meals we were sharing with her and needed her own!
When eating out, we began asking for kid’s menus and were mostly disappointed. Corrie is used to eating what we eat. I don’t make any special accommodations for her when I cook at home. We consistently offer Corrie a variety of textures, flavors and spices. We found that many kid’s meals at restaurants offer overly salted, starchy foods, processed meat and a soft drink. With some searching, we did find quality kid’s meals and now I’m ready to share these finds with you.
In putting this list together, I admit that health may not always be the first priority. We often eat healthy, but we’re not obsessive about it. Therefore, Corrie doesn’t always eat healthy either. I want her to have a positive relationship with food and that includes not calling foods “bad” or implying that she should feel “bad” for eating it. I’ve also found that bringing another mouth to feed to the table is expensive! Corrie made quite a dent in our food budget before she could even walk. I know kids can be picky and opinionated and sometimes you just need them to eat without an argument so you can enjoy your own meal. I kept all these factors in mind as I selected my top picks. Corrie helped, too.
Follow the key below and dine on! And post your family dining adventures on Instagram and tag @metrofamilyokc so we can follow along on your foodie fun. Follow Maggie @maggiemurdy for more ideas for toddler-centric dining and local adventures.
Family Style – Some restaurants don’t have a kid’s menus and I don’t fault them for it! Selecting a meal to share as a family is a great way to get buy in from everyone at the table.
Local – We prioritize eating local food and supporting local people! We’re rarely disappointed with local dining experiences.
Nutritious – I applaud restaurants who are unwilling to waive standards on their kid’s menus. Eating outside of the home is a great place to introduce new foods. The novelty of the whole experience may encourage kids to chow down on something new and nutritious!
Authentic – Ethnic food really takes the cake for a variety of flavors and textures. One of our daughter’s first favorites was kimchi. Meals become an experience when the whole family is offered food within the same genre of that restaurant’s specialty. Hold the chicken nuggets please!
Cheap – Ideally, kid’s meals are always cheap. I’ve noted meals that are under $3 or free.
Bedlam exudes the feel of a backyard family picnic with taste and feel! www.facebook. com/BedlamBarBQ
Family owned and family friendly, Kacao honors their Guatemalan roots. You’ll be back again and again! cafekacao.com
Need I say more? This is a safe space for rowdy and picky kiddos. They offer grilled nuggets and other healthy options. www. chick-fil-a.com
Baby-led weaning paradise! Order a sampler plate and let the kiddos taste away. They may try something new while you aren’t looking. www.coolgreens.com
Cultivar Mexican Kitchen
One of my favorite things about this place—it’s loud! Scream on, toddlers! www.cultivarmexican.com
This is a family-friendly staple located in Edmond. Check out the patio on good weather days! www.flatireburgers.com
The Hall’s Pizza Kitchen
The Hall’s specialize in hospitality for the whole family. There are great desserts in addition to the delicious pizza and other main dishes. www.thehallskitchen.com
Hunny Bunny Biscuit Company
Delicious breakfast in an adorable setting. Our daughter is ravenous at breakfast time so we love the portion sizes! www. hunnybunnybiscuitco.com
The Kitchen at Commonplace Books
Kiddos are invited to belly up to the table and enjoy a carefully crafted meal. A small space, tables are shared. Community can be found here and books can be browsed just next door. www.commonplacebooksokc. com/kitchen
Dine-in kid’s meal are $1.99 with the purchase of an adult entree. Take out meals are $2.99. www.mcalistersdeli.com
Kids eat free on Mondays! Hot dang, their chicken can be hot and spicy. Ask for no spice if your kiddo isn’t a fan of the heat. www.nashbirdchicken.com
Nestled in the Paseo and “Oso” delicious, the kid’s meals are equally good and nutritious! Kid’s drinks are served in an adorable honey bear bottle making for a very Instagrammable meal. www.osopaseo.com
With a location in Penn Square and north Edmond, this local restaurant is ultra welcoming to families. www.pepperonigrill.net
Pho Lien Hoa
With quick service and lots of activity, this is a great place for kiddos. They offer a kid’s portion and are always careful with hot broth around kiddos. Ask for scissors to cut the noodles. Located near the Gold Dome off N.W. 23rd Street.
S&B Burger Joint
Great tunes, burgers and more, S&B is ideal for kiddos. They eat free on Tuesdays! And with nine locations, you’ll likely find one near you. www.sandbburgers.com
Careful attention is paid to every meal here, including kids’ meals. You can expect quality! Find it in Nichols Hills Plaza. www.saturngrill.com
Ted’s Cafe Escondido
An Oklahoma staple, Ted’s boasts of multiple locations and endless chips and salsa! Kids eat free on Mondays. www.tedscafe.com
Tokyo Japanese Restaurant
Tokyo along N. Western near Olie is a great place to let kids have a go at chopsticks while they explore Japanese cuisine or sushi in a smaller quantity and at a great price. www.tokyookc.com
The Deep Deuce location is conveniently located near the downtown fun. The location on Western has one of my favorite playgrounds. Dine al fresco and let the kids roam! www.thewedgepizzeria.com