Chowpups, The Care and Feeding Thereof (Restaurants)


They aren’t picky, they’re discerning, just like us. Where do you take your children and what do you order for them?

I think because we live in Los Angeles, we are lucky to expose the kids to lots of different foods. They do get confused sometimes, though.

Today I suggested to the boy that he stop at Samosa House for some naan. The conversation follows:

My son: Okay, I like Samoan bread.
Me: Samoan?? It’s Indian.
Him: What? Samosa, Samoan. Or Somali. I don’t know, I thought it was something exotic. [sheepish grin]

Share your stories of the care and feeding of your chowpups here, so we don’t bore the non-parents on the rest of the site. :wink:


When ebeth was a child, many years ago, Angelli was still open. We would get together with the in-laws and drive over the hill with them. The two cousins would color menus, but the best part was the waitstaff would bring out pizza dough for the girls to play with. Brilliant move, and kept them busy for the whole meal. Both of them have grown up to be superb cooks. Thank you Viana and Evan!


Perhaps people could give the age(s) of the kiddo(s).


My kids are now 14 and 12, but from the beginning, we took them wherever we ate and they have always eaten what we eat. We eat all different cuisines at home, even though we are Indian by ethnicity.

Neither my husband nor I believe in making separate meals for the kids, or ordering off the kids menu. We always had them share what we were eating. Our kids eat pretty much everything. We are fortunate enough to be able to travel to other cities and countries with them as well, and they are always open to trying new-to-them things.

My kids would rather have a plate of rice with hard boiled eggs and sambal over a plate of chicken nuggets. I consider that to be a great thing.


Our ‘kids’ are now 40ish and NOT adventuresome eaters :frowning: Sigh. Although we lived in SF they and their mom lived in Marin (across the GGB) and were just too dang suburbanized. So while one at least is fairly ‘sophisticated’ it’s not adventuresome. Neither would dream of trying a chicken foot. One cooks and eats Thai food cause they went there on their honeymoon and took a class.

Our grand-boy at five did try a bite of chicken foot.


That’s exactly how I was raised. No kids menus or “special” food ever.


I’m 71 and I think ‘back in the day’ they didn’t have ‘kids menu’ but it was in the South in the 50s and 60s so there was no adventuresome food :slight_smile:


Oh, that pic is so funny! “No, thanks!”


Like @boogiebaby we take our kids (7 and 5) to eat where we want and try not to order off kids menus (unless the kids menu are smaller versions of regular food). 9 out of 10 times we order a bunch of stuff and have them pick and choose.

I’d say the plan is working pretty well thus far. Our kids are definitely adventurous eaters. Things they’ve eaten some of which I didn’t try until I was into my late 20s/ early 30s
buche tacos
pig’s feet
tikka masala
So much better than mac n cheese and chicken tenders.


My kids, currently 7 and 9, went through phases. At one time, my 9 y.o. would not eat pasta of any kind. He still only eats one Italian-style pasta dish (a kale-sausage-cream sauce with bowtie pasta), but will eat all kinds of Asian noodles now. The 7-y.o. refuses to eat any type of burger and previously refused to eat pizza. Throughout all this, however, they’ve agreed to try, and like, sushi, poke, raw shellfish, bloody steak, salad, and most kinds of veg. I think the take-away with my kids is you never know!


We must be the guilty parents. We let them order off the kids’ menu when they were little. We let them be curious about the items we ordered and were more than happy to share to expose them to different things.
We are now the proud parents of a couple of foodies-in-training. The oldest has graduated to a more sophisticated palate of sushi eating, doesn’t turn his nose at things that might be considered unusual, and has been known to describe dishes as beautiful. The other two are a work in progress…and I’m okay with that. Sometimes, it takes time to find the right dish that inspires a palate.


I feel like a savage - I order from the kids menu frequently because I’m cheap.


The most savage thing I’ve seen somebody do is go to Mendocino Farms on Thursday (kids eat free day with purchase of an entree), order an entree with free kids meal and eat both of them by herself.


My kids range from 5 to 12. Was cool to see them eat sushi when they were little, but not as fun now when the rapidly growing 12 year old digs in.


My financial advisor explicitly instructed me (while Mrs. J_L was still pregnant) to never expose my kids to sushi until they start earning a paycheck themselves. :smiley:


Wish I would’ve had that financial advisor!


Yeah, our girls got into ‘good’ cheeses too early.


I ate alot of AYCE sushi growing up. I don’t think I can eat the sushi at Todai (or whatever it’s called these days) anymore.


My little girls are 2-1/2 and 5 and have become quite picky… to the point I’ve practically stopped cooking for them because they won’t eat almost everything. They like miso soup, sushi (uh oh :slight_smile:), and poke, and will eat some vegetables (exactly which ones keeps changing). We do encourage them to taste what we’re eating, and now that our younger daughter will sit still for somewhat longer spells, we’re taking them to restaurants again to at least practice good restaurant behavior.

At what age do you think they might start to get interested in trying new foods again?


It comes in cycles at these ages. What’s yucky to them today may magically become the greatest tasting thing to them a few months from now - It actually happened with my kiddo and cheese pizza - Pizza! They won’t starve to death.

I do draw a hard line at giving my kiddo sushi, though. I’ve seen too many college funds raided from introducing sushi too early.