Heading out to eat is always a highlight, but when it comes to the kids’ menu, we tend to look the other way. Sure, the crayons and quirky cups are a hit, but the menu itself? Not so much. It feels like a missed opportunity to dive into the real joys of dining out: sampling new dishes, enjoying a meal as a family, and yes, temporarily forgetting the chaos of mealtime at home. Instead of settling for the usual kid fare, we opt for sharing bits of our own meals with the kiddos, just like we do at home. Here’s why sticking to this approach makes every meal out a little more special.

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Save Your Money

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Kids’ menus often feature staple dishes marked up to double their home-cooking cost, exploiting the convenience factor for parents seeking to appease their young ones. This creates a dilemma between ensuring a joyful mealtime for the kids and maintaining a budget-friendly outing. Opting to share from the adult menu not only introduces a variety of flavors to the young palate but also keeps the expenditure in check, striking a balance between happy tummies and healthier finances.

Teaches Table Manners

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Eating the same meals as adults helps children learn table manners and dining etiquette firsthand. It’s a practical, everyday opportunity for kids to observe and mimic the polite eating habits of the grown-ups around them, turning mealtime into an educational experience which is hard to do with a plate full of chicken fingers.

Everyone Can Enjoy The Meal Together

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Ever notice how kids’ meals zoom out of the kitchen way before the grown-up dishes, throwing the whole mealtime vibe off? Suddenly, the kids are halfway through their chicken nuggets while the adults haven’t even seen a bread basket. Skipping the kids’ menu means we all get to dig in at the same time, making dinner feel more like a team sport and less like a relay race.

Discourages Picky Eating

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When kids eat from the same menu as adults, they’re exposed to a wider variety of foods, which can help discourage picky eating habits. This exposure broadens their palate and encourages them to be more adventurous with their food choices, making mealtimes easier and more enjoyable for everyone.

Encourages Experimentation

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Avoiding the kids’ menu removes the safety net of familiar foods, pushing children (and perhaps some adults) to experiment with new flavors and cuisines. This adventurous approach to dining can foster a lifelong appreciation for diversity in food and a willingness to try new things.

Saves Food

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Ordering family-style from the main menu often means you can tailor portion sizes more effectively to your family’s appetite, reducing waste. Leftovers can easily be taken home, ensuring that nothing goes to waste and you get the most out of your dining experience.

Higher Quality Food

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Main menus typically offer higher quality, more nutrient-dense options compared to the kids’ menu which is almost always heavily fried. By choosing to share these meals, you’re ensuring that everyone at the table, especially the kids, enjoys a more nutritious and flavorful meal.

The Best Fast Food Sides That Go Beyond Fries

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Let’s face it, when we think fast food, it’s the burgers and fries that usually steal the show. But what about the unsung heroes of the menu, those side dishes that can turn a quick meal into something special? From the crispy, golden perfection of onion rings to the fluffy, buttery bliss of biscuits, there’s a whole world of flavor waiting to be explored. We’re diving into some of the most delicious and underrated fast food sides out there.

See Them Here: The Best Fast Food Sides That Go Beyond Fries

Avoid these 11 Foods If You’re Sensitive to Lectins

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Navigating the world of food sensitivities can feel like walking through a minefield, especially when lectins are the culprits. You might have heard that these protein-packed particles can wreak havoc on sensitive stomachs, but figuring out where they’re hiding is another story. We’re breaking down some of the foods that are lectin landmines for those with sensitivities. Grab a notepad, because you’re going to want to remember these tips next time you’re grocery shopping or planning a meal.

See Them Here: Avoid these 11 Foods If You’re Sensitive to Lectins

10 Foods You Should Never Eat Raw

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Diving into a bag of crunchy raw carrots or whipping up a smoothie with butternut squash and spinach? Go for it! But beware, the culinary world has its rogues. Some foods play hardball with your stomach or sneak in toxins that could turn your mealtime into a risky affair. It’s all about knowing who’s who in the raw food lineup.

See Them here: 10 Food You Should Never Eat Raw

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Founder and Writer at Running to the Kitchen | About

Gina Matsoukas is an AP syndicated writer. She is the founder, photographer and recipe developer of Running to the Kitchen — a food website focused on providing healthy, wholesome recipes using fresh and seasonal ingredients. Her work has been featured in numerous media outlets both digital and print, including MSN, Huffington post, Buzzfeed, Women’s Health and Food Network.

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