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Mary Beth's Blog

I want to eat real food. I want my family to eat real food. Armed with this plan, I know I can do it. I am a real person, with real kids in a regular ol' kitchen cranking out dinner. Find out my inspiration for the menus, what's happening in my kitchen, and the achievements on the kid-friendly front.

Its Good To Be Grown Up

2015-09-04 | 0 comments

One of my littles declared this a few days ago and it reminded me of a story. We got a real kick out of it a dinner.
A few years ago, we stopped the kid menu thing. They were so boring – chicken fingers (fingers ?), mac n’ cheese,  pizza - and nary a veggie. No matter where we went, it was largely the same. Plus, they were always eating our “adult” food and leaving the “kid-friendly” dishes barely touched.  How many $12 noodles with butter can one take? So, we stopped. We let them choose their dinner from the regular menu.
The first time we tried it we were on vacation in San Diego at famous seaside steak house. When it was our time to be seated, we waived off the kid menus. The hostess didn’t know what to make us – weirdos.  She probably felt bad for my kids. We sat down and everybody read their big tall leather bound menus. They asked a few good questions.  What is au poive? What is “lump” crabmeat? Then it was time to order.
First up – my youngest.
“Are you ready to order?”
“Yes, please. I’d like the clam chowder and the caesar salad with lumpy crab. “
Well played. I was beaming! We are rock star parents!
Next up, SP (Super Picky).
“And, for you?”
“Thank you, I’ll have the Surf… and Turf!” Wah? Screeech! Ummm, ok?
While not a fail, we weren’t taking any victory laps either. I quickly switched my order to the house salad.
LESSON LEARNED: Discuss the dishes before the waiter arrives.
TIP: Try choosing appetizers or  “small plates” as the portions are just the right size.
BONUS: Often, their orders surprise me. I get to see what different kinds of things they are willing to try.  
FULL DISCLOSURE: My kids were 7 and 11 when this all went down.
So, listen, I’m certainly not preaching here. Just sharing some stories from my real family’s trenches. My real family also ate at Pasta Pomodoro at least once a week for four years solid. I didn’t care what penne with butter and cheese cost. I was just so glad that my Chianti came out first and that someone else was cleaning up that high chair mess.   Just keeping it real, Yo.


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