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New Campaign Seeks to Eliminate Kids' Menus

They believe chefs should adapt their regular menu for children.


There's a group of adults trying to kill off kids' menus at restaurants. According to the Washington Post, there's a new campaign — called the Kids Food Reboot — that aims to get "restaurants to adapt their kids' menus to rely less on frozen french fries," pizza, and chicken nuggets, and more on healthy, fresh, and "interesting choices" for kids. Often most restaurants — regardless of the cuisine they serve on the main menu — serve similar kids' menus consisting of hot dogs and "limp fruit cups." Kids Food Reboot founder Lynn Fredericks believes that if given the chance to eat vegetables like "spaghetti squash or broccoli rabe, children will rise to the occasion."

Fredericks has recruited chefs like Mary Sue Milliken and David Guas to recruit other chefs and to adapt the regular menus at their restaurants to be more suitable for kids. She is asking chefs to scale down portion sizes, reduce spice levels, and to add a "touch of whimsy" — like a "sesame seed-face on a hard-cooked egg" — to their dishes. Fredericks believes that it is possible to convince kids that eating vegetables is "as much fun as eating chicken nuggets," though it's unlikely any child will actually feel that way.

As for the future, Fredericks hopes that the high-end chefs she is currently working with will "influence their peers" and that the effect will "trickle down" to chains like Denny's." No doubt Fredericks would approve of Hyatt Hotels' Alice Waters-designed kids menuthat features items like chopped salad with brown rice and a yogurt basil dressing, and sesame rice noodles with marinated tofu and vegetables.

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