Should We Eliminate the Concept of "Kid Food"?
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Last month, in the health section of U.S. News & World Report, Dr. David Katz, a specialist in internal and preventive medicine, made a case for eliminating the concept of "kid food" -- essentially foodstuffs that are marketed to children.
"Every species teaches its kids how to eat," says Dr. Katz. "Every species but ours. We have invented an entire industry devoted to feeding kids differently."
Does Dr. Katz's notion of ridding the country of kid food have a restaurant application as well? I asked a few Valley chefs and restaurateurs and this is what they had to say.
Absolutely. Foods like mac 'n' cheese, chicken tenders, and ranch dressing by the gallon do not provide a diet I would recommend for any kid. As with anything, these foods are certainly okay in moderation; however, we should focus on encouraging our kids to eat healthy foods filled with the nutrients they need. Kid food is convenience food, and that's not a step in the right direction.
No, some things should remain as they are. Part of growing up is eating hot dogs, mac 'n' cheese, chicken nuggets, and SpaghettiOs. That said, once you're grown up, you should be required to try different vegetables and not be a super-picky eater.
We shouldn't eliminate the idea of kid food, but we should adjust the offerings. Every kid's menu is the same: chicken tenders, pasta with butter, grilled cheese, hamburgers, etc. The kid's menu should reflect the theme of the restaurant. Having a kid's section on a menu serves two other purposes as well. First, it shows the parents that the restaurant is kid-friendly. Second, it lets the kids know they are important diners, too.
Absolutely not. Kids love stuff like chicken tenders and cheeseburgers. So do some adults.