Restaurant food for kids?

Hi all
What age did you start taking your LO to restaurants and actually feeding them something from the kids menu there?
Toby is 9 months and doing very well with foods - in terms of finger foods and lumps etc.
I am meeting a friend for lunch at either Pizza Express or Carluccio's next week and Carluccio's have a lovely sounding ravioli I think he could manage if I chop it well.
My only concern is of course - the salt content of such restaurant foods.
I know a lot of places now cater in much much healthier ways for kids (i.e. pizza express serve crudites for kids before their main meal comes) but still, would they just cook with a lot of salt as normal?
I am all for "in moderation" but don't want to serve Toby some nice tasty pasta when I could be being an ultra stupid mummy for doing so!
Thanks all xxxxxx


  • I think its a waste of money tbh, I started buying mine a kids meal at about 3. I eat out quite a lot and Im yet to find somewhere that has objected to giving me a bowl for the baby, I'd then just give them a liitle bit of mine. I find there is always too much for me anyway.
    not recomended at a curry house though lol x
  • Barney started eating restaurant food at about 9 months. He used to share either mine, or Millie's to start with but by about 12 months he was having his own meal which he usually demolishes. There probably will be more salt in it than you would use at home, but it's unlikely to cause a problem if it's only occasionally.
  • Thanks both - I hadn't thought of portion sizes and wasting money that way. But Toby eats a LOT!!! Plus Mummy can help him with his ice-cream pudding!!! LOL
    Its definitely a one-off but this particular Carluccio's (which we've decided on) is very baby friendly apparantely so I'd quite like to give it a go.
  • Max had his first restaurant meal on his first birthday as we went out for lunch with all the family - since then he has restaurant food if we are out for a meal - maybe once a month at most he LOVES a pizza express kids meal - dough balls, side salad, cheese and tom pizza and then an ice cream sundae!

    I am sure 9 months would be fine occasionally!
  • Peter was seven months - soup at our local gastropub on my mother-in-law's birthday. The joys of baby-led weaning! image

    He's 11 months now and will have restaurant food once a month at most, often some of mine but we went to Bar HaHa a few weeks ago and he had his own plate of grilled chicken with vegetables. I was really impressed by them. The chicken was cooked very simply (no batter or anything) and they included purple sprouting broccoli in the veg which was perfect for finger food. Peter demolished it!
  • I'm sure mummy can help with the ice cream image Barney eats a HUGE amount, there is no way I'd share my dinner with him now, I'd still be starving when we'd finished :lol:
  • My lo was probably just over a year, but that was partly because I was too tight to pay for a meal that he'd leave most of, so I'd either share mine (or my sister's as she leaves more than a children's meal's worth anyway!) or take him something - think the first time was when debenhams had kids meals for 99p if you spent ??5 on adult meals, and he demolished it! There is a 'normal' rather than reduced amount of salt in it, but I figure it;s not very often, and I'm really careful with salt at home, so it shouldn't do him any harm.
    I agree about 'helping' with the pudding too, they're usually included in kids meals, and he's usually full by pudding so I have to eat it - yum! Haven'y tried Pizza Express (but I have a tomato-hating lo and pizza-hating OH) but I second the recommendation for Bar Ha Ha, probably the best quality kids meal we've had. Places do seem to be getting better at not just offering chicken nuggets and chips now - although if lo sees chips he wants them!

    I'm sure Toby'd love it!
  • Gabe was probably about 1. But he didn't really eat it. Now he is 21 months, and like MrsAmanda I find many kids menus really boring! Here, anyway - it's all fish fingers, nuggets, and chips or veggies - can make that at home for a lot less than ??3.99 or whatever it all costs.

    I live in wolverhampton and most people have not heard of Pizza Express or any of the others mentioned! I always assume it was something just in london. We only got a subway here fairly recently.

    The best kids meal he has had is a Toby Carvery one. Well because it's all you can eat, he didn't have his own meal, he just had a bit of meat off everybody's plate (they give you lots anyway) and they gave us his own plate we could fill up with potatoes, veggies and gravy.
  • we're going to start getting pippa her own meals, she use to share mine but she eats a huge amount and can nearly finish my meal so i'm normally starving. Pippa's blw though so she just picks up and eats anything, i think everything thing in moderation, if he generally has a low salt diet then one day won't do him any harm.
  • We've only recently started ordering him his own meal, he's 16months.

    Pizza Express was fab and he ate all 3 courses (although daddy ate most of the dough balls!)
    We tried TGI Fridays and it was rubbish. Fish fingers and chips with salad was the best option and even then he only ate the chips !!

    I like M&S cafe for lunch. He gets a lunch bag with sandwich or pizza, low salt chees biscuit/crisps, raisins, chewy sweets (which I never give him and daddy eats) and apple juice for ??3.50.
    Suz x
  • Depends where we're going but I tend to order something for myself that Lily can share like a jacket potato (as you know she's 14 months). She has a good appetite but I still don't think she eats enough to justify spending money on a separate meal for her. She'd only want to eat mine if we did that, anyway! :lol:

    I also supplement whatever she shares of mine with a Babybel or something similar that's just easy to bring along, and I usually take a yoghurt or something too.

    As it's only occasional I'm not too worried about salt content.
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