Out to Lunch
We love going out and while we usually take a picnic to keep costs down, occasionally we will eat in a cafe or restaurant – whether as a treat for us/the girls or out of necessity. With the start of Folk Week on Saturday, we were having so much fun, we decided to stay out until the early evening parade was over which meant finding something for the girls to eat for dinner. Unfortunately, most of the local cafes tend to offer the standard fare of chips and sausages/processed meats – which my girls aren’t keen on. In fact, Bunny had her first taste of chicken nuggets at her best friend’s just last week and really had no idea what they were!
There are a couple of child-friendly places, but as we weren’t eating with the girls, we didn’t want anywhere too formal so decided to try a new local cafe that had been very supportive of the mural painting volunteers. They went all out to accommodate us, suggesting a baked potato for the girls and said they would cut it in half and put it on separate plates. The plates that came were pink plastic and had matching pink plastic cutlery (ok – I’m not a fan of the pink thing, but this was impressive nonetheless). While they waited, a large colouring pad and a pot of crayons was given to the girls to occupy them. They also cater for various food intolerances, hence it’s name, The Intolerant Wife.
This should be the standard for going out to eat, but only last week, at lunch with my parents, the girls (remembering Bear is only just two) were both given half pint glasses of water and full size adult cutlery. The options weren’t great either and they ended up sharing sausage and chips and we had to ask for a second plate. This is at a cafe that claims to be family-friendly, and to the most part they are, but sometimes it’s the little things that make a difference – and trying to eat your food while holding onto a large glass for your child is one that stands out!
With this at the forefront of my mind, I was very excited to receive an email from the children’s food company, Organix to tell us about a new initiative that they and the Soil Association (the benchmark for organic food standards) are getting behind.
The Out To Lunch campaign is encouraging food establishments to become more child-focused when creating menus and catering to children starting with five simple steps to provide:
1. Freshly prepared food
2. Children’s portions of adult meals
3. Free tap water on arrival
4. Children’s cutlery as standard
5. Breastfeeding mums to be made welcome
Out to Lunch is asking families to complete a simple form (as pictured) to leave with waiting staff that has some suggestions for improvements and to share feedback and photos, good and bad, on Facebook and Twitter using the hashtag #OutToLunchUK. If you’d like more information, visit the Organix Facebook page, read about the campaign in more detail on the Soil Association page or download the Out to Lunch Family Campaign Pack.