Out to Lunch

Out to Lunch
#OutToLunchUK

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!

The Intolerant Wife cafe Broadstairs

Children’s cutlery and healthier food options at The Intolerant Wife

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!

#OutToLunchUK

#OutToLunchUK

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.

#OutToLunch

#OutToLunch

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 campaign form

A basic form for families to fill out and leave in restaurants

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.

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6 comments on “Out to Lunch
  1. Hazel says:

    What a bloomin good idea. It really isn’t rocket science to make cafes and restaurants more child friendly. One of my top gripes is that ‘child meals’ are often enormous. I think kids find large platefuls of food quite daunting, especially if it’s not quite what they are used to. Make them smaller and hopefully make it cheaper too!

    • Faded Seaside Mama says:

      It’s brilliant isn’t it! I wanted to open my own cafe just to address the fact that going out to eat with little people is usually so stressful as they’re not properly catered for. I hope this does make a difference!

  2. We have only ever been provided with child’s cutlery once (at a very posh London hotel) and I agree it should be a standard as it makes the world of difference to our meal. We ate out with the boys this week but went to the Thai place as Dylan eats everything, and he loved the prawns and pad thai!

  3. Jaime Oliver says:

    Eating out with children really is a minefield! Most of our local eateries only offer the processed options and it drives me crazy! The concept behind this is fantastic

    thanks for linking up with #PoCoLo x

  4. This is such a good idea. I really hope it makes a difference. #PoCoLo

    • Faded Seaside Mama says:

      I hope so too – it’s so simple to effect these small changes but complacency means it just doesn’t happen.

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