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  1. #1
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    Taking Your Kid(s) out to eat - When do they get their own meal?

    Our daughter is coming up on 4 1/2 yrs old and when we go out to eat, we never order off the kid's menu. Instead, my wife and/or I make sure we order something she'll likes too and we just share. In addition to probably helping us eat less (since most restaurant portions are so large), it saves a lot of money in the long run considering we eat out at a sit down restaurant at least once a week. Also, most things on kid's menus are junk in terms of nutrition.

    Do others do this? If not, why?

    I'm surprised how often I'll look over at a table with a toddler in high chair and see they've ordered him/her their own meal.

    A guy at work mentioned how expensive it is to eat out now that they're feeding another person. It turns out his son is 3. I told him we just have our daughter share ours to which he replied that his kid would put up a fuse and say "he wants his own!". I dropped it at that point…although I wanted to suggest taking a parenting class or two. :)

    Part of my reason for bringing this up is to see if we are in the minority on this. Another reason was to suggest to others with small children that this is a great way to help save some dough when you eat out. The wife and I haven't really talked about when/what age it might be necessary for our daughter to have her own meal.


    Last edited by capitalcityguy; 01-06-2011 at 04:46 PM.
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    Re: Taking Your Kid(s) out to eat - When do they get their own meal?

    Quote Originally Posted by capitalcityguy View Post
    Our daughter is coming up on 4 1/2 yrs old and when we go out to eat, we never order off the kid's menu. Instead, my wife and/or I make sure we order something she'll likes too and we just share. In addition to probably helping us eat less (since most restaurant portions are so large), it saves a lot of money in the long run considering we eat out at a sit down restaurant at least once a week. Also, most things on kid's menus are junk in terms of nutrition.

    Do others do this? If not, why?

    I'm surprised how often I'll look over at a table with a toddler in high chair and see they've ordered him/her their own meal.

    A guy at work mentioned how expensive it is to eat out now that they're feeding another person. It turns out his son is 3. I told him we just have our daughter share ours to which he replied that his kid would put up a fuse and say "he wants his own!". I dropped it at that point…although I wanted to suggest taking a parenting class or two.

    Part of my reason for bringing this up is to see if we are in the minority on this. Another reason was to suggest to others with small children that this is a great way to help save some dough when you eat out. The wife and I haven't really talked about when/what age it might be necessary for our daughter to have her own meal.
    We've always let our son get his own meal. He can usually eat most of a kids meal, and as long as he eats as much as he can, I don't mind paying for it.


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    Re: Taking Your Kid(s) out to eat - When do they get their own meal?

    My son typically wouldn't eat what I get, he might eat what my wife gets, but he likes to have his own food and kids meals are probably like $4 on average, so why not. And the left overs are generally good for another meal too.



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    Re: Taking Your Kid(s) out to eat - When do they get their own meal?

    Our 5 year old eats very little and our 2 year old eats a lot but they can usually share a kids meal and it is about right. Our 2 year old usually also wants to try a little of at least something of what Mom and Dad are having.


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    Re: Taking Your Kid(s) out to eat - When do they get their own meal?

    My son always got his own meal, probably after the age of four or so I suppose. Once he got his own, it was off the kid menu until about age 9 or 10.



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    Re: Taking Your Kid(s) out to eat - When do they get their own meal?

    Quote Originally Posted by capitalcityguy View Post
    Our daughter is coming up on 4 1/2 yrs old and when we go out to eat, we never order off the kid's menu. Instead, my wife and/or I make sure we order something she'll likes too and we just share. In addition to probably helping us eat less (since most restaurant portions are so large), it saves a lot of money in the long run considering we eat out at a sit down restaurant at least once a week. Also, most things on kid's menus are junk in terms of nutrition.

    Do others do this? If not, why?

    I'm surprised how often I'll look over at a table with a toddler in high chair and see they've ordered him/her their own meal.

    A guy at work mentioned how expensive it is to eat out now that they're feeding another person. It turns out his son is 3. I told him we just have our daughter share ours to which he replied that his kid would put up a fuse and say "he wants his own!". I dropped it at that point…although I wanted to suggest taking a parenting class or two. :)

    Part of my reason for bringing this up is to see if we are in the minority on this. Another reason was to suggest to others with small children that this is a great way to help save some dough when you eat out. The wife and I haven't really talked about when/what age it might be necessary for our daughter to have her own meal.
    If you think there own meal will be expensive, wait until they get off the kids meal menu. I remember the 1st time my son asked if he could have a steak, and I said to my wife things just got a lot more expensive.



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    Re: Taking Your Kid(s) out to eat - When do they get their own meal?

    Our 3-1/2 year old almost always gets his own meal. By letting him pick out what he wants to eat, then he's more likely to eat it. If we order for him or tell him what he wants then he says he wants something else when the food comes and ends up not eating. Also, kids meals are typically pretty cheap and like the other poster said, can be warmed up for later meals. Most restaurants actually have cheaper kids meals than McDonalds.



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    Re: Taking Your Kid(s) out to eat - When do they get their own meal?

    We do both. It really depends on the restaurant and if we are getting something my son will like. You are right though, 90% of the time the stuff on the kids menu is just garbage and since my wife rarely eats her entire meal, she usually just shares with him. I think breakfest is the one where we usually get him his own as I am not sharing my bacon!!!



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    Re: Taking Your Kid(s) out to eat - When do they get their own meal?

    One important factor is not "can they eat an entire meal" but rather "should they eat an entire meal". some of todays kids are getting obese due to the mass amount of fod and lack of exercise. As a parent I've tried to help at least one of my kids to regulate food intake and maximize exercise. Every kid is different.



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    Re: Taking Your Kid(s) out to eat - When do they get their own meal?

    I have a 5 and 2 1/2 year old daughters and a 20 month old son. We usually try to find a babysitter if we go to a sit down place.



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    Re: Taking Your Kid(s) out to eat - When do they get their own meal?

    +1000


    Quote Originally Posted by milrtym View Post
    I have a 5 and 2 1/2 year old daughters and a 20 month old son. We usually try to find a babysitter if we go to a sit down place.


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    Re: Taking Your Kid(s) out to eat - When do they get their own meal?

    We've been letting our son to pick his own meal since he was 3 and he's doing a good job eating as much as he can. Part of it, he feels that he's a grown-up and acts accordingly. It also helps as example of how lucky he is: we are able to explain that he is lucky that he can have his own food and therefore, should not throw away food as there are so many people that can't afford to eat.



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    Re: Taking Your Kid(s) out to eat - When do they get their own meal?

    Quote Originally Posted by milrtym View Post
    I have a 5 and 2 1/2 year old daughters and a 20 month old son. We usually try to find a babysitter if we go to a sit down place.
    Thank you!!!!



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    Re: Taking Your Kid(s) out to eat - When do they get their own meal?

    This must be the difference between boys and girls. I have three boys (currently 4, 6 and 8) and at any time one or two of them is on a growth spurt and typically eats more than I do. It's also usually impossible to predict which one it is.



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    Re: Taking Your Kid(s) out to eat - When do they get their own meal?

    I have two daughters (2 and 3) and we tend to either order one meal and have them share (though they rarely finish it) or not order them anything (as they are picky eaters and like many have said above, most of the kids meals are junk). I agree with one of the posters above that if it's breakfast, they both usually get meals (as we know they will most likely eat them).

    I wouldn't worry about not ordering the kids a meal. If they are fine sharing with you and your wife, that's awesome. Save the money as most meals in restaurants are too large for one sitting anyway (at least, they are bigger than you SHOULD eat in one sitting :) ).



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