As you might have noticed, we are a big fan of restaurant lists around here on Dallas Moms Blog. Kelly wrote recently about her favorite delicious places to eat out as a family, and Sally covered the breakfast scene with her top faves.
Whenever possible, I try to expand my son’s palate and introduce new foods so that he can have a variety of options to pick from. I don’t believe in kids meals at restaurants when the only options are chicken nuggets, hamburger, etc. I work hard to make sure that our child eats foods similar to what we are eating as parents.
Having said that and in the name of New Year’s Resolutions and never-ending attempts to eat healthy, I wanted to share my list of family-friendly places where both the parents and the child can eat nutritiously!
Crisp Salad Company
There are many times when I love nothing more than walking into one of those salad places where you get to choose your salad ingredients and have it made before your eyes. Unfortunately, these places are not usually the best for children. A new salad joint on the up and coming Lower Greenville, Crisp Salad Company, caters to families with kids options on their menu. Kids can enjoy “KidsDippers”, sliced grilled chicken that can be dipped into your choice of sauce and served with grapes, celery sticks, and carrots. Another option is the “KidsWrap”, where children can choose their own protein and veggie to be wrapped up into a tortilla alongside grapes, celery sticks, and carrots. Meanwhile, this momma is obsessed with their “Thai It Up” salad filled with grilled shrimp, edamame, mandarin oranges, and a delish spicy Thai peanut dressing.
I think the secret is out on this spot because every time I go into one of their Dallas locations at lunch time, I see many other parents with children. I like to go for their chicken kabobs with an addictive side of braised white beans. The portion is large, so I often share the entree with my son. (He also usually steals most of my beans!) Grilled turkey and cheese sandwiches on wheat are another good option for kids. Word to the wise: good luck not blowing your calorie budget when you see their chocolate cake. From experience let me tell you, it’s oh so worth it! (And to all of my East Dallas friends, Zoes is expanding to Lakewood!!)
We’ve written about the drive-thru health haven before. I still love their attempt to revolutionize the fast-food industry and cater to families-on-the-go by creating healthier choices that you can enjoy without getting the littles out of the car. Be sure to check out their stuffed sweet potatoes (I love the one filled with chicken, spinach, and blue cheese). For a pickier eater, their PB&J is a good option since it’s made with natural peanut butter and no-sugar added jam on multigrain bread.
The Thai/Vietnamese family-owned restaurant over in the West Village is high on my list because of their attention to healthy preparation. All of the lean meats and produce are fresh, never frozen, their seafood is sustainable, and the sauces are made from scratch. The rice and noodle dishes are prepared wok-style, which means high heat and therefore, little oil. I like the rice and noodle dishes off of the kids meal because of the balanced portions of veggies and proteins (both from eggs and meat). There’s not a french fry in site! Meanwhile, I can also enjoy a lighter meal with green papaya salad and one of my favorite dishes, the Jungle Curry Hot Pot, a broth-based rice noodle dish with large grilled shrimp and veggies.
Along the lines of Zoe’s Kitchen, I again trend towards the chicken kabobs (Shish Tawook) here at the locally-owned Lebanese restaurant on Lower Greenville. I’m not even sure they have a kids menu because I find the kabobs to be a great basic dish of grilled chicken, rice, and your choice of fresh sides. But the real reason I recommend this place is because the staff is just so dang nice. While some places might cringe at the sight of a young family, I don’t get that feeling at all here. The wait staff is always quick to bring us a high chair or booster seat and is very attentive with a constant stream of hot naan before our food arrives.
Do you see any places you might want to try? What great spots are we missing?
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