Pass the Sushi, Dad
David Kamp struck a chord with parents everywhere with his column on the numbing ubiquity of chicken fingers on kids' menus. My favorite line: "I came to the realization that America is in the grips of a nefarious chicken-finger pandemic, in which a blandly tasty foodstuff has somehow become the de facto official nibble of our young."
My son is 20 now, and though he ate his share of chicken fingers growing up, he was always a reasonably adventurous eater. However, he wasn't one of those weird, obnoxious foodie "trophy" kids who ordered sardines, anchovies, and foie gras with impunity. Restaurants serve chicken fingers to kids because they offer parents the path of least resistance. But every ethnic cuisine I know has alternative kid-friendly dishes that aren't, in Kamp's words, palate-deadening.
Here's a partial list of what Will liked growing up:
- Pasta with butter and cheese. Let's face it. Kids and parents love noodles in any form
- Dumplings, any kind of dumplings. They could be steamed, fried or boiled
- Pizza or any kind of melted cheese on warm bread
- Chow fun, no vegetables. See number 1
- Chicken satay at Thai restaurants
- Sushi, especially maki made with crab stick and/or vegetables
- Anything with bacon in it
All tasty, reasonably cheap, and nutritionally sound when eaten in moderation. I'd be curious to know what other parents, aunts, and uncles have found. We can compile the list of Serious Eatsapproved kids menu items for parents to access any time.