For the last decade, parents have begun to really demand a change in the kinds of meals available to their children. Where we once saw limited options that usually contained fries, a burger, soft drink and a cheap toy, we’re now seeing more options for healthful choices as well as items that are seen as gourmet.
Mac and cheese will likely always be a kids’ meal staple in most restaurants. However, it’s been getting a gourmet facelift by being crafted with artisan cheeses or having slightly familiar but more upscale ingredients being added to it. Instead of ham, you might see prosciutto or chunks of crab or lobster. And the kids are loving it.
Artisan breads made of healthy whole grains are taking over too. Where sandwiches were once served on sugary white bread, kids’ meals are now changing the bread and rolls. The children don’t even notice this gourmet move. Wraps are also popular for kids’ meals.
Many restaurants are embracing the gourmet trend on the kids’ menu, changing things up just enough to give it that gourmet touch without being too unusual so as to intimidate young diners. What this means is that instead of “ham and cheese” as a sandwich offering for children, we’re seeing organic, health-fully cultivated foods that take us back to our roots. So today’s “ham and cheese” is now wild-raised shaved ham with country-churned cheddar cheese or something equally as earthy and inviting.
What’s great about this food trend is that it’s been a long time coming that children should be steered away from over-processed foods that can hardly be considered food. It’s refreshing to see children embracing these items too, likely unaware of the difference and simply enjoying the simplified meals that gourmet ingredients afford them.
Watch for this shift in kids’ meals from fast food to fast casual to sit-down restaurants. It’s a positive shift that ties well into the health trend and keeps going on the upswing.Blog, food trends, restaurant trends