By Nancy Johnson Horn, Editor
Most kids menus at restaurants aren’t known for being that innovative or healthy. Sure, these menus usually have foods that kids will eat, but my inner foodie shrinks a little when my kids order mac and cheese every single time (because that’s all they seem to want). But it doesn’t have to be this way — healthy food can be served in fun and creative ways. JW Marriott Hotels & Resorts is doing just that. They’ve partnered with nutritionist and author Keri Glassman to create a new JW Kids Menu, helping little ones keep healthy habits while on the road.
The menu offers comfort food favorites with a healthy twist, letting kids pick and pair foods they actually will enjoy eating. At the launch event, we got to try some of the foods on the menu.
My kids went crazy over the balled watermelon, cantalope and honeydew “lollipops” — so much that I plan on doing this at home. My 7 year old and 5 year old loved the cut up veggies in the little paper cones with the dips.
The “Make your Own Trail Mix” Bar was an instant hit and my 7 year old made mixes for all of us in little glass mason jars to take home).
Since I have two very picky eaters, especially my youngest child, Skylar, who’s basically refused to eat much of anything lately — I sat down with Keri at the Launch event to find out some ideas.
Available for breakfast, lunch and dinner, the JW Kids Menu is divided into three sections – “Kids Nosh,” “Big Kids,” and “This, That & the Other” – offering a variety of large and small dishes to satisfy even the pickiest palates.
• Kids Nosh – This section includes items such as fresh-cut cucumber and carrot sticks with a low-fat yogurt ranch dip or cheese cubes and grapes that will quiet grumbling tummies while kids explore their new activity book and parents peruse the dinner menu.
• Big Kids – Catering to older kids, this section features well-balanced, recognizable favorites like turkey meatballs along with “mini” adult offerings for more sophisticated palates such as grilled organic chicken.
• This, That & the Other – To empower kids to make their own healthy choices, this section allows younger guests to mix-and-match with guidance from parents, letting them explore a variety of nutritious offerings while encouraging their imaginations.
Accompanied by an artistic activity book, crayons and a take-home reusable cup, the new kids menu layout focuses on art and features a mini “curator” cartoon who will lead kids through art activities, games and food choices, helping mix-and-match the right meal and teaching nutrition info along the way. It may not make your child a gourmet or the best eater in the world — but it will broaden their horizons beyond the typical kids menu. We give it the Mama Maven Blog Seal of Approval!
Thank you to JW Marriott for inviting my family to this event. No compensation was received.