The children’s menu: the death of civilization

A restaurant owner opines on the importance of the dining experience.

Mr. Marzovilla welcomes young children at his restaurant, even discounts their meals on Sunday evenings, and is not above serving a simple appetizer portion of pasta to please little ones. But he has strong opinions about food, and about the messages parents convey to their offspring through what they eat. Children’s menus aim too low, he argues — they’re a parenting crutch.

I think this is true. I always wonder why kid’s menus are of the chicken nuggets and fries variety. There’s so much more kid-friendly food out there! I think it’s kind of like how kids can be well behaved in public places, as long as you take them there regularly and show them what you expect of them from a young age on. My elementary school constantly organized field trips to museums and symphonies and performances, and I think we were pretty well behaved. Of course, we had endless lessons to prepare us for that! (To this day, I remember the lesson that you always, always, always clap after a performance. If you didn’t like it, you can clap softly – but you do clap. And it still shocks me when someone doesn’t do so. Indoctrinated much?)

And now, the bridge to today’s Thankful Tuesday: life is good because my parents never just fed us hotdogs and fries, but made us eat all kinds of veggies and other supposedly non-kid-friendly stuff, and took us to museums and performances and all kinds of fun things. I’m pretty sure I’m a better adult for it, and I plan to do the same for my kids.


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