How to Create a Compelling Kids’ Menu

Whether ordering in or eating out, mealtimes are often a family affair. And having a menu specifically designed for kids makes the entire experience that much easier for all involved.

The best children’s menus are both kid-friendly and parent-approved, so here are five kids’ menu ideas to help you please the whole family.


  1. Offer Healthy Options

In kids’ food trends, we’re seeing staple menu items such as macaroni, cheeseburgers and pizza getting phased out in favor of more health-conscious options. Opt for alternatives such as veggies, fruit and lean meat, which are sure to win approval from parents. Additionally, consider offering gluten-free or dairy-free options for kids with allergies or dietary restrictions.


  1. Keep with the Theme

There’s no need to reinvent the wheel. Your kids’ menu doesn’t have to stray too far from your other offerings. Offer some of your staple selections in smaller portions that appeal to younger diners. This is especially important for older children who want to act (and eat) more like adults.


  1. Offer combos (and allow for substitutions)

Allow kids to customize their meals by offering combo options. For example, let kids pick out their favorite entrée and two sides from a list of options. The best combo menus make it easy for parents and children to avoid certain ingredients – like gluten or meat – to easily accommodate dietary restrictions. If combos are a bit too complicated for your menu, you can still appeal to picky eaters by allowing for easy substitutions.


  1. Keep it Punchy

Kids can have short attention spans, especially when it comes to making decisions. Long descriptions and wordy phrases can cause them to lose interest quickly. Keep descriptions short and to-the-point to please parents and budding readers alike.


  1. Make the food fun!

Fun food for kids is key! There are plenty of ways to bring creativity into kids’ cuisine. Make shapes out of fruit or faces out of veggies.


Kids’ menu orders have grown 40% each year since 2012, which proves that kid-friendly foods are in high demand. Restaurants that can successfully entice those little appetites will reap big benefits in the long run.


Want to learn more about how parents are ordering these days? Check out our analysis here.