Sunday, June 28, 2009

Or, why the child obesity problem is so rampant

So a few weeks ago we were eating in one of those '50s-style diner-type places with the jukebox and the milkshakes and the white linoleum and the Chubby Checker in the air, which is all very cute to me even though I wasn't alive anywhere near the '50s. (When will we have '90s nostalgia diners? The waitresses could wear flannel dresses, the sound system could play nothing but Green Day, Live and Nirvana, the drink menu could feature Zima ...) I was more or less resigned to kiddo eating a burger of some sort since burgers are basically all they serve at places like this, but I figured I could pull the same trick I do at Houlihan's, Chili's and other fine eating establishments that are accepting of children, which is to say swapping out the fries for broccoli. (Yeah, I'm one of those moms. Kid likes broccoli. Sue me.)

So I ask the waitress about that, and she says: "We don't serve broccoli." I wanted to do a Jon Stewart spit-take and I wasn't even drinking anything at the time. You don't serve broccoli? What if I brought some in from home, would you steam it for me? Or would that wreck your culinary theme? Because after all, no one ate broccoli in the '50s!

(For the record: There were a couple of salads on the menu. Almost entirely Caesar. Big help for the preggie lady.)

So kiddo had a burger for dinner (didn't actually come with fries, either) along with a couple of pieces of lettuce from my crabcake sandwich and we all pretended we'd met the USDA requirements.

Man. Occasionally finding healthy kiddie food on a restaurant menu is like jumping through the world's biggest hoop.

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