By Milcah Tanimu
A recent trend has emerged where adults are opting for items from children’s menus at restaurants, primarily to save money and manage portion sizes more effectively. Social media, particularly TikTok, has seen users showcasing their “kiddie meals” and highlighting that they offer a substantial amount of food at a significantly lower cost.
For instance, the TikTok account @nateandsaraheats, known for its candid food reviews, featured a video in which they ordered kids’ meals from Olive Garden. They paid just $7 per entrée, which included Fettuccine Alfredo with chicken (for an additional $2) and a side of broccoli, along with another entrée featuring grilled chicken Alfredo and a side of spaghetti with red sauce. Each meal also included a free drink and two breadsticks.
Olive Garden’s kids’ menu offers various pasta, pizza, protein, and side combinations for $6.99, as per the restaurant’s online menu. In contrast, a regular-sized Olive Garden chicken Alfredo entrée costs $19.99.
Chili’s “Pepper Pal” kids’ meals come with an entrée, side item, and a drink for $6.75 or less, according to the restaurant’s website.
Additionally, TikToker @thedisneygirlie, who refers to herself as the “kids’ meal connoisseur,” shared her favorite kids’ meal for adults from the regional restaurant chain Cheddar’s. Her meal included grilled chicken over rice with an extra side, a drink, and a croissant, totaling $6.49 before tax and gratuity.
Apart from the cost savings, some adults have found that kids’ menu portions are sufficient to satisfy their hunger.
Moreover, there’s a potential health benefit associated with ordering from kids’ menus: portion control. According to the Mayo Clinic, practicing portion control is crucial for maintaining healthy eating habits and aiding weight loss. Research has shown that people tend to consume more when offered larger portions. By opting for smaller-sized kids’ meals, individuals can exercise better control over their calorie intake.
In summary, the trend of adults ordering from kids’ menus not only offers economic advantages but also promotes portion control, which can be essential for those watching their caloric intake and seeking healthier eating habits.