Mexican restaurants are a good fit for family dining. They have kid-friendly food and healthy choices. Here are 5 reasons to should “Ole!” and head for a family night out at a Mexican food restaurant.
1. Introduce New Foods! Mexican food is both familiar and unfamiliar and that’s a great combination for kids. They probably can recognize a burrito or a taco, but a grilled fish taco may be a great way to introduce a new taste straight from the ocean. An avocado may seem strange but guacamole on a chip might be an instant winner.
2. Let Them Taste Yours. If your child has never had that fish taco, ordering them for his or her meal may just not work out. However, if you order them or the shrimp or the pork – or any other food that is new to your child, offer them the opportunity to take a taste from your plate. If they see you enjoying something, they are more likely to like it and it’s always fun to “steal” from your Dad.
3. A Great Disguise. Mexican food puts healthy foods on the table with a new look. A mild salsa has a pureed texture that will help hide the veggies in it. Plus, it doesn’t look like a tomato. Ditto for bean dip. It’s rich in protein and fiber. Ask that it be served with soft tortillas instead of fried chips. Tortilla soup is a natural for kids and contains healthy vegetables as well as a good serving of chicken.
4. Go Nicer. You can get Mexican food just about anywhere from fast food places to street stands. Go more upscale. Ambience counts. When you take your children to a restaurant that has vibrant décor and attentive service, it screams “behave yourself”. It’s important that children learn how to act in a more “adult” setting and that they practice good manners. Mexican restaurants often hit exactly the right note. They’re family friendly but you’ll also find many that strike that special night out vibe.
5. A Different Culture. Eating at any ethnic restaurant gives you a chance to discuss different cultures with your child. Point out that the zarape (serape) hanging on the wall and let them know it was worn over one shoulder by aristocrats, but also served as everything from a blanket to a rug. School age children can be encouraged to look up something about Mexico and Mexican food before you go to the restaurant.
When you think Mexican restaurants, you may think it’s too hot for your children but Mexican food also comes in mild and it comes with great child-friendly choices from quesadillas to tacos. It’s also a great opportunity to introduce your children to different tastes, good manners and a different culture.