Believe it or not, many parents enjoy taking their kids out for something to eat. However, it's easy to get tired of the lazy options that often appear on the children’s menu. Who can get excited about frozen nuggets or a plain bowl of pasta?
True, kids can be fussy eaters, but they appreciate a thoughtfully made meal as much as the rest of us. Plus, if there's the opportunity to get them to eat something healthy at the same time, all the better.
So, we've hunted down some of the best places in Leeds which have cast aside dull kids' meals in favour of something far more interesting. In fact, you'll probably have your fingers crossed that the kids'll leave some for mum or dad to tuck into, too...
This quirky restaurant really pulls out all the stops to make eating out fun for adults and young children. The food is beautifully presented around a potting shed theme with sausages on on skewers, tomato sauce served in a wheelbarrow and beans in a plant pot. It'll be a huge hit with toddlers, without a deep fat fryer in sight.
The children’s menu costs £6.95 for two course and has options including chicken fingers, scampi, bangers and mash and mini burgers served with seasoned chips and an option of either beans, peas or salad. There is a choice of ice cream flavours for pudding.
Plus, there are plenty of highchairs, lift access for buggies and changing facilities. Plus, the kind people at the Botanist donate 25p from every kids meal sold to the Forget Me Not children’s hospice.
Jamie Oliver is always promoting healthy eating, so it should come as no surprise that his restaurant also serves fresh, wholesome food at a great price. We love how Jamie uses every opportunity to add some fresh ingredients into each meal.
For example, the ‘Jamie’s Proper Picnic Box’ is really inventive and comprises of an organic Norfolk chicken wrap with rainbow vegetable crisps, seedless grapes, cherry tomatoes and a piece of fruit. Toddlers will also love the 'Happy Chicken Lollipops', which are freshly made lemony chicken fillets with baked hedgehog potatoes and crunchy nuts and seeds.
The Little Kids Menu is available for £6.50 and includes a choice of main course, Shake Me salad and a choice of drink. Desserts are an additional £1.25 each.
Yes, we know that this might not be the first place to come to mind as family friendly, but Raymond Blanc’s Brasserie Blanc really is somewhere where you can take toddlers. In fact, Raymond himself sums things up nicely when he says ‘Time spent as a family is important and dining out should be an experience for all, young and old…’
For just £5.95, young diners get two courses including a side dish from a specially created menu. They also get to meet Henri Le Worm and his friends who feature on the children's menu.
Food choices include a ‘Big Fish Finger Sandwich’, crispy chicken fillet, a mini burger and a popular favourite – a mini charcuterie board with ham, chorizo, cheese and crusty bread.
Healthy side dishes include mash, salad, vegetables and new potatoes. Best of all, tiny guests can get a mac ‘n’ cheese for free.
Deserts are equally as yummy too – choose from a banana sundae, chocolate mousse or ice cream.
The Corner Cafe
Spend a morning exploring the fantastic Leeds museum finding out about the history of Leeds. Then head to the Corner Cafe at the bottom of the museum and tuck into one of their children’s sandwiches with carrot sticks, lunch box or a jacket potato.
This relaxed café welcomes young children and you will usually find a lot of tots eating there. There are plenty of highchairs available and a good selection of (non healthy) cakes too. A children's main course will cost approximately £4.
The Tetley is a centre of contemporary art in the former Tetley Brewery. There are loads of popular family activities taking place here including Family Art workshops, and the Tetley Bar and Kitchen is open to serve a delicious brunch or lunch afterwards.
When it comes to feeding little 'uns, you can choose from a kid’s picnic, bangers and mash with ‘proper’ gravy or something lighter like soup and bread. Main meals are about £4 and Babycino’s are available too.
After a spot of retail therapy, head to the Harvey Nichols Fourth Floor Café where toddlers can dine in style.
The children’s menu is packed full of healthy options such as pork chop with mashed potato and cabbage, fish pie or linguine. Starters include smoked salmon, soup of the day and cheesy garlic bread, and if you can fit a desert in, you can choose from ice cream, chocolate brownie or waffles.
The Fourth Floor Café is very popular with tots and, although it’s not the cheapest, it's easy to see why. Starters cost £3.50-£4, while mains cost £6. Desserts are £4.
Have we missed somewhere you rate off this list? Let us know.
Is your little one yet to start on solid foods? Here are some good dining options for new parents in Leeds.