Disney Food for Families columnist Erin Foster has a very adventurous eater in her family — her daughter, Josie! Here are some great suggestions for kids who want something a bit different than the standard kids’ meal fare!
I’ve written before about my finicky, fearful daughter Louisa who never met a chicken nugget she didn’t like.
As it turns out, her twin sister Josie has a completely opposite dining profile. Josie will try anything, loves exploring new foods, and craves variety to spice up her meals. An endless stream of pizza bores her. If you have an adventurous eater in your life, you’ll want to find options beyond the ubiquitous pizza, pasta, hot dogs, and nuggets.
In recent years, Disney has done a somewhat better job of providing a range of healthy and innovative foods on their childrens’ menus. Here I’m going to focus on some of the out-of-the-pizza-box Walt Disney World children’s counter service meal and snack options for those looking to avoid the kid food basics while on the go.
A pork and shrimp egg roll from the Adventureland Egg Roll Wagon makes a satisfying meal or snack for a child.
Tortuga Tavern (formerly El Pirata y el Perico), is open seasonally. When its operating, you can find cheese quesadillas and beef tacos served for children. A nice side benefit here is that you can take advantage of the toppings bar to add lettuce, fresh chopped tomatoes, salsa and other goodies to supplement the quesadilla.
The Liberty Square Market area serves healthier choices such as fresh fruit, pickles, corn on the cob, and my favorite – baked potatoes. And the Turkey Leg cart serves those Flintstone-sized turkey legs — an Adventureland adventure all on their own. These can easily serve two or three hungry children.
Disney’s Hollywood Studios
The ABC Commissary serves children ham & cheese wraps.
Anaheim Produce and the Backlot Cantina offer crudite, whole and cut fresh fruit, trail mix and pickles; and Toluca Legs Turkey Company is another spot for the giant hunks of meat.
Disney’s Animal Kingdom
Baked chicken drumsticks are available at the Flame Tree BBQ. Yum!
Harambe Fruit Market serves, not surprisingly, fresh fruit; and Safari Egg Rolls has snack-worthy eponymous eats.
Safari Turkey is the AK place for those mega-turkey legs!
This is probably the Disney jackpot for many of your adventurous diners, including kids!
In World Showcase, the Fife and Drum Tavern (American Adventure) has the Epcot turkey legs while the Liberty Inn (American Adventure) next door offers a chilled chicken wrap for kids.
La Cantina de San Angel in Mexico offers cheese empanadas.
Boulangerie Patisserie tucked into the backstreets of the France pavilion serves quiche, ham & cheese croissants, and a cheese plate.
Several of the resort counter-service locations have grab-and-go items like hummus and veggies, sushi, salads, sandwiches, and more that will offer your adventurous eater a few non-traditional items to choose from!
Room for Improvement
Of course there is room for improvement. Even the non-nugget counter service kids’ meals are still very focused on chicken.
For guests on the Disney Dining Plan with adventurous children, a good strategy might be to look for those counter service restaurants where there is not a specific childrens’ menu; a loophole in the Dining Plan allows kids to order any meal when there is no children’s menu available. This is the case at Yorkshire Fish Shop, Boulangerie Patisserie, and the turkey stands.
If you have a child with an adventurous palate, the table service restaurants might be more satisfying for him or her. In a future post, I’ll discuss the more non-traditional children’s table service menus at Walt Disney World.
We feature a chapter on menu items for the adventurous kid in our Disney Food Blog Guide to Walt Disney World Dining! If you don’t have your copy yet, get it today at DFBGuide.com!
Do you have other suggestions for adventurous kids? Let us know your thoughts and experiences in the comments section below!