Kids Meals

What’s Hot for Kids? Here’s Our Top 5 Items

- The National Restaurant Association asked 700 professional chefs what the most popular kids’ meals are going to be in the next year. Here's what they said.
Lobster pot pie and braised lamb with crushed potatoes
Lobster pot pie and braised lamb with crushed potatoes

Wondering what the most popular kids’ meals are going to be in the next year? We asked 700 professional chefs from the American Culinary Federation that question. Their answers are part of our What’s Hot 2018 Culinary Forecast. Here's what they said will be the five hottest trends on kids’ menus:

1. Healthful options

Fruits, veggies, plus low-fat dairy and lean proteins are among the more healthful items showing up in kid-friendly side dishes and entrees.

2. Global-inspired

From noodle dishes to fish tacos or even chicken tikka masala, restaurants are serving up these types of sophisticated items — and more — to their youngest customers.

3. Gourmet items

Of course, mac and cheese is still very popular among the younger set. Now, however, they’re also satisfied with foods like lobster pot pie and braised lamb with crushed potatoes.

4. Whole grains

Whether it’s pasta, pizza, bread or even couscous, whole grains are making more of an impression on kids today.

5. Grilled foods

Children are enjoying options like garlic-grilled fish, chicken and pasta, or shrimp skewers, in addition to the more traditional breaded and fried options. Grilling offers healthful foods that taste great at the same time.

For complete survey results, additional trends, a video and downloadable graphics, visit Restaurant.org/FoodTrends.

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