What's cooking for Mumbai's little ones?

“We realised that families would usually give a portion of what they would order to the kid. But when they get to choose what they want to eat, kids are more satisfied,” says Chef Bakul Kodaikal, Regional Kitchen Manager, California Pizza Kitchen (CPK), Lower Parel.

Representation pic

Children not only have their own menu at CPK, but a set of fun games printed on the menu as well to keep them occupied. “The names of the dishes have to be simple and the flavours have to be toned down.

For example, we use less of cilantro and onions in our pizzas and for our main course dish of Grilled Chicken Breast, the side is mashed potatoes rather than broccoli as kids are familiar with it,” says Kodaikal.

Dharmesh Karmokar, Director of Silver Beach Café (Juhu) agrees, “We have a ‘Make your own Pizza’ session with kids at parties where we ask them to create their own pizza. We give them paint brushes with which they can paint the base with a red (tomato) or a green sauce.

Sanchos Marshmallow and Walnuts-Drizzled Chocolate Pizza, the most-selling item from Silver Beach Cafe’s kids menu

They actually create pieces of food art with cars made on top with toppings and much more,” he says. And nutrition assistance isn’t far away too. The chef is quick to inform them depending on the ingredient overdose, adding his suggestion to include a topping of fibre, protein or iron.

Usually, one would associate Hard Rock Café (Worli) for a night out, but they too have a kids Sunday brunch called Babies Love Rock where children can take a pick from a wide buffet. Sanchos in Bandra, too, creates Mexican specialities for children with a pop quiz and fun games.

But do kids know what they want to eat? Kodaikal answers, “The number of food shows and visits abroad have made kids informed. Even during our kitchen tour they take keen interest to understand how their pizza is made.”

The interactive menus at California Pizza Kitchen

Pizza remains the most-selling item among children at all the restaurants. And the nutritionist isn’t complaining! “I always recommend pizzas for kids. But one has to see that the base is whole wheat, and the parents should have control on the portion of cheese.

Adding colour to your meal is the key, as different coloured vegetables have different properties. Herbs might seem like a tiny bit, but never skip it as these are beneficial for eyesight as well as their immunity,” reasons nutritionist Anjali Peswani. 

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