Taking the Kids to Orlando and Eating Smart with Young Kids

Taking young kids to a restaurant on vacation can seem like more trouble than it’s worth, but in Orlando, you can eat smart and relax.

Got some crackers? A tablet? Kids’ books and crayons will be on the table while you’re waiting for the food, so no need to worry about tired kids disrupting other diners’ meals. Of course Orlando is famous for character meals.  Book ahead whether you want to dine with Shamu at SeaWorld, with your favorite Disney characters or princesses or with SpongeBob, Dora & Diego, or the Minions at Universal Orlando. Requests to accommodate gluten-free, vegetarian or other special diets will be met too.

Disney Splittsville Bowling Alley

And in Orlando, even celebrity chef eateries like Emeril’s Tchoup Chop at the Loews Royal Pacific Resort, Todd English’s BlueZooat the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin and Wolfgang Puck’s Grande Cafe in downtown Disney offer innovative kids’ menus. Think kids’ sushi at the Grand Cafe, kid-cocktails like blueberry-infused lemonade at BlueZoo, or teriyaki chicken at Tchoup Chop.

Orlando Blue Zoo Dining Room

Vacation can be the time to let young kids try new foods, and late spring is an especially good time to visit Orlando — great weather, deals and less people.  That’s not to say whenever you visit you want to eat every meal in a restaurant with young kids if you can avoid it.

Here’s how you and your kids can eat healthier and save money while exploring Orlando’s theme parks:

  • Taking the Kids to Orlando (Jennifer Miner)Stay someplace with a fridge so you can make the kids a quick and inexpensive breakfast.
  • Bring a cooler or buy one when you arrive so that you can picnic around the pool for dinner.
  • Use reusable water bottles rather than buying soda or other sugary drinks, or bottled water.  They become instant souvenirs when the kids put stickers on them.
  • Pack healthy snacks and even sandwiches for your day at the theme park.  You won’t have to wait in line when the kids are hungry, you’ll eat healthier and it will be cheaper!
  • Use vacation to let the kids expand their palates and try new food. Split portions from the adult menus for them, or ask to order a half-portion for half price.

Of course you want to indulge in some treats.  It is vacation after all. Shamu ice cream bar, please!

This post is sponsored by TakingtheKids.com. Blog post author Eileen Ogintz, the nationally syndicated columnist who created, writes and owns Taking the Kids, has also written several travel guide books related to family travel.

4 Responses to “Taking the Kids to Orlando and Eating Smart with Young Kids”

  1. 1
    Andi says:

    Great tips!

  2. 2
    Selma says:

    Orlando is a child’s paradise … thanks for unearthing some new insights into it!

  3. 3

    That’s a sure-fire combination for kids when you go to Orlando – fun-filled theme parks and new, good-tasting healthy foods.

  4. 4
    Robert Bruce says:

    We haven’t gone to Orlando yet, but we do go on a lot of road trips and I’d like to suggest you use stainless steel water bottles rather than plastic or even aluminum. I have no stock in a stainless steel water bottle maker, but they are much better at keeping bacteria counts low. You don’t know what is in a re-used water bottle.

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