My Top 5: Kid-Friendly Spots for Healthy Eats in Philly
My goal in life is to raise the kind of children who, at circa three years of age, tell flabbergasted adults that their favorite food is sushi in between bites of kale salad. This dream of having outrageously sophisticated, jaw-drop-inducing children probably won’t come true, though. Because let’s face it: No matter how hard you try to convince kids that raw fish is the bomb, in the end, most of them still crinkle their noses and ask for a slice of pizza instead. They’re a picky bunch, those kids.
Paige Wolf, Philly-based author of the new Spit That Out: The Overly Informed Parent’s Guide to Raising Healthy Kids in the Age of Environmental Guilt, admits that her kids, ages three and seven, aren’t exactly kale salad devotees. Or salad fans at all, actually. Which means she has to get a bit tricky when it comes to squeezing in healthy eats around town: Think thin-crust pizza topped with local organic veggies at Nomad Pizza and grass-fed burgers (which you can order in a collard wrap!) at Bareburger.
Below, Wolf clues us in on her top five kid-friendly eateries to find healthy (er, healthy-ish, at least) food for both kids and adults in Philly. (And psst: If you’re interested in loading up on more of Wolf’s healthy parenting tips, she’ll be hosting a book launch party at Midtown Village’s NEST tomorrow afternoon from 4 to 6 p.m.!)
1109 Walnut Street, Midtown Village.
“The burgers, fries, and insanely delicious milkshakes at this franchise are sourced from grass-fed, pasture-raised meats and organic veggies. There are plenty of salads for veggie lovers and the servers are very cool about switching things up if you want to customize. All the calories are listed on the menu but you should still splurge on the Cococado Milkshake made with vegan coconut ice cream, avocado, and lime. Add two kid-friendly points for crayons plus, whether you like it or not, Cartoon Network is always on a hanging TV.”
“Nomad’s wood-fired brick oven pizzas are topped with vegetables and cheese from local and organic farmers with their names listed on the Web site. You can’t go wrong with their margherita pizza for picky kids, and truffle pecorino for the adventurous. And there is Nutella Pizza for dessert. No, it isn’t healthy but you have to get it anyway. With two Philly locations — one next door to NEST and one across from Starr Garden playground — Nomad Pizza is always a solid bet. And the 7th Street location shows silent movies upstairs, which could mean Fantasia or could mean Buster Keaton.” Note: They also have a killer salad selection.
“Founded in Philadelphia, Honeygrow offers quick-service stir-fries, salads, and smoothies. Everything is highly customizable with antibiotic and hormone-free meats and organic tofu. Kids love creating their own delicious snacks with fresh fruit, local honey, and housemade whipped cream. Freshly made smoothies vary by season — as they should — and never contain added sugar.”
Percy Street Barbecue
900 South Street, Bella Vista.
“My kids love the mac and cheese on the kids menu, which, comes with carrot sticks, apples, AND an ice cream sundae. The kid’s menu also includes a peanut butter, banana, and honey sandwich. Grown ups enjoy the authentic Texas barbeque, beer selection, and an open atmosphere with large open windows and outdoor dining. And I only make exceptions for soda in two cases, and one of them is root beer floats (since you asked, the other is Shirley Temples).”
Cosmic Catering and Cafe
1 Boathouse Row, Fairmount.
“Admittedly, I did not know this catering company had a permanent outpost, though I’ve had their tasty organic food at a few Sustainable Business Network events! But my savvy friends tell me their café on Boat House row has outdoor tables, live music, and plenty of room for kids to run around without getting kicked out! They do PB&J on whole wheat, hummus and veggies, fruit smoothies, egg sandwiches, homemade muffins, and fresh squeezed juice. And before the frost sets in, my friend and I are going on a stroller run down Schuylkill River Trail to dine with the little ones!”
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