Saturday, May 17, 2014

Healthy food options available at Children's Museum of Indianapolis

Not too long ago I posted about the food court at the Children's Museum of Indianapolis and what great options are available. The food court is set up with a few different stations, so there is a lot to choose from, including pizza, pasta, sandwiches, burgers and salads.

However, in offering usual kid fare like chicken nuggets, you have much healthier options than you'll normally find in a food court. You'll find grilled all-natural chicken dippers - and can get a toddler portion that is cut into small toddler bite-sized pieces. 

You can get whole wheat pasta. And the applesauce is made in house with fresh organic apples. How cool is that? As part of their Mindful Menu program, there are several balanced, healthy meals designed for kids. Each section has a "Kid's Live Well Option," with healthy versions of popular kid fare, giving the total calories for each meal. Here are a couple examples:

Kids Live Well Option

  • Grilled Chicken Slider $6.09
    Served on a whole wheat bun with graham cracker bug bites or sliced apples and 1% milk as beverage.
    310 Calories

Kids Live Well Option

  • Half of Turkey Sandwich on Whole Grain Bread $5.79
    Served with baby carrots, Baked! Lays Original; 1% milk as beverage.
    390 calories

It's refreshing to go to a kid-centered attraction that also caters to adult appetites. You'll find a variety of items that appeal to the grown-ups. Lots of green stuff. Some hearty sandwiches on artisan bread. Ingredients like kalamata olives and jicama. It's a foodie's paradise in the most unlikely of places.

I was there this past week to check out the new Terra Cotta Warriors and Take Me There: China exhibits. A few Asian-inspired specialties have made their way onto the menu for the occasion. I tried out the Crispy Chinese Teriyaki Wrap, which was served with chips and a pickle. I can't say I picked the healthiest of options as there was crispy chicken enclosed, but it was loaded with vegetables and carried out the Chinese theme of the new exhibits, so it seemed an appropriate pick.


I also tried out a cup of the roasted vegetable soup. I love the light broth that was packed with al dente veggies, including spinach, cabbage, tomatoes, onions and carrots. Perfect on the chilly rainy day we happen to have on our visit.



And here's a shot of that homemade applesauce that any kid would devour!

Items in the food court are a little pricier than you'll find at the local drive thru, but so much better tasting and better for you and cost is probably close to what you'd pay in a food court at any other big city venue. They also do allow food to be brought in, which is unusual these days for any family attraction. No food is allowed in the museum exhibits, but you are welcome to bring a snack or lunch to eat in the food court area. The staff is also highly trained in food allergens and they can easily accommodate those with gluten sensitivities or food allergies. Kudos to the Children's Museum of Indianapolis for aiming to provide healthy options for their visiting families and presenting them in a way that kids don't mind eating them!

Children's Museum of Indianapolis
300 N. Meridian St.
Indianapolis, IN
317-334-4000
childrensmuseum.org



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