Because the under 10s shouldn't be subject to breadcrumbed horrors every time
You know the drill. Having successfully navigated the whole scene of mushy bananas, puréed carrot and milk-soaked cereal with your little ones, it's time to attempt the ultimate challenge: taking them out to eat.
So you pitch up at a perfectly lovely restaurant – the type that makes its own pasta, churns out signature gelato and has staff who speak with gusto about their collection of wine sourced from small scale producers in New Zealand. So far, so great. Then comes the kids' menu.
Chicken dippers. Fries. Plain penne with cheese. Not a scrap of green or hint of culinary skill to be seen anywhere on the page. Totally, utterly and completely disheartening – especially when all of this hastily assembled stuff doesn't exactly come at knockdown prices.
To stop this hampering your well-deserved family dinner out, we've compiled the restaurants who put on an completely delicious, miniature-size feast for the under 10s.
And let us know if you have a local favourite we've missed, give us a nudge on Twitter @Homemade.
Everyone loves sweet, softly spoken Rick Stein. And with seaside-perfect dishes like moules marinière and dinky servings of sunken chocolate cake with vanilla ice-cream on the children's menu, so will your little eaters.
10 Middle St, Padstow PL28 8AP, rickstein.com
Child-centric Italian culture naturally accommodates the younger crowd. The menu at Antonio Carluccio's UK-wide eateries includes chicken milanese with rosemary potatoes and small portions of lasagne or penne with meatballs and ragu. So your little pasta aficionados can feast on three courses for £6.60, including a drink.
Fancy a fast-and-dirty burger, made with only the finest beef and delicate demi-brioche buns? Then head to Soho's BRGR Co. where attentive staff will make any of their signature orders (hello, stilton and caramalised onions) in 4oz size for smaller appetites. It's pretty noisy in there, so no need to worry about them making a racket, too.
187 Wardour St, London W1F 8ZD, thebrgr.co
Chicken satay, vegetable tempura sticks, or cucumber and carrot sticks served with a sweet soy dip, noodles veg and zingy sauces or mini portions of the main menu all await your pint-size foodies at this pan-Asian hang out.
Available in three locations:
16 Albert Square, Manchester M2 5PF
Exchange Square, Manchester M4 3TR
The Orient, Trafford Centre, Manchester M17 8EH, tampopo.co.uk
Fast, fresh food – all steaming, mini-size bowls of fragrant broth, laden with pak choi and topped with charred chicken breast – is a total family winner. Take a pew at one of the Japanese eatery's long, low benches and you'll all be very happy. Don't forget to finish with the chocolate and ginger frozen yogurt.
Need a speedy lunch for the family half-way through a frantic Saturday spent shopping? If you're in the capital, Leon is your go-to. There's breakfast – porridge with blueberries, egg and soldiers in a pot – as well as kid-size boxes of their legendary meatballs in spiced tomato sauce on a bed of brown rice and sweet potato falafel with dips.
Scottish Michelin-star stalwarts, Tom Kitchin and Dominic Jack, are the brains behind this gastro pub with refined yet comforting food. Inviting, calm and family-friendly, they'll pop a half-size portion of a main course in the oven for smaller tummies to boot.
1 Comely Bank Road, Stockbridge, Edinburgh EH4 1DT, scranandscallie.com
8. Vinoteca, London
No, a wine bar that also happens to serve food doesn't sound like the best place to take a little one for supper. But this Med-focused mini chain (there's branches in Soho, Kings Cross, Chiswick, Farringdon and Marylebone) has a terribly refined children's offering: with casareccia pasta with pesto; grilled Cornish mackerel with quinoa or bavette steak with chips and watercress all priced at £6 a pop. London Evening Standard restaurant reviewer Grace Dent has even declared that she would "happily eat off the kid's menu here."
Various London locations, vinoteca.co.uk