By: Amanda Rumore
Working on our dining out issue, we thought a lot about dining out with our children. Some nights definitely call for a sitter but what about family dinners, child celebrations or just the quick lunch bite between errands with kids in tow? As parents of younger kids, we realize that not all restaurants are child-friendly or budget-friendly yet, how do we determine which restaurant is a fit for our individual family needs? Sometimes peer reviews and word of mouth are just not that accurate. For these reasons and more, we have come to love the website Out to Eat With Kids.
About Out to Eat With Kids
In July 2010, Jennifer Bilbro, Founder and CEO, launched Out to Eat With Kids for her town of South Carolina and, because of the national attention and demand, expanded nationally in 2012. Out to Eat With Kids strives to be a resource for families who are seeking to dine out economically and healthfully with their families, as well as provide a place where parents and kid-friendly restaurants can easily connect. The site currently includes more than 15,000 participating restaurants. Users can search for child-friendly locations by easily plugging in their address or just a zip code. Families see which local restaurants offer free kids meals and other promotions and parents can search for featured restaurants that participate in the National Restaurant Association’s Kids LiveWell program, which ensures they offer healthful menu options for children. Locations, maps and contact info appear instantly for users to review. Out to Eat With Kids also offers parents information about restaurants with healthy and balanced kids’ meals and educates families about making smart choices when dining out with their children.
Founder and CEO, Jennifer Bilbro
As a mom and former high school educator of Biology, Anatomy/Physiology and Personal Health, the importance of eating healthy has always been of the utmost priority to Bilbro. But, after the birth of her son in 2002, followed-up with the birth of her daughter in 2004, this now stay-at-home mom was in the throes of motherhood, with endless frustration with not being able to find a reliable, up-to-date resource for stand-alone kids’ specials at restaurants. Constantly ordering overpriced children’s meals only to watch her kids take two bites then throw the food on the ground, and at her wits end by only being able to choose from chicken fingers, grilled cheese and French fries, Bilbro knew there had to be options other than wasting money on uneaten meals, feeding her kids unhealthy food or simply never going out for family dinners again. This science teacher turned Mompreneur has brought her family dining expertise nationwide by partnering with restaurants across the country and offering any easy-to-use online search option for parents to quickly plug in their zip code to find kids specials in their area.
To learn more about Out to Eat With Kids, including learning what child-friendly restaurants are in your part of the Valley, visit outtoeatwithkids.com.
Amanda Rumore is a freelance writer and founder of Valley Gal, Inc. (www.valleygalinc.com). Originally from Chicago, she has worked throughout the US in marketing and public relations and now resides in North Phoenix with her husband and baby girl Mia. Amanda loves her two Boston Terriers, enjoying the outdoors and spending time with family and friends.