Healthy places to take your family

(54 Posts)
LauraStyles Tue 10-Dec-13 15:48:01

Hello everyone!

I'm new here so I might be a bit late to the party here...

I'm looking to find some good, reasonably-priced restaurants for family days out. We live in Brentwood but often go into London at the weekends.
I'm finding it increasingly difficult to find places to eat.

I don't want them on lettuce leaves, but I also don't like to feed my kids fast food- I don't eat it myself and I don't think eating rubbish should be associated with having a 'treat'.

It seems easy to get decent healthy grub for adults, but for children it's always something like stodgy pasta with cheese or pizza.

Any recommendations would be fab. Got 2 LOs plus a hungry husband, so nothing too fancy!

sharond101 Tue 10-Dec-13 22:43:56

We like Harvester, family friendly and have a salad bar.

ShoeWhore Tue 10-Dec-13 22:49:02

There are lots of good noodle and sushi bars in central London (esp in Soho) - would that work for you and your dcs?

Snowbility Wed 11-Dec-13 07:44:15

Google Time Out cheap eats for the area of London you're visiting. We try to go to independent restaurants rather than chains because we like variety, lots of places will offer smaller versions of adult food.

What do you class as healthy? Give us some examples of the kind of food your dcs would eat?

schmalex Wed 11-Dec-13 16:09:02

We like the kids' menu at Leon

Onykahonie Wed 11-Dec-13 22:36:26

How about Vapiano?

Blacksquirrel Thu 12-Dec-13 10:53:21

Giraffe do some healthy kids options.

LauraStyles Fri 21-Feb-14 14:09:29

I forgot I posted this thread all that time ago. Thanks for all the tips - still helpful now. I don't really like Leon as stuff appears healthy but then has been quite high cal, fat and salt when I've checked nutrition info.
Same with other chains similar.
Independents are always much better but a bit of a risk without recommendations I find.

Anyway, sorry for bumping the thread, I just thought I'd say thank you as didn't want to be ignorant.

I have started one a bit similar in the 5:2 fasting section. so I will post my own finds in there too.


mrspremise Fri 21-Feb-14 21:04:58

I second the suggestion of Leon, also Hummus Bros or Cinnamon in Soho. Sally Clarke' s is usually a good bet, too...

LauraStyles Mon 24-Feb-14 13:46:34

Thanks Mrs Premise! Have you tried Chop'd before by any chance? I've just done some scouting around for Leon locations and found Chop'd on Google Maps. They've got one in King's Cross St Pancras so could be good lunch option after our British Library trip. It looks pretty healthy - lots of fresh salads etc. judging by TripAdvisor reviews you get big portions as well.

Lots of parks for picnics ...

LauraStyles Tue 25-Feb-14 10:27:18

Not really the weather for picnics yet, but as soon as it is trust me I'll be there smile

JamNan Tue 25-Feb-14 10:40:41

Our favourite one we always go to is Sofra in Drury Lane (there are three others) that does Turkish cuisine and the set menu is from only £8.95. It is delicious and healthy too. Makes me hungry just reading the menu grin SOFRA

We quite like Carluccio's and our local one is good with children - there are loads of Carluccio's in London. There is a children's menu too where they can make their own pizza but the rest is a bit pasta-y iyswim.

The restaurant at Tate Modern is very good but pricey although I think kids can eat free if an adult buys a meal. The cafe is very good and much cheaper. The view of St Pauls and the wobbly bridge is interesting.

You can't go wrong with Pret a Manger.

LauraStyles Tue 25-Feb-14 10:48:36

Thanks JamNan!

I've never heard of Sofra so keen to try that!

Also great to know about Tate Modern. We've been there lots but never eaten there. The views are a bonus, too. It makes it more London-y and special!

I really dislike Pret as it's owned by McDonald's and I'm not convinced that it's healthy at all. Also pretty expensive for what you get (imho) Each to their own though smile

JamNan Tue 25-Feb-14 10:52:37

I didn't know Pret was owned by MacDonalds. I must live in a bubble. I will boycott it from now on! grin

I forgot to say that the icecream and desserts at Sofra are to die for.

CogitoErgoSometimes Tue 25-Feb-14 12:06:43

I think Subways are the healthiest of the fast-food places. Essentially it's just a generous sandwich and the fillings are always nice and fresh. Good value.

HyvaPaiva Tue 25-Feb-14 12:11:10

Why have I never heard of Hummus Bros? It looks delicious, thanks mrspremise.

LauraStyles Tue 25-Feb-14 14:07:37

Yeah I imagine they try to keep it on the down low as they have a totally different image to McD's!
Ah I do try to keep it healthy -- the desserts are all v low cal, right? ;)

I haven't tried Hummus Bros either! Going to have a look and see where the stores are.

LauraStyles Tue 25-Feb-14 14:22:03

CogitoErgoSometimes - As I'm meat-free I'm not keen on Subway as they don't keep meat products separate from veggie stuff. I agree they're very cheap and cheerful if you're not bothered about that kind of thing though

AnnieWinehouse Tue 25-Feb-14 14:28:05

We went into London last Friday with DS(8) and DD (7) who are big MaccyD fans but I couldn't bear to take them there again third time that week so I found this link: kid friendly restaurants
and headed for Bodeans - free before 3pm for kids. It was v busy though so we ended up in Yo Sushi not on the list. Not particularly cheap, but they tried a bit of all the different cooked dishes we ordered, ate the rice and the salmon rolls. Result!

LauraStyles Tue 25-Feb-14 14:40:40

AnnieWinehouse - I would have never thought of taking kids to Yo! Sushi. Did you happen to notice if they has many veggie options?

CaterpillarCara Tue 25-Feb-14 20:43:21

If we need quick, healthy (chain) food we like the Wasabi chain.

AnnieWinehouse Wed 26-Feb-14 13:29:20

LauraStyles, sorry I missed the bit about you being meat-free. I didn't notice to be honest, everything we had was chicken/fish. Apart from a fruit salad, which wouldn't fill anyone up!

Parliamo Wed 26-Feb-14 13:33:57

No such thing as wrong weather for a picnic. Especially for a family with such exacting demands.

Selfridges food hall?

MasterOfTheYoniverse Wed 26-Feb-14 13:34:25

Mmmmm Sofra!
How about wagamama?

WallyBantersJunkBox Wed 26-Feb-14 13:43:34

My DS loves Wagamamma and Yo Sushi.

Strangely his favorite place is Belgo. grin He loves mussels and chips.

LauxSx Wed 26-Feb-14 14:23:20

Haha yes I suppose some would say we are quite demanding, though London does have to cater to all kinds of tastes smile

Looks like there is a lot for us all to get our teeth stuck into (literally)!!

LauxSx Thu 27-Feb-14 10:43:46

I can't imagine kids at Yo Sushi or Wagamama! Your DS has a refined pallet! It does annoy me when you go to some places and the only kids' options are chicken and chips, pizza, sausage and mash... Not very inventive or tasty!

SaveTheMockingBird Thu 27-Feb-14 10:57:21

If you are meat free too, then why not consider a vegetarian cafe? Although we do eat meat, when we go out in town we go to a couple of veggie cafes that we know. Nice wholesome veggie food with lots of veg/pulses etc. My gripe with chains is that often the food is carb heavy and not enough veg.

When we go to london we normally go to asian places and choose veg/fish based dishes that are not too spicy.
Japanese places that does Bento boxes are good. Seperate meat or fish, veg and rice, and the kids like it.

Snowdown Thu 27-Feb-14 10:59:19

My dcs love Wagamama and yo sushi!

laux what kind of food do you find inventive and tasty but would be acceptable to your dcs?

TelephoneTree Thu 27-Feb-14 11:06:23

We've always ordered off the adult menu for the kids and split one portion between the two of them when they were younger. Now they're 7 and 5 and have an adult portion each!

TelephoneTree Thu 27-Feb-14 11:06:56

How about banana tree or thai square type places?

TelephoneTree Thu 27-Feb-14 11:07:37

all the kids I know love yo sushi and wagamama!

TelephoneTree Thu 27-Feb-14 11:10:27

sorry me again:


In fact anywhere where you would like to eat yourself?!

TelephoneTree Thu 27-Feb-14 11:11:15

covent garden - fab mexican - cafe pacifico
another mexican called 'Tortilla' - fab dorritos!

Snowdown Thu 27-Feb-14 11:17:48

My kids are 10 and they still eat a kids size meal or split an adults. I still serve them half of what dh and I have at home.

TelephoneTree Thu 27-Feb-14 11:26:59

Snowdown - that's fab and much cheaper grin

I don't know where ours put it. They're v slim and busy busy so maybe they just burn it off. The 5 year old eats slightly more than the 7!

LauxSx Thu 27-Feb-14 11:31:16

It's nice to have suggestions, even if they're places I know of. Sometimes they wouldn't spring to mind immediately smile So thank you and hopefully others have found some new places to try, too!

I have tried the banana tree in Angel and can vouch for that - it was lovely. The kids would definitely eat that, but I wouldn't personally class it as a healthy option. Still a great place to eat though smile and they do 2 4 1 a lot of the time, which is fab.

My stomach is rumbling with all this food talk... time to go and raid the cupboards for something not nearly as delicious!

LauxSx Thu 27-Feb-14 11:32:52

TelephoneTree - That's brill that your kids have such good appetites! I'll have to have a look for Snowdown, never heard of it before.

Snowdown Thu 27-Feb-14 11:33:15

Yes but we're at that awkward age where they want to choose off the adult menu, have their own meal but can't eat more that half! And then still want an adult sized pudding because the children's choice is too dull but they can't finish that either.

LauxSx Thu 27-Feb-14 11:35:04

Ahh is it a complex with different places? I thought it was a restaurant - silly me!

LauxSx Thu 27-Feb-14 11:35:35

Oh wait... nope... you meant a person hahaha oh dear! Back to bed I go!

Snowdown Thu 27-Feb-14 11:45:22

I'm really struggling to understand the kind of food you are after laux I'm not surprised you are struggling. You want something inventive and tasty but not Asian, not pizza, pasta, burgers chips or salad, not fancy and you need to feed a man who likes to eat generous portions and not expensive- is Lebanese, Turkish, Moroccan too exotic? Have you thought about just taking a picnic?

Where do you go that you rate as meeting all your needs?

TelephoneTree Thu 27-Feb-14 12:36:54

ok well how about places like Bills or somewhere where you can pick protein + veg and either take or leave the carbs?

Ie. griled/baked salmon + salad with an extra side of steamed veggies etc etc. I think I know what you're after - just normal fresh food?

Other options might be jamie's italian but to be honest - most places are quite accomodating about leaving stuff out of the advertised dishes...

TelephoneTree Thu 27-Feb-14 12:37:31

The Gate on st john's st (nr angel) is a vegetarian restaurant that's meant to be fab and inventive….

LauxSx Thu 27-Feb-14 12:38:04

Haha oh dear - sorry I didn't mean to sound so picky, just talking (typing) out loud really! All of these suggestions are great - I appreciate everyone chipping in smile

LauxSx Thu 27-Feb-14 12:40:51

Bill's is a great one!

Snowdown Thu 27-Feb-14 14:09:50

I didn't mean that you sounded picky I just meant that I am genuinely confused at to what you are after. Now I've just noticed you're veggie too! confused

Veggie restaurants we've enjoyed include Mildred's in soho. The Gate Hammersmith, Rasa soho and stoke Newington, the Hare Krishna centre on Tottenham court road is well spoken of.

Snowdown Thu 27-Feb-14 14:10:30

World food cafe in Covent garden too

LauxSx Thu 27-Feb-14 14:55:37

Never heard of that but sounds promising ..

Just Googled it - - "Wild-centric". Now we're talking!

LauxSx Thu 27-Feb-14 14:56:39

And raw too, lovely!

If I want a quick lunch in Central London, Hoummus Brothers is always my first choice.

Wagamama do a nice kids' menu too, with some reasonably healthy options.

LauxSx Mon 03-Mar-14 11:09:39

I had a London weekend this week and tried out a few different places!

There is a lovely cafe and shop behind Warren St station. Loads of different food which is all vegetarian. Its sign just said 'health food shop' but there's not much else around there so you can't miss it. It's by prince of wales feathers pub.

Tried Sofra Mayfair but was super busy. We ended up at Chop'd around the corner, which was v different but still nice. Lots of fresh veggies and big portions. Kids enjoyed doing DIY lunch boxes.

Did anyone find make any new discoveries over the weekend?

Try Food for Thought in Covent Garden

I miss london now!

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