As a pediatric dietitian, I’m passionate about helping kids develop a healthy relationship with food. I moved to Bend, Oregon, over two years ago and have enjoyed exploring all the new restaurants in the area with my family. For over 15 years, I would come to Bend from Portland as a tourist, typically going to the same brewery on each visit. I’ve now learned that Bend is a treasure trove of eateries that go beyond the usual fare to offer nutrient-dense, kid-friendly options. Let me guide you through some of my top picks where kids can enjoy delicious meals you feel good about.
El Sancho is a delightful spot where kids can enjoy authentic flavors. Their kid’s tacos, paired with wholesome beans and rice, are a great way to introduce little ones to vibrant Mexican cuisine. It’s a tasty and nutritious option that’s a hit with kids of all ages.
Active Culture stands out with its focus on nutritious offerings. Their kid-friendly menu includes brown rice and beans bowls and burritos, and the acai bowls are a colorful treat packed with antioxidants. It’s the perfect blend of fun, colorful explosion, and nutrient density for the young palate.
Life and Time offers a modern twist on fast food. Their sweet potato fries are a more nutrient-dense alternative to regular fries, and the kid’s teriyaki chicken bowl, veggie bowl, and turkey wraps are delicious and balanced. It’s fast food that you can feel good about giving to your kids.
Laughing Planet is one of my family’s favorites for good reason. My kids love the ‘trifecta’ – a choice of sides with veggies, brown rice, and grilled chicken. The tween burrito with pinto beans is perfect for growing appetites. They have wonderful guacamole that my kids will devore. It’s easy to feel good about this faster food alternative.
Café Yumm! is all about simple, tasty nutrition. Their grilled chicken and rice bowls are a hit with kids and parents alike. It’s a straightforward, wholesome meal that satisfies even the pickiest eaters. I personally love the Yumm sauce, and we often make Yumm bowls for an easy family dinner.
Spork’s kids’ menu celebrates global flavors. Their rice or noodle bowls are delicious and offer a balanced, tasty meal. It’s a fantastic way for kids to explore new tastes while keeping it simple.
This list wouldn’t be complete for Bend without including at least one brewery. In my opinion, most breweries don’t have much of a kid’s menu to rave about, except Deschutes Brewery. Deschutes Brewery offers kid-sized grilled salmon and chicken, ensuring that even the little ones can enjoy a gourmet meal. It’s a family-friendly atmosphere with something for everyone.
Bend, Oregon, is a haven for families seeking nutrient-dense, delicious meals for their children. These restaurants cater to young taste buds and support the growth of a positive relationship with food. As we guide our children through their culinary journeys, it’s comforting to know that places like these exist, making eating out something parents can feel good about. This is a short list, and I’d love to hear from you and learn about your favorites to expand this list.