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How to Feed Your Kids for Free 7 Days a Week

June 27, 2013

I am a person of very few talents. However, there are a couple of things I know I was put on this Earth to do. The first is to help others. I do this by cooking for them, comforting them, saving them money, listening to them, educating them and helping their life be better in way that I can. The second thing I just KNOW I was put here to do is to give free advice (mostly unsolicited) to others. Now, you would think that those two things could be lumped into one, but experience has taught me that is not always the case.

I have found that I can do the first thing (helping others), without actually ever employing the second thing (giving advice). It’s tough for a gal like me, but it can be done. I have also found that I can do the second thing (give advice) and it not be really helpful to anyone. It’s ok. I can live with that.

But, every once in a while, those two things collide and I pretty much feel like a superhero. Hello, being helpful and enhancing others’ lives by simply giving advice and not having to include any actual physical work? Genius.

And lucky for you, today happens to be one of those days.

Plus, it involves two of my favorite things. Children and eating out.

Oh….hey now, I can see that scowl on your face, so just stop it. I didn’t say those two things TOGETHER were ever a good idea. But, I do like children and I like eating out. Unfortunately, for most parents, 99% of the time those two things have to happen together or the eating out thing doesn’t happen at all. And let’s face it, some of you have completely given up on the children + restaurants thing. I am not judging you. Oh, no. I get it. I really get it. And that takes me back to the reasons I was put here on this planet. I am going to try to help soften the blow on those sometimes painful exersions of eating out with your children.

I know what you’re thinking. “Yay! She’s going to tell us how to have a peaceful and uneventful family dinner out!”

Woooaaaa…. Back up there Sally. I never said. I NEVER SAID THAT. I am not completely nuts.

I would love to tell you how cure all your “children + restaurant” woes, but mostly, I got nothing.

For example, I wish I tell you how deal with your preschooler who keeps dropping the restaurant crayons under the table. Over and over and over… and if they’re like mine, they wail about it LOUDLY until you crawl under the table and retrieve it. I have tried everything to avoid this scene. And the only advice I can offer is that you need to learn to retrieve that crayon from under that table with ninja like speed, because your child is screaming and the judgmental stares from the other diners are burning a whole in your back, which by now, after 7 trips under the table, has an unidentified sticky substance on it along with a foreign object attached. Stop threatening that if he/she drops it “one more time, I’m not picking it up again…” We all know that isn’t true, so stop lollygagging. Just get the crayon, the sooner the better for everyone involved. Forget bringing your own crayons to replenish the stash …3 year olds are WAAAAY smarter than that and besides your red crayon and the restaurant’s red crayon are not the same… trust me…. or just ask your child.

I would also love to tell you how to solve the problem of your children’s food arriving at the same time as yours and at the same temperature. HOT. Actually, kids’ plates for some reason are always HOTTER, by about 2,891 degrees. Then you have a choice, commence to blowing their food and slapping their hand back at the same time while half whispering/half spitting “hot hot hot, * blow* don’t touch *blow blow blow* hot, stop, it’s hot”, *blow* like some crazed maniac giving your own fingers 2nd degree burns then finally push the plate from the starving child away and tell them to wait until it cools. Then dig into your own plate which happens to be the perfect adult temperature and listen to them scream and wail. (Actually, that’s NEVER advised because then everyone stares at you like you’re the worst parent in all the land.) OR… you do what you and I have always done, offer them some of the cooler food off your plate and you commence to blowing and cooling their food, which, finally, after 15 minutes, is a child friendly temperature. Of course, your child doesn’t want it then because they are full. They ate over half your food.

So you just eat your cold, child-has-already-half-eaten plate, or you eat their kiddie meal, or both. You do this while mentally kicking the kitchen staff in the shins for not realizing that children could pretty much care less if their meal is piping hot and freshly cooked. Let’s face it. They are just as satisfied with a 2 week old, very cold French fry they found between the seats in the car as they are as they are with your super hot chicken strips, corn dog, etc. Actually, they’d probably prefer the old fry. At least then, they could eat at the same time as the rest of the family.

Sadly, I have no real solutions to the aforementioned challenges of eating out with kids, among many others, I know ( Don’t even get me started on public restrooms and children, I don’t have the emotional fortitude to even tackle that subject right now.)

However, I CAN soften the blow just a little….

Like… making those nights out with the kids a little less stressful by saving you money. Did you know that you can eat out with your children and feed them FREE 7 days a week? Yes… EVERY. DAY.

What? You don’t WANT to eat out with your kids 7 days?? You’re not crazy??

Ok. Ok. Calm down. Sheesh…

Just breathe.

At least there are more choices now and regardless of what day of the week you do decide to go, there is a free a meal… or two…waiting for you.

Again, breathe… and then peruse the list of restaurants below and the days they offer free (or almost free) kids’ meals.

It used to be that kids only ate free on Mondays or Tuesdays…and although those are still the most popular “kids=free” days among the food industry, there are certainly more options now for the rest of the week. Be sure and double check with the restaurants on their exact terms and times, as it varies with each restaurant chain and even with each individual restaurant itself, depending on your location.



MONDAY – IHOP, O’Charley’s, Applebee’s, Quiznos, Chili’s,

TUESDAY – Bennigan’s, Quiznos, Chick-Fil-A, Denny‘s, Godfather‘s Pizza, Golden Corral, Lonestar Steak House, Applebee’s, Marie Callenders, O’Charley’s, Planet Sub, IHOP, Chili’s,

WEDNESDAY– Chili’s, IHOP, Gatti Town, Quiznos, Luby’s, O’Charley’s,

THURSDAY – Quiznos, O’Charley’s, IHOP,

FRIDAY – Quiznos, O’Charley’s, IHOP,

SATURDAY – Marie Callenders, Quiznos, Luby’s, IHOP, O’Charley’s,

SUNDAY – IHOP, Jason’s Deli, O’Charley’s, Planet Sub, Quiznos


Funny advice on how to feed your kids for free 7 days a week
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From → Kids, Life, Parenting

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