Tag Archives: nutrition

Who said there’s no such thing as free lunch? Or free dinner?

When you have two kids and you’re on a limited budget like me, you always look for deals and bargains out there to make it easier on your wallet. I always take advantage of museum discount tickets, or even better free Tuesdays at the San Diego museums, zoo memberships, food and restaurant coupons, and of course, our local library.

If you live in the USA, you’re aware a number of restaurants try to lure you in by offering free kids’ meals on specific days. It’s not that kids eat a lot and you’ll break the bank by taking them out, but most kids’ meals cost around $5 each, so multiply that by the number of kids and it quickly adds up to the final check. I always find myself looking for a good list of restaurant deals and the other day, I finally stumbled upon one that seems very complete, so I thought I’d share it with you. I found the list below at http://www.frugalliving.tv/free-stuff/kids-eat-free.html and I recommend you always contact the restaurant to make sure the free kids’ meal is available, since local restaurants may not participate in the national promotion.

You can also visit Kids Meal Deals website to search for a restaurant that offers free or cheap kids’ meals by zipcode. That’s a convenient tool when you’re away from home and not familiar with the restaurants around you.

So if you’re out and about and looking for a place to eat with your kids without breaking the bank, here is the list of restaurants that lets your kids eat free (or for very cheap) on specific days. Bon appetit!

Monday

Below you will find the restaurants where kids eat free (or cheap!) on Mondays.

Adam’s Rib Barbeque – Kids 10 and under eat free at Adam’s Rib Barbeque (KS) on Mondays. This is valid for dine-in only and is good for one meal off the kids’ menu.

Applebees – At Applebees kids eat for free on Mondays. There is 1 free kids’ meal for each adult entree purchase. Additional kids are $1.00. The kids’ menu at Applebees includes chicken fingers, cheeseburger, grilled cheese sandwich and macaroni & cheese. Not all locations offer this deal so be sure to call ahead to see if your location does!

Brewzzi – Kids eat 12 and under free at Brewzzi (FL) on Mondays (and Tuesdays). There is a limit of 2 kids’ meals when an adult spends at least $12.

Buffalo Wild Wings – On Mondays, from 5pm to 8pm kids 12 and under eat for .99 from the kids’ menu at Buffalo Wild Wings. The kids’ menu at Buffalo Wild Wings includes cheeseburger slammers, corn dogs, wings, chicken tenders and mac and cheese.

Chartroose Caboose – At Chartroose Caboose (KS) kids 10 and under can eat free from 5pm to close on Monday evening (and all day on Sunday).

Cici’s Pizza – Kids 3 and under eat free from the Cici’s Pizza buffet everyday! Specific Cici’s Pizza locations frequently have where older kids can eat for free on certain nights – check with your nearest location!

Cinzetti’s – On Mondays (and Tuesdays), from 5pm to 9pm kids 12 and under eat for free at Cinzetti’s (CO, KS)!

Cody’s Original Roadhouse – Kids 10 and under can eat for free at Cody’s Original Roadhouse (FL, ME, NC) on Mondays (and Tuesdays!) from the Kid’s Stuff Menu. There is a limit of 2 free kids’ meals for each adult entree purchase.

Denny’s – Kids can eat free at Denny’s on select nights from 4pm to 10pm at participating Denny’s. Apparently, each location offers the kids eat free promotion on different nights. This deal is limited to kids 10 and under and is limited to 2 free entrees per one regularly purchased adult entree. You can find a selection of entrees on the Denny’s kids’ menu which includes hot dogs, cheeseburgers, chicken nuggets, pizza, grilled cheese sandwiches and a dipper sampler.

Fuddruckers – Kids 12 and under can eat for .99 from the kids’ menu from 4pm to 9pm on Mondays (and Tuesdays) at Fuddruckers. A drink is included! The Fuddruckers kids’ menu includes hamburgers, hot dogs, grilled cheese, macaroni & cheese, chicken bites, cheeseburger and mozzarella sticks. Not all locations offer this deal so be sure to call ahead to see if your location does!

Golden Corral – Children 10 and under eat free from 5pm to 9pm on Monday’s at Golden Corral. This is limited to 2 kids per 1 adult. Not all locations offer this deal so be sure to call ahead to see if your location does! Kids 3 and under eat free every day!

IHOP – Everyday kids eat free at IHOP if they are 12 and under. Kids can get 1 free kids’ menu item per adult entree purchased from 4pm to 8pm. The drink is not included. The IHOP kids’ menu includes pancakes, french toast, omelettes, chicken strips, cheeseburgers, grilled cheese sandwiches, eggs, fruit and fish. This deal seems to vary widely based on location – please call your location before visiting!

Islands Restaurant – Kids eat free on Mondays (and Tuesdays and Wednesdays) at Islands Restaurants (AZ, CA, CO, HI, NV). The kids’ menu at Islands includes hot dogs, grilled cheese, hamburgers, cheeseburgers, chicken tenders, quesadillas and mac & cheese.

Jason’s Deli – Kids eat free at Jason’s Deli all day on Sundays at some locations and on Mondays at others. Call your local Jason’s Deli before you go! The kids’ menu at Jason’s Deli includes sandwiches, wraps, hot dogs, salads, baked potatoes, pasta, pizza and macaroni and cheese.

KC Masterpiece – From 4pm until close on Mondays (and Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays) kids 12 and under eat free from the kids’ menu at KC Masterpiece (KS).

Locos Grill and Pub – Kids eat free on Mondays at Locos Grill & Pub. Purchase of an adult entree is required.

Millie’s Restaurant & Bakery – Every weekday kids eat for .99 at Millie’s (CA) with the purchase of an adult entree.

Moe’s Southwest Grill – On Mondays, kids eat for free at Moe’s with the purchase of an adult entree. The kids’ menu at Moe’s includes tacos, burritos and quesadillas.

O’Charley’s – Kids eat free Monday – Friday at select O’Charley’s locations.

Piccadilly – Kids 6 and under eat for free at Piccadilly Monday through Saturday. The kid’s meals at Piccadilly includes an entree (chicken tenders, corn dogs, hot pockets, chicken or fish), two sides, jell-o or pudding or a cupcake and kid’s drinks.

Pizza Hut – Kids eat free (3 and under) at Pizza Hut every day on the lunch buffet. Some locations kids younger than three can eat free at Pizza Hut’s dinner buffet as well.

Quaker Steak and Lube – From 5pm to 10pm on Mondays, kids eat for free at Quaker Steak and Lube. This is limited to one free kids’ meal per each paying adult. There is also free video games during this time!

Ricetta’s Brick Oven Pizzeria – Kids eat free at Ricetta’s on Monday (and Sunday). On Monday the free kid’s meals are limited to two per each adult meal and only to item’s on the kid’s menu. The adult meal must be a minimum of $7.95. The kid’s menu at Ricetta’s includes pizza, chicken fingers, ravioli and pasta.

Rio Wraps – Kids 12 and under can dine for free on Mondays at Rio Wraps (MI) as long as an adult purchases a Rio Classic, Deli, Unwrapped or Low-Cal sandwich. This is for dine-in only. The kids’ menu at Rio Wraps includes quesadillas, burritos and tacos.

Rock Bottom Cafe – On Mondays and Tuesdays, kids that are 12 and under can eat free from the kids’ menu at Rock Bottom Cafe. One adult entree must be purchased from the lunch or dinner menu.

S&S Cafeterias – Kids who join the S&S Cafeterias Kid’s Club can enjoy a kid’s meal for .99 every day of the week. This meal includes an entree, 2 vegetables, a roll, jell-o and a beverage. This is limited to kids 10 and under and an adult meal purchase of $6.75 or more is required.

Shoney’s – Kids eat free at Shoney’s every day if they are 4 or younger. An adult entree purchase is required. The kids menu at Shoney’s includes chicken nuggets, spaghetti, cheese burgers, grilled cheese and shrimp.

TC Hooligans – At TC Hooligans (NY), kids eat free on Mondays. The kids’ menu at TC Hooligans includes grilled cheese, hamburger, cheeseburger, hot dog, chicken fingers and mac & cheese wedges with are served with french fries and a drink.

Texas Roadhouse – On Tuesdays (may be Mondays at some locations), kids 12 and under eat free at Texas Roadhouse. The Texas Roadhouse kids’ menu includes an entree (hot dogs, cheeseburgers, sirloin bites, macaroni & cheese, chicken critters), a side and a drink. Not all locations offer this promotion – call before you go!

Villa Rosa Italian Restaurant & Grill – Kids eat free all day on Mondays (and Sundays) at Villa Rosa Italian Restaurant & Grill. The kids’ menu at Villa Rosa includes spaghetti, lasagna, fried chicken, ziti, ravioli, manicotti and chicken tenders.

Tuesday

Below you will find the restaurants where kids eat free (or cheap!) on Tuesdays.

Austin Grill – Kids each free on Tuesday at Austin Grill. This is dine in only and purchase of adult entree is required. Only valid at participating locations.

Austin Java – Kids eat free at Austin Java (TX) all day on Tuesdays.

Backyard Burger – Kids eat free at Backyard Burger on Tuesday (and Thursday!). For each adult combo purchased, you get a free kids’ meal from 4pm until close. The kids’ menu at Backyard Burger includes burgers, chicken tenders and hot dogs.

Beef ‘O’ Brady’s – From 4pm to 8pm every Tuesday, kids 10 and under eat free at Beef ‘O’ Brady’s Family Sports Bub. An adult entree purchase is required. The kids’ menu at Beef ‘O’ Brady’s includes a grilled chicken wrap, chicken fingers, chicken wings, grilled chicken salad, cheeseburger, boneless wings, chicken nuggest, hamburger, macaroni & cheese, grilled cheese and a hot dog. All kids’ meals come with fries, celery sticks or fruit cup as well ask a drink and treat.

Bennigan’s – At Bennigan’s kids eat free on Tuesdays. One adult entree is required.

Black-eyed Pea – After 5pm on Tuesdays, kids 12 and under receive a free kids’ meal with every adult entree purchased at Black-eyed Pea (TN, TX). The kids’ meals at Black-eyed Pea include an entree (macaroni and cheese, corn dogs, grilled cheese, cheese sticks, pot roast, chicken breast, chicken fingers, meat loaf, turkey, cheeseburger and cheese pizza), side, drink and dessert.

Brewzzi – Kids eat 12 and under free at Brewzzi (FL) on Tuesdays (and Mondays). There is a limit of 2 kids’ meals when an adult spends at least $12.

Cafe MiAroma – On Tuesdays after 5pm kids 11 and under eat free at Cafe MiAroma (TN). There is a limit of one kids’ meal per adult entree purchased and no drink is included.

Captain D’s – Kids eat for free at Captain D’s on Tuesdays and Thursdays. There is a limit of 2 free kid’s meals for each adult dinner purchased. The Captain D’s kids’ meals include a choice of fish, chicken, shrimp or mac & cheese.

Caserta Vecchia – Kids eat free here on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5-9 p.m. with the purchase of an adult entree.

Champps – Kids eat free (12 and under) at Champps on Tuesday. The kids’ menu at Champps features hambuger, chicken fingers, grilled chicken tenders, corn dogs, grilled cheese sandwich, spaghetti, macaroni and cheese and cheese pizza.

Chevy’s Fresh Mex – At Chevy’s Fresh Mex, kids eat free all day on Tuesdays. You’ll need to purchase a regular price entree and then kids will eat free. This is good for dine in only and check the website because some of the locations are opting out of the kids eat free program.

Chick-fil-A – At participating locations, kids can eat a free kids’ meal at Chil-fil-A on Tuesdays for Family Fun Night from 5:30pm to 7:30pm. There is a limit of 1 free kid’s meal per adult combo meal purchased.

Cici’s Pizza – Kids 3 and under eat free from the Cici’s Pizza buffet everyday! Specific Cici’s Pizza locations frequently have where older kids can eat for free on certain nights – check with your nearest location!

Cinzetti’s – On Tuesdays (and Mondays), from 5pm to 9pm kids 12 and under eat for free at Cinzetti’s (CO, KS)!

Coco’s Restaurant & Bakery – On Tuesday (and Wednesday) after 4pm kids 10 and under eat free at Coco’s (CA). This is limited to one free kids’ meal per purchase of an adult entree. The kids’ menu at Coco’s includes macaroni and cheese, grilled chicken, grilled cheese, chicken strips, hamburger, pizza, spaghetti, turkey sandwich and soup and crackers.

Cody’s Original Roadhouse – Kids 10 and under can eat for free at Cody’s Original Roadhouse (FL, ME, NC) on Tuesdays (and Mondays!) from the Kid’s Stuff Menu. There is a limit of 2 free kids’ meals for each adult entree purchase.

Denny’s – Kids can eat free at Denny’s on select nights from 4pm to 10pm at participating Denny’s. Apparently, each location offers the kids eat free promotion on different nights. This deal is limited to kids 10 and under and is limited to 2 free entrees per one regularly purchased adult entree. You can find a selection of entrees on the Denny’s kids’ menu which includes hot dogs, cheeseburgers, chicken nuggets, pizza, grilled cheese sandwiches and a dipper sampler.

Fazoli’s – From 5pm to 8pm on Tuesdays kids eat for .99 (12 and under) from the kids’ menu. The kids’ menu at Fazoli’s includes pepperoni pizza, cheese pizza, fettuccine alfredo, meat lasagna and spaghetti with either marinara sauce, meat sauce or meatballs.

Friendly’s – Kids eat free on Tuesdays at Friendly’s. Big kid meals are discounted on Tuesday’s as well. The Friendly’s kids’ meals include mac & cheese, hot dogs, mozzarella sticks, mac & franks, grilled cheese, chicken fingers, cheeseburger sliders and quesadillas. *This is not available at all locations, please call your local location before taking advantage of this deal.*

Fuddruckers – Kids 12 and under can eat for .99 from the kids’ menu from 4pm to 9pm on Tuesdays (and Mondays) at Fuddruckers. A drink is included! The Fuddruckers kids’ menu includes hamburgers, hot dogs, grilled cheese, macaroni & cheese, chicken bites, cheeseburger and mozzarella sticks. Not all locations offer this deal so be sure to call ahead to see if your location does!

Gator’s Dockside – At Gator’s Dockside (FL) kids eat for free from 6pm to 8:30pm. This is for kids under 12 and is limited to 1 child per each adult. The kids’ menu at Gator’s Dockside includes wings, hamburgers, chicken fingers, grilled cheese, pizza and mac n’ cheese.

Godfather’s Pizza – From 11am to 2pm and 5pm to 8pm on Tuesday, kids 10 and under at for free from the Godfather’s Pizza buffet.

Gold Star Chili – At Gold Star Chili (OH, KY, IN) kids 10 and under eat for free on Tuesday. There is a limit of 1 kids’ meal per adult combo meal purchased and this is for dine-in only. The Gold Star Chili kids’ menu includes chicken strips, coney, chili and spaghetti. Meals include a small drink and a surprise.

IHOP – Everyday kids eat free at IHOP if they are 12 and under. Kids can get 1 free kids’ menu item per adult entree purchased from 4pm to 8pm. The drink is not included. The IHOP kids’ menu includes pancakes, french toast, omelettes, chicken strips, cheeseburgers, grilled cheese sandwiches, eggs, fruit and fish. This deal seems to vary widely based on location – please call your location before visiting!

Islands Restaurant – Kids eat free on Tuesdays (and Mondays and Wednesdays) at Islands Restaurants (AZ, CA, CO, HI, NV). The kids’ menu at Islands includes hot dogs, grilled cheese, hamburgers, cheeseburgers, chicken tenders, quesadillas and mac & cheese.

KC Masterpiece – From 4pm until close on Tuesdays (and Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays) kids 12 and under eat free from the kids’ menu at KC Masterpiece (KS).

Lonestar Steakhouse – On Tuesdays (all day) at Lonestar Steakhouse, kids can eat free (12 and under). This is limited to 2 children per each adult entree purchased and is dine-in only. The Lonestar Steakhouse kids’ menu includes a hot dog, grilled cheese, macaroni & cheese, cheeseburger, grilled chicken sandwich, chicken tenders and steak medallions.

Millie’s Restaurant & Bakery – Every weekday kids eat for .99 at Millie’s (CA) with the purchase of an adult entree.

Norms Restaurants – Kids eat free (10 and under) at Norms (CA) every Tuesday with an adult entree purchase required. Drinks are not included. The children’s menu at Norms includes bbq chicken tenders, turkey sandwich, whitefish fillet, chef’s salad, spaghetti, burgers, chicken breast tenders, battered fish, grilled cheese and macaroni & cheese.

O’Charley’s – Kids eat free Monday – Friday at select O’Charley’s locations.

Perkins Restaurant and Bakery – Kids eat free at Perkins all day on Tuesdays. The Perkins kids’ menu includes breakfast items such as eggs, pancakes and french toast as well as lunch and dinner meals such as a cheeseburger, pizza, quesadilla, chicken tenders, grilled cheese sandwich and mac & cheese.

Piccadilly – Kids 6 and under eat for free at Piccadilly Monday through Saturday. The kid’s meals at Piccadilly includes an entree (chicken tenders, corn dogs, hot pockets, chicken or fish), two sides, jell-o or pudding or a cupcake and kid’s drinks.

Pizza Hut – Kids eat free (3 and under) at Pizza Hut every day on the lunch buffet. Some locations kids younger than three can eat free at Pizza Hut’s dinner buffet as well.

Pizza Street – Kids (4-9) eat free from the Pizza Street buffet every Tuesday from 5pm to 8pm.

Planet Sub – For each adult meal purchased at Planet Sub (MO, KS, IA, OK, NE) you can get on free kids’ meal on Tuesdays (and Sundays). Items on the kids’ menu at Planet Sub include subs and sandwiches.

Ponderosa Steakhouse – From 4pm to close on Tuesdays, kids eat free at Ponderosa Steakhouse.

Rock Bottom Cafe – On Mondays and Tuesdays, kids that are 12 and under can eat free from the kids’ menu at Rock Bottom Cafe. One adult entree must be purchased from the lunch or dinner menu.

Ruby’s Diner – Kids 12 and under eat for free at participating Ruby’s Diner locations after 4pm on Tuesday. There is a limit of one free kids’ meal for each adult meal purchased. The Ruby’s Diner kids’ meals include an entree (grilled cheese, PB & J, macaroni & cheese, turkey corn dog, hot dog, beef burger, turkey burger, chicken fingers or grilled chicken breast) and french fries or a fruit cup.

S&S Cafeterias – Kids who join the S&S Cafeterias Kid’s Club can enjoy a kid’s meal for .99 every day of the week. This meal includes an entree, 2 vegetables, a roll, jell-o and a beverage. This is limited to kids 10 and under and an adult meal purchase of $6.75 or more is required.

Shoney’s – Kids eat free at Shoney’s every day if they are 4 or younger. An adult entree purchase is required. The kids menu at Shoney’s includes chicken nuggets, spaghetti, cheese burgers, grilled cheese and shrimp.

Space Aliens – Kids 10 and under get a free kids pizza along with 10 game tokens every Tuesday with the purchase of a regular price adult entree.

Texas Roadhouse – On Tuesdays (may be Mondays at some locations), kids 12 and under eat free at Texas Roadhouse. The Texas Roadhouse kids’ menu includes an entree (hot dogs, cheeseburgers, sirloin bites, macaroni & cheese, chicken critters), a side and a drink.

Tony Roma’s – Kids 12 and under eat free at Tony Roma’s on Tuesdays.

Wednesday

Below you will find the restaurants where kids eat free (or cheap!) on Wednesdays.

Carrow’s Restaurant – Kids 10 and under eat for free every Wednesday (and Thursday) at Carrow’s Restaurant. There is a limit of 1 kids’ meal per each adult entree purchased.

Cici’s Pizza – Kids 3 and under eat free from the Cici’s Pizza buffet everyday! Specific Cici’s Pizza locations frequently have where older kids can eat for free on certain nights – check with your nearest location!

Coco’s Restaurant & Bakery – On Wednesday (and Tuesday) after 4pm kids 10 and under eat free at Coco’s (CA). This is limited to one free kids’ meal per purchase of an adult entree.The kids’ menu at Coco’s includes macaroni and cheese, grilled chicken, grilled cheese, chicken strips, hamburger, pizza, spaghetti, turkey sandwich and soup and crackers.

Damon’s Grill – At Damon’s Grill on Thursdays kids (12 and under) can get a free kids’ meal. 1 free kids’ meal per adult entree purchased. Damon’s Grill Kids’ Menu includes mini burgers, cheese sticks, grilled cheese, macaroni & cheese, chicken tenders and mini corn dogs.

Denny’s – Kids can eat free at Denny’s on select nights from 4pm to 10pm at participating Denny’s. Apparently, each location offers the kids eat free promotion on different nights. This deal is limited to kids 10 and under and is limited to 2 free entrees per one regularly purchased adult entree. You can find a selection of entrees on the Denny’s kids’ menu which includes hot dogs, cheeseburgers, chicken nuggets, pizza, grilled cheese sandwiches and a dipper sampler.

Firehouse Subs – On Wednesdays (and Sundays) kids 12 and under get to eat free from 4pm to 9pm. One free kids’ meal comes with each adult purchase. The kids’ meal at Firehouse Subs includes a sub or sandwich, beverage, Oreo cookies and free fireman’s hat.

Gatti Town Buffet – Kids 10 and under get a free kids’ buffet with the purchase of an adult buffet each Wednesday. There is a limit of 1 child per adult.

IHOP – Everyday kids eat free at IHOP if they are 12 and under. Kids can get 1 free kids’ menu item per adult entree purchased from 4pm to 8pm. The drink is not included. The IHOP kids’ menu includes pancakes, french toast, omelettes, chicken strips, cheeseburgers, grilled cheese sandwiches, eggs, fruit and fish. This deal seems to vary widely based on location – please call your location before visiting!

Islands Restaurant – Kids eat free on Wednesdays (and Mondays and Tuesdays) at Islands Restaurants (AZ, CA, CO, HI, NV). The kids’ menu at Islands includes hot dogs, grilled cheese, hamburgers, cheeseburgers, chicken tenders, quesadillas and mac & cheese.

Jeffrey’s Sports Grill – Kids 12 and under eat free from 5pm to 9pm on Wednesdays at Jeffrey’s Sports Grill (GA). There is a limit of one child per each paying adult.

KC Masterpiece – From 4pm until close on Wednesdays (and Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays) kids 12 and under eat free from the kids’ menu at KC Masterpiece (KS).

Luby’s Cafeteria – Wednesdays after 4:30 pm (and all day Saturday) kids 10 and under can get a $2.00 kid’s deal at Luby’s. This is limited to dine-in only. Luby’s Cafeteria’s website says kids get to select from spaghetti, chicken leg, fried fish, baked chicken, roast beef, chopped steak or chicken strips that is served along with two sides, jell-o, a roll and a drink!

Lucille’s Bad to the Bone BBQ – At Lucille’s Bad to the Bone BBQ (FL) kids eat free (12 and under) on Wednesdays. There is a limit of 2 free kids’ meal for each adult entree ordered.

Marie Callender’s – Kids eat free at Marie Callender’s on Tuesday and Saturdays. You get one free kid’s meal with each adult entree purchased.

Millie’s Restaurant & Bakery – Every weekday kids eat for .99 at Millie’s (CA) with the purchase of an adult entree.

O’Charley’s – Kids eat free Monday – Friday at select O’Charley’s locations.

Piccadilly – Kids 6 and under eat for free at Piccadilly Monday through Saturday.  The kid’s meals at Piccadilly includes an entree (chicken tenders, corn dogs, hot pockets, chicken or fish), two sides, jell-o or pudding or a cupcake and kid’s drinks.

Pizza Hut – Kids eat free (3 and under) at Pizza Hut every day on the lunch buffet. Some locations kids younger than three can eat free at Pizza Hut’s dinner buffet as well.

Qdoba Mexican Grill – Kids eat free at Qdoba Mexican Grills only on Wednesdays at some locations and only on Sundays at some locations. Check with your local location to see which day of the week kids eat free at yoru Qdoba’s.

Rainforest Cafe – Kids can eat for $1.99 on Wednesday evenings at Rainforest Cafe.

S&S Cafeterias – Kids who join the S&S Cafeterias Kid’s Club can enjoy a kid’s meal for .99 every day of the week. This meal includes an entree, 2 vegetables, a roll, jell-o and a beverage. This is limited to kids 10 and under and an adult meal purchase of $6.75 or more is required.

Shoney’s – Kids eat free at Shoney’s every day if they are 4 or younger. An adult entree purchase is required. The kids menu at Shoney’s includes chicken nuggets, spaghetti, cheese burgers, grilled cheese and shrimp.

Zarda BBQ – Kids eat for free all day on Wednesdays at Zarda (KS, MO).

Thursday

Below you will find the restaurants where kids eat free (or cheap!) on Thursdays.

Backyard Burger – Kids eat free at Backyard Burger on Thursday (and Tuesday!). For each adult combo purchased, you get a free kids’ meal from 4pm until close. The kids’ menu at Backyard Burger includes burgers, chicken tenders and hot dogs.

C.B. & Potts Restaurant & Bakery – Kids eat for free at CB & Potts (CO) on Thursdays.

Captain D’s – Kids eat for free at Captain D’s on Tuesdays and Thursdays. There is a limit of 2 free kid’s meals for each adult dinner purchased. The Captain D’s kids’ meals include a choice of fish, chicken, shrimp or mac & cheese.

Carrow’s Restaurant – Kids 10 and under eat for free every Thursday (and Wednesday) at Carrow’s Restaurant. There is a limit of 1 kids’ meal per each adult entree purchased.

Caserta Vecchia – Kids eat free here on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5-9 p.m. with the purchase of an adult entree.

Cici’s Pizza – Kids 3 and under eat free from the Cici’s Pizza buffet everyday! Specific Cici’s Pizza locations frequently have where older kids can eat for free on certain nights – check with your nearest location!

Denny’s – Kids can eat free at Denny’s on select nights from 4pm to 10pm at participating Denny’s. Apparently, each location offers the kids eat free promotion on different nights. This deal is limited to kids 10 and under and is limited to 2 free entrees per one regularly purchased adult entree. You can find a selection of entrees on the Denny’s kids’ menu which includes hot dogs, cheeseburgers, chicken nuggets, pizza, grilled cheese sandwiches and a dipper sampler.

IHOP – Everyday kids eat free at IHOP if they are 12 and under. Kids can get 1 free kids’ menu item per adult entree purchased from 4pm to 8pm. The drink is not included. The IHOP kids’ menu includes pancakes, french toast, omelettes, chicken strips, cheeseburgers, grilled cheese sandwiches, eggs, fruit and fish. This deal seems to vary widely based on location – please call your location before visiting!

KC Masterpiece – From 4pm until close on Thursdays (and Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays) kids 12 and under eat free from the kids’ menu at KC Masterpiece (KS).

Millie’s Restaurant & Bakery – Every weekday kids eat for .99 at Millie’s (CA) with the purchase of an adult entree.

O’Charley’s – Kids eat free Monday – Friday at select O’Charley’s locations.

Piccadilly – Kids 6 and under eat for free at Piccadilly Monday through Saturday. From 11am to 4pm on Thursdays (and Saturdays) kids’ meals at .99 and big kids’ meals are $1.99 at Piccadilly. The kid’s meals at Piccadilly includes an entree (chicken tenders, corn dogs, hot pockets, chicken or fish), two sides, jell-o or pudding or a cupcake and kid’s drinks.

Pizza Hut – Kids eat free (3 and under) at Pizza Hut every day on the lunch buffet. Some locations kids younger than three can eat free at Pizza Hut’s dinner buffet as well.

S&S Cafeterias – Kids who join the S&S Cafeterias Kid’s Club can enjoy a kid’s meal for .99 every day of the week. This meal includes an entree, 2 vegetables, a roll, jell-o and a beverage. This is limited to kids 10 and under and an adult meal purchase of $6.75 or more is required.

Shoney’s – Kids eat free at Shoney’s every day if they are 4 or younger. An adult entree purchase is required. The kids menu at Shoney’s includes chicken nuggets, spaghetti, cheese burgers, grilled cheese and shrimp.

Friday

Below you will find the restaurants where kids eat free (or cheap!) on Fridays.

Cici’s Pizza – Kids 3 and under eat free from the Cici’s Pizza buffet everyday! Specific Cici’s Pizza locations frequently have where older kids can eat for free on certain nights – check with your nearest location!

Denny’s – Kids can eat free at Denny’s on select nights from 4pm to 10pm at participating Denny’s. Apparently, each location offers the kids eat free promotion on different nights. This deal is limited to kids 10 and under and is limited to 2 free entrees per one regularly purchased adult entree. You can find a selection of entrees on the Denny’s kids’ menu which includes hot dogs, cheeseburgers, chicken nuggets, pizza, grilled cheese sandwiches and a dipper sampler.

IHOP – Everyday kids eat free at IHOP if they are 12 and under. Kids can get 1 free kids’ menu item per adult entree purchased from 4pm to 8pm. The drink is not included. The IHOP kids’ menu includes pancakes, french toast, omelettes, chicken strips, cheeseburgers, grilled cheese sandwiches, eggs, fruit and fish. This deal seems to vary widely based on location – please call your location before visiting!

Millie’s Restaurant & Bakery – Every weekday kids eat for .99 at Millie’s (CA) with the purchase of an adult entree.

O’Charley’s – Kids eat free Monday – Friday at select O’Charley’s locations.

S&S Cafeterias – Kids who join the S&S Cafeterias Kid’s Club can enjoy a kid’s meal for .99 every day of the week. This meal includes an entree, 2 vegetables, a roll, jell-o and a beverage. This is limited to kids 10 and under and an adult meal purchase of $6.75 or more is required.

Shoney’s – Kids eat free at Shoney’s every day if they are 4 or younger. An adult entree purchase is required. The kids menu at Shoney’s includes chicken nuggets, spaghetti, cheese burgers, grilled cheese and shrimp.

Saturday

Below you will find the restaurants where kids eat free (or cheap!) on Saturdays.

Cici’s Pizza – Kids 3 and under eat free from the Cici’s Pizza buffet everyday! Specific Cici’s Pizza locations frequently have where older kids can eat for free on certain nights – check with your nearest location!

Denny’s – Kids can eat free at Denny’s on select nights from 4pm to 10pm at participating Denny’s. Apparently, each location offers the kids eat free promotion on different nights. This deal is limited to kids 10 and under and is limited to 2 free entrees per one regularly purchased adult entree. You can find a selection of entrees on the Denny’s kids’ menu which includes hot dogs, cheeseburgers, chicken nuggets, pizza, grilled cheese sandwiches and a dipper sampler.

IHOP – Everyday kids eat free at IHOP if they are 12 and under. Kids can get 1 free kids’ menu item per adult entree purchased from 4pm to 8pm. The drink is not included. The IHOP kids’ menu includes pancakes, french toast, omelettes, chicken strips, cheeseburgers, grilled cheese sandwiches, eggs, fruit and fish. This deal seems to vary widely based on location – please call your location before visiting!

Luby’s Cafeteria – All day on Saturdays (and Wednesdays after 4:30 pm) kids 10 and under can get a $2.00 kid’s deal at Luby’s. This is limited to dine-in only. Kids get to select from spaghetti, chicken leg, fried fish, baked chicken, roast beef, chopped steak or chicken strips that is served along with two sides, jell-o, a roll and a drink!

Marie Callender’s – Kids eat free at Marie Callender’s on Tuesday and Saturdays. You get one free kid’s meal with each adult entree purchased.

Piccadilly – Kids 6 and under eat for free at Piccadilly Monday through Saturday. From 11am to 4pm on Thursdays (and Saturdays) kids’ meals at .99 and big kids’ meals are $1.99 at Piccadilly. The kid’s meals at Piccadilly includes an entree (chicken tenders, corn dogs, hot pockets, chicken or fish), two sides, jell-o or pudding or a cupcake and kid’s drinks.

Pizza Hut – Kids eat free (3 and under) at Pizza Hut every day on the lunch buffet. Some locations kids younger than three can eat free at Pizza Hut’s dinner buffet as well.

S&S Cafeterias – Kids who join the S&S Cafeterias Kid’s Club can enjoy a kid’s meal for .99 every day of the week. This meal includes an entree, 2 vegetables, a roll, jell-o and a beverage. This is limited to kids 10 and under and an adult meal purchase of $6.75 or more is required.

Salsaritas – Get a free kids’ meal with purchase of an adult entree at Salsarita’s Fresh Cantina. The kids’ meals includes tacos or quesadillas, chips, drink and a cookie.

Shari’s Restaurant – At Shari’s Restaurant kids can eat free on Saturdays (and Sundays) from 4pm to 9pm.

Shoney’s – Kids eat free at Shoney’s every day if they are 4 or younger. An adult entree purchase is required. The kids menu at Shoney’s includes chicken nuggets, spaghetti, cheese burgers, grilled cheese and shrimp.

Steak n’ Shake – On Saturdays (and Sundays) kids can eat free at Steak n’ Shake. You get one kids’ combo for free with a purchase of an adult entree of $9 (excluding drink or shake) or more. This is valid for dine in only. The kids’ menu at Steak n’ Shake includes burgers, grilled cheese, chicken fingers, turkey sandwiches, salads and macaroni and cheese along with a wide selection of sides.

Texas Land & Cattle – Kids 12 and under eat free off the kid’s menu at Texas Land & Cattle from 11am to 4pm on Saturdays. There is a limit of 2 free kids’ meals for each adult entree purchased.

Sunday

Below you will find the restaurants where kids eat free (or cheap!) on Sundays.

Arriba Mexican Grill – For each adult entree you purchase from Arriba Mexican Grill (AZ) you get on free kids’ meal on Sundays. The kids’ menu at Arriba Mexican Grill includes burritos, tacos, enchiladas, grilled cheese, chicken strips, corn dogs, cheese crisps and macaroni and cheese.

California Tortilla – Bring the kids to California Tortilla after 5 p.m. on Sundays and they can eat for free.

Chartroose Caboose – At Chartroose Caboose (KS) kids 10 and under can eat free all day on Sunday (and Monday evening).

The Claddagh Irish Pub – All day on Sunday kids eat free at The Claddagh Irish Pub (MI). Purchase of an adult entree is required but you can get up to 2 free kids meals with that.

Denny’s – Kids can eat free at Denny’s on select nights from 4pm to 10pm at participating Denny’s. Apparently, each location offers the kids eat free promotion on different nights. This deal is limited to kids 10 and under and is limited to 2 free entrees per one regularly purchased adult entree. You can find a selection of entrees on the Denny’s kids’ menu which includes hot dogs, cheeseburgers, chicken nuggets, pizza, grilled cheese sandwiches and a dipper sampler.

Dickey’s Barbecue Pit – Kids that are 12 and under get to eat for free on Sundays (dine in only) on Sunday. One adult entree and child’s drink is a required purchase for each free kids’ meal.

Firehouse Subs – On Sundays (and Wednesdays) kids 12 and under get to eat free from 4pm to 9pm. One free kids’ meal comes with each adult purchase. The kids’ meal at Firehouse Subs includes a sub or sandwich, beverage, oreo cookies and free fireman’s hat.

Hooters – Kids eat free at Hooters all day long on Sundays.

Jason’s Deli – Kids eat free at Jason’s Deli all day on Sundays at some locations and on Mondays at others. Call your local Jason’s Deli before you go! The kids’ menu at Jason’s Deli includes sandwiches, wraps, hot dogs, salads, baked potatoes, pasta, pizza and macaroni and cheese.

JB Dawson’s – Kids eat free at JB Dawson’s (PA) on Sundays. There is a limit of 1 child’s menu for each adult entree purchased.

Jose Pepper’s – Kids eat free all day on Sunday at Jose Pepper’s (KS, MO).

La Mesa Mexican Restaurant – 12 and under kids eat almost for free at La Mesa Mexican Restaurant (KS, NE, MO) – the kid’s menu items are 1 penny.

Mel’s Diner – Kids that are 12 and under get 1 free kids’ meal for each adult meal purchased at Mel’s Diner (FL) on Sundays.

Pizza Hut – Kids eat free (3 and under) at Pizza Hut every day on the lunch buffet. Some locations kids younger than three can eat free at Pizza Hut’s dinner buffet as well.

Planet Sub – For each adult meal purchased at Planet Sub (MO, KS, IA, OK, NE) you can get on free kids’ meal on Sundays (and Tuesdays). Items on the kids’ menu at Planet Sub include subs and sandwiches.

IHOP – Everyday kids eat free at IHOP if they are 12 and under. Kids can get 1 free kids’ menu item per adult entree purchased from 4pm to 8pm. The drink is not included. The IHOP kids’ menu includes pancakes, french toast, omelettes, chicken strips, cheeseburgers, grilled cheese sandwiches, eggs, fruit and fish. This deal seems to vary widely based on location – please call your location before visiting!

Qdoba Mexican Grill – Kids eat free at Qdoba Mexican Grills only on Sundays at some locations and only on Wednesdays at some locations. Check with your local location to see which day of the week kids eat free at your Qdoba’s.

Ricetta’s Brick Oven Pizzeria – Kids eat free at Ricetta’s on Sunday (and Monday). On Sunday the kid’s eat free promotion is limited to the buffet.

S&S Cafeterias – Kids who join the S&S Cafeterias Kid’s Club can enjoy a kid’s meal for .99 every day of the week. This meal includes an entree, 2 vegetables, a roll, jell-o and a beverage. This is limited to kids 10 and under and an adult meal purchase of $6.75 or more is required.

Shari’s Restaurant – At Shari’s Restaurant kids can eat free on Sundays (and Saturdays) from 4pm to 9pm.

Shoney’s – Kids eat free at Shoney’s every day if they are 4 or younger. An adult entree purchase is required. The kids menu at Shoney’s includes chicken nuggets, spaghetti, cheese burgers, grilled cheese and shrimp.

Souper! Salad! – On Sundays kids 4 and under at free (and kids 5-12 for $2.49) at Souper Salad. For each adult purchase you can get 2 free kids meals.

Steak n’ Shake – On Sundays (and Saturdays) kids can eat free at Steak n’ Shake. You get one kids’ combo for free with a purchase of an adult entree of $9 (excluding drink or shake) or more. This is valid for dine in only. The kids’ menu at Steak n’ Shake includes burgers, grilled cheese, chicken fingers, turkey sandwiches, salads and macaroni and cheese along with a wide selection of sides.

Tropical Smoothie Cafe – Kids eat free all day at Tropical Smoothie cafe on Sundays at participating locations.

Tumbleweed SouthWest Grill – On Sundays kids 12 and under eat free (up to 3.99 value) at Tubleweed Southwest Grill. There is a limit of one kids’ meal for each adult entree purchased and this deal is not valid with any other discount, promotion or offer.

Villa Rosa Italian Restaurant & Grill – Kids eat free all day on Sundays (and Mondays) at Villa Rosa Italian Restaurant & Grill. The kids’ menu at Villa Rosa includes spaghetti, lasagna, fried chicken, ziti, ravioli, manicotti and chicken tenders.

Zapata’s Restaurant – On Sundays kids eat free all day at Zapata’s (NC).

Zebbs Grill & Bar – At Zebbs Grill & Bar kids get to eat free on Sundays! Kids 10 and under get a free kids’ meal (value up to 3.99) with each adult meal purchased.

If you enjoyed reading this post and would like to receive future postings, please enter your email address and click the Sign Up button at the top right of this page. Thank you for reading!

Add to DeliciousAdd to DiggAdd to FaceBookAdd to Google BookmarkAdd to RedditAdd to StumbleUponAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Twitter

Advertisements

My lightbulb moment: how much sodium is in my food?

Do you know how much sodium you're eating every day?

Do you know how much sodium you're eating every day?

If you’ve been keeping up with my “101 in 1001” challenge, you know that monitoring my blood pressure is one of my 101 tasks. With a multi-generational family history of hypertension and borderline personal BP numbers, this is an important health issue for me.

I recently found out about the “DASH diet”, which encourages lower consumption of sodium (under 2300mg/day) and higher consumption of potassium (4700mg/day), magnesium (500 mg/day) and calcium (1250 mg/day). The three latter minerals are suspected to counteract the negative effects of excess sodium. Since the DASH diet can lower blood pressure in most people, it seems fair I’d give it a try.

Lightbulb momentI rarely use salt when I cook at home, so I’ve never considered sodium the culprit for my elevated blood pressure. But after reading about the DASH diet, I decided to take a closer look at the sodium levels of the foods we have around the house. That’s when my jaw dropped. I call it my lightbulb moment.

Unless you cook every single meal from scratch, there’s added sodium in everything you buy at the grocery store. The only variance is HOW MUCH sodium is in. If you’re busy like me and use a number of ready-made foods, from breakfast cereal, to pasta sauce, to already-cooked beans and processed meats, you’re in for a surprise.

The worst part of my discovery is, what looks and sounds healthy may actually contain a lot of sodium. For example one serving (90 calories) of wheat flakes (healthy fiber, right?) contain over 200 mg of sodium. And you know you’ll eat more than one serving for breakfast. A better alternative? Shredded wheat, which has almost no sodium. I often use beans as a source of protein but knowing that a single serving contains up to 400 mg of sodium (20% of the daily value), I’ve decided to switch to “no salt added” versions.

I recently bought turkey breast slices at Fresh & Easy but they were a little too salty to my taste, so I checked the label. The meat has over 600mg of sodium for a 50 calories serving. The word sodium is actually mentioned 6 times in the ingredient list – you’ve got to be kidding me! This package just made a round trip – it’s out of my fridge and back to the store.

Fresh & Easy sliced turkey breast is very high in sodium

Fresh & Easy sliced turkey breast is very high in sodium

Even the soy hot dogs I give my kids as an alternative to the poorly nutritious regular dogs contain a lot of sodium. Do I dare mentioning the fried chicken strips, or the ketchup they eat them with? Bread and bagels were a surprise too, but store-bought cookies and cakes have shocking amounts of sodium in them. That’s because salt happens to enhances all other tastes, including sweetness. Go figure.

The thing is, most foods don’t seem to contain that much sodium. But when you add up all of the sodium you’ve eaten in one day, you’ll probably get over the recommended 2300mg for adults, and 1800mg for kids. Most kids love the taste of salt but I think as parents, we can do them a favor and watch what we put on their plates, whether it is sodium, fat, or sugar.

So where does this discovery about my own diet lead me to? I want to call it a major lifestyle change, for myself and for my kids. Until now I read nutrition labels for fiber, sugar, fat and protein contents, but I need to add sodium to the checklist, as well as potassium and magnesium. I realize I also need to cook from scratch more and the challenge will be to find meals that my whole family enjoys eating. Cooking family meals and desserts are two other items on my “101 in 1001” list, so keeping my blood pressure in check will help me get these two tasks accomplished. Who knew?

Have you ever looked closely at what’s in your fridge, freezer and pantry? Would you make any changes if you saw something you weren’t aware of?

Additional resources:
The DASH diet
Sodium content of most foods (USDA reference)
Nutrition labels for all foods, including store brands and restaurants (very cool site)

If you enjoyed reading this post and would like to receive future postings, please enter your email address and click the Sign Up button at the top right of this page. Thank you for reading!

Add to DeliciousAdd to DiggAdd to FaceBookAdd to Google BookmarkAdd to RedditAdd to StumbleUponAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Twitter

Breastmilk vs. infant formula: the never-ending discussion

Breastmilk vs infant formula

Breastmilk vs infant formula - click on the image to view the full document on the California Department of Public Health website

Just a few days ago I ran across an online discussion in which a mom blurted out that infant formula was “just as good as breastmilk”, since it contains the same nutrients. She wasn’t able to breastfeed her baby because of the medication she was taking, and thought formula worked just fine. In a way, she’s absolutely correct. Infant formula does what it’s supposed to do: it feeds babies with the basic proper nutrients and helps them grow. And for mothers who have physical limitations to nursing, formula can be a life saver.

The truth is, 90% of mothers don’t have these limitations, yet only 75% of them choose to breastfeed after birth. The numbers trickle down quickly and only about 25% of moms still breastfeed after six months. This is sad news because even though breastmilk and infant formula share many similar nutrients, breastmilk offers many more valuable ingredients that will never make it into industrially-processed formula (see chart on the right).

I think all moms who have breastfed their babies for a year or more will tell you the same. Yes, nursing is a tough habit to pick up. It does take a lot of practice, for both mom and baby. It does require commitment and huge amounts of support, especially from your partner, your family, nurses and pediatricians. Breastfeeding is a challenge, but one that women around the world have taken on for tens of thousands of years. And breastfeeding is usually cheaper than formula. A mother will spend a few hundred dollars in extra food for herself and possibly a breastpump, but it doesn’t compare to the average $1500 spent on infant formula for the first year.

With infant formula manufacturing companies heavily marketing their products (after all, they do make billions of dollars from it yearly!), 80% of hospitals releasing new moms with formula samples in their diaper bags, and an overall lack of education and support, making the choice to breastfeed is an uphill battle. And honestly, it shouldn’t be this difficult to do what our bodies were meant to do. But in 2011 it seems to be harder than ever.

If you’ve nursed your own babies and believe in the value of breastmilk, look around you and see who could use your help. Sometimes, one highly supportive person is all it takes to put a new mom on the right track.

As Mother Theresa once said, “Never worry about numbers. Help one person at a time, and always start with the person nearest you.”

If you enjoyed reading this post and would like to receive future postings, please enter your email address and click the Sign Up button at the top right of this page. Thank you for reading!

Add to DeliciousAdd to DiggAdd to FaceBookAdd to Google BookmarkAdd to RedditAdd to StumbleUponAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Twitter