Adventures In Dining Out With A Toddler

Addie enjoying garlic nan at Bollywood Grill.

Addie enjoying garlic nan at Bollywood Grill.

Tonight Kendra and I decided we were in the mood for Indian food. When I lived in Boston, good Indian food could be found in every neighborhood. Out in the burbs, it’s not as easy to find. Undeterred, we bundled up Addie, and headed to Bollywood Grill. Addie has had Indian leftovers before, and loved them, so we were hopeful she’d be up for trying some new dishes. So many of our high school students are completely reluctant to try anything beyond cheeseburgers, fries, and pizza, which has prompted us to consider how we feed Addison. We love traveling, and trying local favorites when we are in a new place. Food is such an important cultural tradition, so much so that to really experience a place and its people, you need to eat the food.

Our dinner tonight was fantastic. We went early, so Bollywood Grill was fairly empty. The waitstaff was incredibly friendly, and completely enamored with Addison. She danced for them, and they set her up in a chair to watch the chef at work!

Addie watching the chef prepare food at Bollywood Grill.

Addie watching the chef prepare food at Bollywood Grill.

When we got our meal, Addie taste-tested everything, including our Mango Lassis, the vegetable samosas, garlic nan, and Kendra’s chicken tikka masala. Her favorite dish was my Kadai Cholle – she could not get enough of the spicy chickpeas!

Our approach to introducing Addie to new foods is to let her try anything she wants. Aside from the typical toddler fare, she loves avocado sushi rolls, pad thai, quesedillas, Mexican rice, black beans and guacamole, buffalo wings, salt & vinegar chips, anything from a Chinese restaurant, and egg rolls. We are lucky in that she has no allergies, and seems to love experimenting with different tastes. Whenever she tries something new, we give her a lot of positive feedback. We also share what we are eating with her rather than get her a kids meal, as the menu for kids is often mac & cheese and chicken nuggets regardless of the type of restaurant. This has worked well for us, and so far Addie is an adventurous eater. Time will tell if this holds true through her teenage years!

About Jen

Outdoor adventurer and traveler. Writer, Photographer & Communications Professor. Wife. Mom of twins plus one. Tubbs Snowshoes Ambassador. Blogger at

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