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Kids' menus that go beyond burgers and nuggets

Fed up of the same fast-food options on kids' menus? We've selected some of the best spots for healthy food the kids will love.

Backstage at Bel's

The kids' menu at this lovely family-run restaurant is clever. Big kids can order a mini steak, a 4oz rib eye served with mash or chips. Fussy eaters can tuck into baked beans on toasted homemade bread, while the chicken dish is a favourite with the nugget brigade. Especially popular with families on Sundays, the kids' menu is being tweaked this week to keep it interesting. Church Road, Greystones, Co Wicklow. www.bels.ie

Chatham Brasserie

Tucked away off Grafton Street is the unassuming little Chatham Brasserie where adults can enjoy reliable, contemporary cooking while the kids tuck into tasty fare. A choice of four mains includes baked organic salmon with daily greens followed by sliced fruit or ice cream and a glass of milk or delicious Llewellyn's Irish apple juice for €8.60. Chatham St, Dublin 2. www.chathambrasserie.ie

Milano

Most kids love pizza but Milano does well by making families extra welcome.

On Sundays several of their branches turn into kiddie heaven, with free face painting and play areas full of toys. Their Piccolo menu serves three courses for €8.25 and these include a choice of crunchy side salad, pizza or pasta dishes and ice cream sundaes. 10 branches nationwide including 6 Excise Walk, Dublin 1. www.milano.ie

Restaurant Ten Fourteen

Perfect for a family lunch after a windswept walk along Bull Wall, this comfy bistro is a neighbourhood favourite.

Kids will enjoy the colouring books and crayons while tucking into homemade fare that can include fresh soup, fresh pasta with sun-dried tomato cream sauce and homemade ice-cream for dessert, all for €10.50. 324 Clontarf Road, Dublin 3. www.restaurant1014.com

Ely

All three Ely establishments (Winebar, Ely Brasserie & Ely Gastro Pub) offer a nifty kids' menu that follows their food ethos: seasonal, local produce with good provenance. The latter two establishments are more suited to family dining with lots of space for kids. Ely's 'Little People's catch of the day' is made daily with freshly caught fish that's lightly pan-fried as opposed to encased in greasy batter. Beef and pork come from the family's organic farm, which means even the bangers and mash are extra special. Custom House Quay, Dublin 1 and Grand Canal Square, Dublin 2. www.elywinebar.ie

Tenors Grill Room

Tenors' novel idea -- almost every main course from the à la carte menu costs just €10 -- has won a serious fan base for its quality offerings.

The kids' menu includes junior Caesar salad, salmon fish fingers with chips and roast chicken with potatoes and peas. For dessert there's fruit salad, smoothie or ice cream and the two courses cost just €6 a head.

Even baby can enjoy fresh veg purée with lamb or chicken ragout for €2.50. And the staff make young kids especially welcome. 1 Belmont Avenue, Donnybrook, Dublin 4 & Fairgreen Street, Naas, Co Kildare. www.tenorsgrillroom.ie


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