Houston area restaurants with gourmet, healthy kids' menus

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Tired of tenders? Fed up with fries? We found some Houston hot spots with gourmet kids' menus that are healthy and affordable.

Busy mom Nassim Hatami-Brinkley knows it can be a challenge to find kid-friendly food around town.

"It seems that the veggie of the day is French fries," she said.

She and her sons avoid the typical fried kids fare and head to Jenni's Noodle House in Greenway for healthy dishes with approachable Asian flavors. There, her children have learned to use chopsticks and enjoy vegetables.

"They love the salt and pepper broccoli!" Hatami-Brinkely said.

SEE ALSO: Restaurants offering free kids' meals in Houston

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If you go out to eat with kids, you're going to want to bookmark this list.

Restaurant owner Jenni Tranweaver serves up made-to-order $6 kids' meals that are loaded with fresh ingredients and options.

"They can mix different broth. They can mix their protein. They can mix their carbs if they don't want vermicelli, and they can pick udon or rice," Tranweaver said.

Over the years, the restaurant has won over hundreds of picky eaters.

"I know once we get the kids hooked, we know they're hooked for life," Tranweaver said.

Kings Bierhaus in the Heights shares the same philosophy. The restaurant offers Bavarian-favorites in a pint-sized format for under $10.

"We don't want to just have our kids menu be something off. We want the kids to be a part of the experience as well," owner Philipp Sitter said.

Children can pick from homemade German sausage, Schnitzel nuggets, and even goulash.

"It's chuck marinated slow for six hours and homemade spaetzle noodles. So yeah, the kids are eating great," Sitter said.

RELATED: Hotly anticipated King's Bierhaus to open in The Heights

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King's BierHaus' hotly anticipated Heights location is set to open on May 8.

You can find even more international flavors on the kids' menu at Peli Peli Kitchen in West Houston.

"A lot of kids menus are kind of afterthoughts. For us, all of our kids' items are reduced portions, kid versions of our main entrees," manager Thomas Nguyen said.

Each $5 plate comes with a choice of side that goes beyond the basic.

"We have a spaghetti squash, and we've added some mango chutney to add a nice sweet flavor to it," Nguyen said.

Other sides include collard greens with bacon, candied sweet potatoes, and even charred cauliflower with a special sauce.

Moms like Nassim say the key is finding restaurants that encourage adventurous eating from an early age.

"There's a lot of variety and it kind of opens the kids up to new tastes," Hatami-Brinkley said.

Tomorrow morning at 5 a.m., we show you a restaurant where beef takes center stage.

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