Friday, October 16, 2009

Healthy Food For Kids - Napa Valley Style

It's fall, one of the most famous times of year to visit the world famous Napa Valley. The grapes are being picked, the weather is still great and the smell of the beginnings of fermenting wine waft through the air like a perfume unique to a small group of regions throughout the world.

Yes, people flock to the valley from all over the world to taste the wines, take in the scenery and dine in some of the most famous restaurants anywhere. The only problem is, most of those great restaurants aren't very kid-friendly - but tucked away in a corner of downtown in the city of Napa, is a restaurant that's not only kid-friendly, but kids are first on their list!

The Little Gourmet restaurant is the brainchild of Tom and Judy Blix who, as the parents of a preschooler, understand the challenges of picky eating and table side fidgeting.

The Little Gourmet is bright and cheerful, decorated with an assortment of colorful food-related pictures and vintage toys. The dining room is cozy with a strategically placed bookcase full of toys to help keep the kiddos entertained while they're waiting. There is also a riverside patio for dining when the weather is still comfy. But the piece de resistance has got to be the menu. With healthy foods disguised as super fun foods with dishes like:

Monkey Burger
Grilled Organic Niman Ranch Ground Beef on a soft sweet bun, with a slice of Tomato and Pickles. Ooo Ooo Aah! Sweet Potato Fries on the side

Snakes and Worms
Soy & Peanut Butter-marinated Chicken "snakes" rest atop warm Soba Noodle "worms" (with diced fresh veggies hidden inside!). A pool of Peanut Butter "mud" sits on the side for them to slither into when they want!


Chicken in a Sleeping Bag
Two chicken tenders, baked, breaded and tucked into sweet bread dough for the night. Comfy Swiss Cheese pillows cushion their heads, while camping near a Mashed Potato cloud and a forest of steamed Broccoli

...just to name a tiny sample - you simply can't go wrong. But never fear, there's plenty for the grownups too with a full menu including beer and wine (how can you be in the Napa Valley and not enjoy a glass of wonderful wine with your dinner?).

We recently hosted Little Miss Lauren's 8th Birthday Party at the Little Gourmet. She was treated to a wonderful fancy dress-up tea party. The girls were served fresh-made Lemonade in real china tea cups while they munched on finger sandwiches, fruit kabobs and decorated their own chocolate cupcakes. When they were done with tea and food, presents and cake, they were paid a visit by a real live ballerina who danced for them and even taught them a few steps. I am still receiving compliments from kids and parents alike about the wonderful time they had.

If you are planning a trip to the Napa Valley, or if you live near, you should definitely give The Little Gourmet a try - it just might become you new favorite hangout that the kids will enjoy just as much as you do!

The Little Gourmet Restaurant ( is located at 1040 Main Street, Napa, California 94559 - Phone: (707) 257.7700 - Fax: (707) 257.7788

- Liz

Posted by Liz of Pink Lemonade

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