Ditch the hot dogs and chicken fingers. It's time kids' meals got some chef-worthy love.

Ditch the hot dogs and chicken fingers. It’s time kids’ meals got some chef-worthy love.

When it came time to craft the children’s menu at 101 Beer Kitchen, co-owner Jessica Kittrell and her husband and chef, Thad, turned to their team of at-home sous chefs (they have four kids under the age of 8) for help. The child-size input is why the Dublin gastropub ditches typical chicken fingers for kid-friendly entrees like pretzel-wrapped hot dogs and peanut butter and jelly pizza. And every dish can be paired with a choice of sides that go beyond fries, plus a well-portioned dessert to finish. A good kids’ meal, Kittrell says, is fresh and nutritious food made fun and whimsical, but not weird. Here’s how, with the help of their kids, 101 Beer Kitchen walks the line.

Beet Chips

“We found that our own kids love them,” says Jessica Kittrell of 101 Beer Kitchen. “We have a picture of them in our own kitchen eating these beet chips. I think because they’re in chip form, a lot of kids will eat them without knowing what they are.”

PB&J Pizza with Bananas and Marshmallows

“My kids pretend that [the banana] is pepperoni,” Kittrell says.

Grapes “[It’s] a classic thing that kids love and a nice, healthy option, too,” she says.

Mini Cupcake

Kittrell’s daughter (who loves cupcakes, but hates chocolate) picks the seasonally-rotating flavor of the cupcake. A few past favorites include strawberry shortcake and carrot cake.