Kid-Friendly Restaurants with Healthy Options

14 eateries with nutritious offerings
Apple And Brussel Salad

If your 2023 goals include eating healthier, check out these local restaurants with good-for-you options even the littlest family member will love. Many continue to offer curb-side pickup and delivery, so you can eat well no matter how hectic the day gets.


Your kids don’t have to be salad eaters to enjoy one of Chopt’s Jr. Meals, which include a build-your-own craft plate (similar to a bento box) or warm bowl. The panko-crusted chicken dippers are just a fancier, and healthier, version of chicken tenders. Multiple locations

Mahana Fresh

Mahana Fresh is about fresh ingredient, bowl-based eating. Kids can put together their own bowl starting with a base of noodles or rice, along with a protein, veggie, and sauce. Ballantyne Village, 704-248-0311

Crunch Bistro

This locally owned and operated restaurant is focused on fresh, chef-inspired entrees, most of which are less than 500 calories. A kids menu includes flatbreads and quesadillas, but the main menu boasts a selection of açaí bowls and superfruit parfaits that will feel like treats to little ones. 401 N Tryon St., 980-498-5774

Sanctuary Bistro

Willing to venture into vegan? The locally-owned, vegan, gluten-free, organic restaurant in South Charlotte has a kids dinner menu that allows children 12 and under can make their own plate for $12. Select three items from a list that includes fruit, avocado, creamy cashew mashed potatoes, socca cakes, and jasmine rice. 6414 Rea Rd., 980-335-0908

Plant Joy

Plant Joy is great at helping kids (and adults) appreciate the deliciousness of plants. Between the creative dish names on their menu (Rainbow Toast, Chickpeas and Friends, Falafel Mountain) and their super colorful presentations, this is a great spot to get kids to eat their veggies. Camp North End, 980-237-4855

The Cowfish

If your kids aren’t too sure about this healthy eating stuff, a bento box from The Cowfish in SouthPark will change their minds. Kids 10 and under can choose a California roll, tempura shrimp roll, grilled cheese, chicken nuggets, PB&J sushi role, and other tasty options served in their own bento box. Meals come with a drink and choice of two sides (carrots, apples, oranges, edamame, or house fries). 4310 Sharon Rd., 704-365-1922


Build a bowl full of greens, rice, or hummus (or all three); pick a protein; then pile on fresh toppings of your choice. For $4.99 the pint-sized crew can choose a protein (falafel, shawarma chicken, Greek chicken, or schnitzel strips), side (hummus, rice, rotisserie potatoes, or macaroni and cheese) plus pita and drink. If you’re too busy to stop in, pick up a family meal that feeds three to four people with choice of protein, two family sides, a greek salad, hummus, and rice for $34.99. Multiple locations

Rico’s Açaí

The five signature bowls are a tasty way to add extra antioxidants, calcium, potassium, and Vitamin A to your diet. Fuel up on the Açaí berry superfood with a Brazil Bowl (granola and bananas), Rainbow Bowl (granola, bananas, strawberries, pineapple, kiwi, blueberries, and raspberries), Berry Fruity Bowl (granola, bananas, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries), Butter Bro Bowl (granola, bananas, peanut butter, almond butter, Nutella, and Hemp Hearts), or Panther Bowl (granola, bananas, blueberries, blackberries, and coconut flakes). Multiple locations

Living Kitchen

Are you plant-based curious? Head to Living Kitchen in South End for 100% organic, plant-based, and locally-sourced meals. Try a classic dish like pizza, burgers, Pad Thai, or sushi—all made from plant-based ingredients. They’re open for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert, and there’s a grab-and-go section for easy meal planning. 2000 South Blvd., Ste. 300, 704-333-0008

Rhino Market & Deli

Sometimes a sandwich piled high with fresh ingredients is the only thing that will do. Rhino Market & Deli brings the goods with “Meatatarian” and “Vegetarian” options. Fun kid options include Sun Butter & Local Jelly Sandwich, Healthy Hummus, or build-your-own omelets, sandwiches, and salads. This neighborhood spot also carries to-go items, local cheese, snacks, baked goods, specialty coffees, beer, and more. Multiple locations

Clean Juice

In between practice, carpool, and errands, this is a great place to grab a quick sandwich, wrap, Açaí bowl, salad, smoothie, or wellness shot. A kid’s menu includes three slushie flavors and a cheesy wrap, and all menu items come with an ingredient list so you know exactly what you’re putting in your body. Multiple locations

Viva Chicken

Rotisserie chicken, fab sides, and tangy sauces make this an easy go-to dining spot. Start with a piece of Peruvian marinated chicken then pile on the sides with Peruvian fried rice, chicken soup, cilantro rice, french fries, fresh fruit, plantains, yuca, green beans, house salad, canary beans, solterito sweet potato fries, or white rice.  The kid’s menu gives the littlest eaters great choices like the Kids Chaufa (Jasmine rice, pulled rotisserie chicken, egg, and soy sauce), Kids Pulled Chicken (chicken and choice of side), or Kids Rotisserie Chicken (bone-in chicken and choice of side). Family meals include build-your-own-bowl Tacu Tray or large rotisserie chicken with three family sides. Multiple locations


“Undeniable fresh and healthy,” this University City fast-casual restaurant serves mini bowl options for kids at a great price. Kids can choose a mini chicken bowl (chicken, rice pilaf, and garlic sauce), a mini meatball bowl (two lamb meatballs, rice pilaf, and tzatziki sauce), a mini beef bowl (beef, rice pilaf and tzatziki sauce), mini lentil bowl (lentils, rice pilaf and tahini sauce), mini chickpeas bowl (chickpeas, rice pilaf and tahini sauce), or cheese flatbread. Top it off with a homemade sauce for the win. 10221 University City Blvd., 844-972-7929