Whether you prefer your noodles buttered, pesto-ed or Pad Thai-ed, Noodles & Co. has united a world’s worth of pasta under one menu. And now, with a brand new kids’ menu, the popular national chain (with three existing Bay Area locations and two more coming soon) can finally achieve, if not global peace, at least an extremely peaceful and easy family meal. Read on to find out what we love about the new Noodles & Company kids’ meals.

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Photo: Noodles & Co. 

Giving Kids the Right to Choose
Giving kids a choice in what they eat is every parent’s dream (especially when it’s not you who is playing short-order cook). The new Noodles & Company kids’ meals give kids age ten and under the ability to design their own meal made fresh-to-order with quality ingredients. Starting with the entree, kids have four options: the ever-popular Wisconsin mac & cheese, traditional spaghetti & meatballs, basic buttered noodles and grilled chicken with marinara dipping sauce for those who may not want pasta (this week anyway). Gluten-free pasta is available at no additional charge. Then they can pick two sides, from a list that includes broccoli, carrots, applesauce, seasonal fruit and the Kids Crispy (which is a kid-sized version of a rice crispy treat). A beverage is also included—choose from milk, juice or a fountain drink. Still hungry? Additional veggies or proteins can be added at the regular protein/veggie add-on price. When putting together the new kids meals, Noodles & Company partnered with the National Restaurant Association’s Kids LiveWell program to provide flavorful options verified by Healthy Dining’s nutrition experts. And possibly the best news of all—each meal is only $5.

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It’s All in the Family-Friendly Details
Beyond healthy, affordable meals that kids can’t wait to eat, Noodles & Company used their noodles when designing all the aspects of a family-friendly dining experience. They offer a “fast-casual” dining experience, where you place your order at the counter and then the meal is made fresh and delivered to your table in no time flat. Not only does this mean dinner is served up fast, but it eliminates worries about kids carrying a trays full of food to a table by themselves (often challenging if you are a parent dining alone with your kids). Another great feature of the kids’ meals are that they come to the table ready for kids to eat. The chicken is cut up and the fruit and veggies are bite-sized. The applesauce is in a convenient squeeze package. The food is delivered and they dig in, and that means that you can dig in, too. Insider tip: ask for chopsticks with a chopstick buddy to make the meal even more fun for the kids to eat!

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Grown Up Meals with Big Flavor
Not only do the littles get to pick what they want from lots of amazing options, but you do too. The Noodles & Company menu is chock-full of global flavors from Pad Thai to Steak Stroganoff to Bangkok Curry. Add your favorite protein like marinated steak or sauteed shrimp and you’ve got a filling and delicious meal. The menu even offers soup, salad and sandwich options for those not interested in noodles. Complete your meal with the addition of an appetizer (highly recommend are the potstickers).

noodle_and_coPhoto: Noodles & Co. 

Kids Helping Kids
With the introduction of their new kids meals, Noodles & Company has partnered with No Kid Hungry to provide meals to hungry children around the globe. With every kids meal purchased through September 2016, Noodles & Company will provide $0.05 to No Kid Hungry (up to a total of $100,000). Every dollar given to No Kid Hungry provides ten healthy meals to a child who needs them. The goal is to provide 1 million meals!

Where to Get Your Noodle On
Three Bay Area locations to choose from with additional restaurants in Concord and San Jose coming soon.

575 Market St.
San Francisco, Ca
415-543-5700

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20735 Stevens Creek Blvd.
Cupertino, Ca
408-343-1154

3141 Crow Canyon Place
San Ramon, Ca
925-275-8105

Online: noodles.com

What’s your favorite dish at Noodles & Company? Let us know in the comments below!

–Kate Loweth

All photos by the author unless otherwise noted