After you reach the age of 12, something happens in your child brain where you feel too adult to order off the kids' menu at restaurants. All of a sudden you're way too good for mac and cheese and chicken tenders, and you want to start ordering the big burgers and fancy pasta dishes

But as an adult, ordering off the kids' menu now feels like a sneaky life hack — something that feels illegal but isn't (right?). First of all, it's cheap. In this economy, that's everything. Second of all, it's simple, so you aren't overwhelmed with choices. Third of all, the portions are perfectly-sized, and you don't have to cook.

Those are all the reasons Ashley Garrett (@thedisneygirlie) took to her TikTok to share with the world that she is a "child-free adult that orders to-go kids' meals five days a week." For her, it means less grocery shopping and less time spent in the kitchen. 

Here are the best kids' meals at chain restaurants, according to her. 

Texas Roadhouse

Here, the sides are the best. Garrett goes a few times a week. You can get steak, chicken, ribs, a hot dog, or mini cheeseburgers. Although they don't use Kraft mac and cheese anymore, their own mac is better and they don't charge you an extra $.99 for it.

Red Robin

In this video, Garrett shares how to get the most for the least. She goes for a cheeseburger and replaces the beef patty with grilled chicken. Red Robin's kids' meals are also super customizable. You can choose any sauce and sides you want for those that want a sauced-up sandwich. As a bonus, order the kids' milkshake or the sundae for something sweet.

Cost: $7

Cheddar's Scratch Kitchen

Cheddar's Scratch Kitchen has some tempting fried shrimp or pasta Alfredo, but Garrett goes for the chicken options. With it, you can get your choice of seven sauces, plus a ton of sides and lots of drink options.

Cost: $6

Red Lobster

In the mood for some buttery, garlicky shrimp without having to pay those jumbo prices? Go for a kids' meal from Red Lobster. You get about six to eight shrimp with a choice of 12 different sides for the ultimate customization. 

Cost: $8


Chili's, as true fans know, is a great spot for any time of the day, month, or year. There's not much I wouldn't do for their chicken crispers. Luckily for me, they have that on their kids' menu, along with about a half a dozen other choices like mac and cheese, pizza, or sliders. It also comes with one decent-sized side and a drink.

Cost: $6

Olive Garden

Everyone is family at Olive Garden, and these portions are what my grandma would serve me. Translation: they are hefty. For about $7, I get a good mound of pasta that would fill me up, and for a couple extra bucks, I can add on a protein.

Cost: $7