Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Restaurant Review - IHOP

A chain restaurant should offer a wider range of nutritional information...

Before T1D Jilly LOVED to eat at IHOP. She's always been a big breakfast eater and like me loves to have breakfast food for lunch and dinner. On our drive from San Francisco to Modesto we finally decided to try it with T1D. It wasn't our first time eating out and we went in armed with a copy of the CalorieKing which has a very small IHOP section that isn't very kid friendly. When they sat us at our table we asked for a copy of their nutritional information. We've found that most chain restaurants have a separate little booklet you can look through. After a few confusing minutes of the server not understanding what we needed, and us having to explain not only what we needed but why we needed it so that he would finally get what we were asking for - he told us the information was in the menu. Now we assumed that meant there would either be a separate section in the menu that lists everything (Claim Jumper does this - and this is one of the reasons why we love Claim Jumper) or that under each item it would list the information.
We were a bit surprised to find that the information wasn't listed under each item, or listed in the back of the menu. Instead IHOP has a 'diet' page that has a few meagre choices with the information listed below them. The french toast meal Jilly picked had egg beaters (she likes her eggs sunny side), turkey bacon (which she hates) and a slice of wheat toast that wasn't really battered just toasted with a sliced up banana on it. It was healthy but looked more like hospital food than something she would actually enjoy eating. Who willingly likes to eat hospital food?
We like to stress to Jilly that she can still have a normal happy life with T1D, that she can still eat the same foods only we have to be smarter about it. We have to consider portion size and the food pyramid. Eating off the IHOP menu made her T1D feel very limiting.

Rating: D+

Overall: The banana was a nice touch where so few restaurants provide a kid friendly fruit option. But the menu choices were limiting and left her feeling disappointed. A chain restaurant that has such an extensive and well measured menu should be able to provide their customers with a better list of nutritional values.


  1. Hey there. I just wanted to pop on here and say welcome to the T1 world! I am sorry to hear about your daughter! It is such a difficult diagnosis. My 6 year old daughter Syd is T1. Welcome to the blogging world! I will add you to my google reader!

  2. Thank you it is nice to meet another T1D parent!

  3. Another thing people might want to know about IHOP is that the company has been exposed for severe food safety issues and animal cruelty in its supply chain. Check it out: www.humanesociety.org/ihop.