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|Subject||"I like eating and playing with my friends more than delivery food."I went to Gangdong-gu's "Children's Restaurant" for the first time|
"If I were at home, I would have ordered delivery food and waited for my mom and dad while watching YouTube. More than that, I really like eating and playing with my friends here." Children's Restaurant in Gucheon-myeon, Gangdong-gu, Seoul, on the afternoon of the 2nd. It was lively with various types of children, such as reading books, playing with friends, and eating. In addition to the basic restaurant functions, it was possible because there were spaces and programs for children who spend time in the restaurant after meals, such as playrooms and study for children. Until the establishment of a children's restaurant, most of the children ordered delivery food or bought snacks at home and played with their cell phones, waiting for their parents to come. A (13), a sixth-grade student at Cheonho Elementary School, said, "Before, I used to go home after academy and play games while waiting for my younger siblings and mom and dad." B (12), a fifth-grade student at Cheonho Elementary School, also said, "When I went to the academy and went home, I used to watch YouTube until my parents came," adding, "I often bought tteokbokki for dinner." The children's restaurant, which Gangdong-gu began its pilot operation in December last year, is the first children's restaurant in the country prepared by local governments. Subject to use are children aged 6 to 15 who have dream tree cards or are working families, and are registered as residents in Gangdong-gu. This place was opened with the aim of providing a healthy meal to children and at the same time resolving the gap in the care of double-income families. In fact, many children from low-income families with dream tree cards come to the children's restaurant, but children from dual-income families account for a greater proportion. According to the district, the ratio of children of double-income couples to low-income families is currently about 6 to 4. Although it began full-scale operation in January, it provides lunch boxes for a while due to the COVID-19 pandemic It started operating normally again last month. From Monday to Friday, about 30 children come to dinner around 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. The reason why dual-income couples are highly responsive is that children can eat quality dinner at a low price of 2,500 won, and fill the gap in care during the gap between school hours until their parents leave work after school. Most of the children I met at the restaurant came here after finishing two to three academies, had dinner, and were spending time inside the restaurant until their parents left work. C, a second-year student at Cheonho Elementary School, said, "I come to a restaurant after studying Korean and piano academy, and I play with my friends, sisters, and brothers," adding, "It's more fun to play here than to go home and play alone on my cell phone." Seo Jung-min, head of the Gangdong-gu Youth Support Team, said, "Many of the children who use the restaurant are attending nearby Cheonho Elementary School and Gangdong Elementary School," adding, "We sometimes know each other even before coming to the children's restaurant, but we usually get close every day." In the children's restaurant, professional nutritionists are also providing education to correct children's poor eating habits such as picky eating. Eating habits education is aimed at helping children "health independence" that allows them to take care of themselves rather than trying to correct their picky eating habits immediately. Children from low-income or dual-income couples often eat more fast food or convenience store food, and the time to cook for themselves comes relatively early, so it is important to let them experience the right meal when they are young. As word of mouth spreads, residents of other regions post a post on the Gangdong-gu Office website asking them to create a children's restaurant in our neighborhood. Gangdong-gu is also planning to recruit college student volunteers to strengthen care and education functions and conduct various programs for children who spend a long time in restaurants.