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Daily Mirror
Daily Mirror
Patrick Daly

Feed kids for free during holidays - discounts for meals out and where to eat for nothing

The long summer school break is almost upon us as families get ready for some time off from the normal routine.

But for those feeling the impact of the cost of living crisis and record inflation, the thought of being at home with livewire children for five weeks or more can bring its own burdens.

Food prices have been sent flying due to economic demands and the war in Ukraine, with official data published on Wednesday (July 20) showing food-related inflation had risen by 9.4% in June - a new 40-year high.

Figures released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) as part of its consumer price index (CPI) inflation tracking showed that low-fat milk is up 26% in the past 12 months to June 2022.

Pasta prices are up almost 16%, bread close to 10% and breakfast cereals another 5%.

And with electricity bills increasing by half and gas tariffs near-on doubling, cooking food at home has become even costlier.

So when it's time to get away from the doom and gloom of daily receipts, here are a few ideas for eating out without overly stretching the budget.

Where can children eat for free or cheaply in the school holidays?


Picnics are a way of saving money while eating out (Tristan Fewings/Getty Images)

With the UK in the middle of a baking hot summer, why not rock up to a park or local attraction and serve up a fun feast for the small people in tow?

Insta-Mum Emma Stretton told Wales Online that, once the beauty spot is found and the sandwiches made, a picnic “easily passes a couple of hours with the kids”.

She said: “The boys will take their bikes, scooters or a football and entertain themselves for a bit.”

The savvy saver even picked up her picnic blanket from the bargain bin at a fabric store, heralding it as a “cheap and easy option for those looking to save a few pennies”.


Herding hungry children around while shopping is no parent's idea of fun.

To help eliminate that problem, Asda is offering a wallet-friendly £1 kid’s meal every day throughout summer, with no need for an adult to buy anything to qualify for the deal.

The deal kicks in from July 25 and will go until September 4.

At Morrisons, if an adult purchases a meal costing £4.99 or more, then one child up to the age of 16 can eat for free.

Morrisons is one of the supermarkets offering free food as part of a summer holiday deal (PA)

The kids meal includes a piece of fruit and Tropicana Kids orange or apple drink or bottle of water.

Swedish self-assemble giant Ikea has also got in on the act.

From Monday July 11 until September 3, kids can enjoy any meal from the children’s menu for 95p.

There is also a £1.50 combination meal option ,which includes one hot meal, jelly, a soft drink and a piece of fruit.

Another store offering discounts is Dunelm, according to Money Magpie website.

Dunelm stores containing The Pausa Café are providing free meals for every £4 spent in the cafe.

Kids can get a free mini-main, two snacks and a drink, with no end date on the deal.

The airport

Travelling kids can snap up free food at Heathrow before their flight (AFP via Getty Images)

Those jetting off this summer might be able to afford a foreign holiday, but that shouldn't stop families from snaring a few freebies while waiting for the plane.

At Heathrow Airport between Saturday July 23 and Sunday September 4, families can take advantage of the 'kids eat free' offer.

The deal is valid for one free, regular-sized children’s meal with each adult main course purchased from the main menu.

Participating restaurants include Leon, Yo!, Giraffe, Gordon Ramsey Plane Food, and plenty more.

Different terms and conditions apply for some of the restaurants, and the offer has a ceiling of four free children's meals.


Every parent needs something to look forward to during the holidays when on childcare duty.

But when it comes to eating out, no one relishes the family-sized bill that comes with it.

Luckily, a few eateries are offering free meals for children during the summer break.

Yo! Sushi allows children to eat for free between 3pm-5.30pm, Monday to Thursday until September 29.

To be eligible, children must be under 10 years old. One child eats free for every £10 spent on food by the accompanying adult(s), with a maximum of three children per table permitted.

Chris Pearson, a planning manager whose Twitter post offering eating out advice for families went viral, suggested also trying Cafe Rouge and Bella Italia.

At Cafe Rouge, Mr Pearson said children eat for £1 with an adult meal, excluding Saturdays.

Bella Italia allow kids to chow down for £1 in conjunction with each adult meal purchased between 4pm and 6pm, Monday to Thursday.

Preto have an ongoing offer not just limited to the school break.

At the Brazilian steakhouse, kids up to the age of 10 can eat free with the purchase of any adult main.

The Hungry Horse also provides a free child-sized breakfast with an adult breakfast every day from 9am to midday.

Beefeater and Brewers Fayre locations go one better, giving the option of free breakfasts for two children under the age of 16 for every paying adult.

Fellow pub chains Sizzling Pubs and Wales-based SA Brain Pubs also have their own offers this summer.

Until September 2 at Sizzling Pub branches, a guardian can treat children to a meal for £1.

The offer is available Monday to Friday from 7am to 3pm with the purchase of any adult main meal.

SA Brains' deal runs on a Wednesday, offering youngsters a main meal from the Little Dragons menu for £1 when a full-priced adult main meal is bought.

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