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Soup Stock Tokyo now offering free food for babies; sparks debate online

10 Comments
By Katie Pask, SoraNews24

For parents of very young babies, something as seemingly simple as going out for lunch at a restaurant is suddenly not so simple. Is the baby going to disturb other customers? Will there be food on the menu that’s suitable for the baby to eat? Will the restaurant even be welcoming towards children?

Well, any parents looking for somewhere suitable to take their young children should look no further than soup restaurant chain Soup Stock Tokyo, who recently announced they would be making their baby-friendly menu completely free.

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Soup Stock Tokyo is a chain of restaurants that offer freshly made soup, and pride themselves on their simple but stylish menus.

As of April 25, 2023, all Soup Stock Tokyo stores will begin offering free food suitable for babies aged between 9 to 11 months old — roughly the time in a baby’s development they begin eating solid food.

The menu rotates depending on the season, but includes four different kinds of baby-friendly meals.

● Minestrone with chicken and seven kinds of vegetables

● Chicken and sweet potato rice porridge

● Hokkaido corn stew

● Rice porridge with sea bream soup and tomatoes

The baby-friendly menu contains carefully prepared soup stock, and uses hidden ingredients and tastes that your baby might normally be reluctant to try.

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For kids older than 11 months, there’s also a children’s menu for 650 yen which includes a soup, a choice of bread or rice, and a small drink.

The soups available are corn and sweet potato, Hokkaido pumpkin, and minestrone, and each set comes with a fukuwarai, a traditional children’s game where you have to arrange the parts of the face on a mat. Soup Stock Tokyo’s fukuwarai includes parts of the face made of vegetables included in the soup for an added element of fun. It also doubles up as a chance to keep your child distracted and lets parents eat their meal in relative peace.

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The announcement that Soup Stock Tokyo would be offering free meals to young babies was met with an incredibly mixed reaction online, with many people praising the initiative.

“There aren’t many places that offer baby-friendly food, and I’m excited I can share the deliciousness of Soup Stock Tokyo with my baby!”

“I don’t have kids but I’d be happy to hear the happy, healthy voices of babies at Soup Stock Tokyo.”

“It would be a wonderful service even if it weren’t free. I’d be happy to pay for this.

There were also a decent amount of voices speaking out in protest against Soup Stock Tokyo’s decision.

“Soup Stock Tokyo used to be a place where I could relax, but I won’t be able to if customers with children come.”

“I won’t go anymore. I wanted a place that I could get a nutritious meal and relax, but the atmosphere will be ruined if kids are there.”

“I feel bad for the workers. It’s a recipe for disaster.”

An online Twitter poll saw 75 percent of voters in favor of Soup Stock Tokyo’s baby-friendly policy, with 25 percent of voters against it. But Soup Stock Tokyo themselves don’t seem to be bothered by any of the negative comments, though, as they tweeted another statement the day after their original announcement.

“Thank you very much for all the positive comments! More and more families are visiting our stores with their young children, and our customers’ lives have changed for the better. We are happy to be a place where even the smallest of customers can enjoy a meal!”

If you have small children — or just want to enjoy the “happy, healthy voices of children” for yourself — head on down to one of the roughly 60 branches of Soup Stock Tokyo across the country.

Source: PR Times, Soup Stock Tokyo, Twitter

Images: PR Times

Read more stories from SoraNews24.

-- What?!? Turns out kids eat for free at one of Japan’s best ramen chains, and hardly anyone knew

-- Japan’s most popular curry chain now has vegan soup curry, and it’s delicious【Taste test】

-- Coca-Cola debuts drinkable dashi delicacy for diners on the dash

© SoraNews24

©2024 GPlusMedia Inc.

10 Comments
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If you have small children —

Sounds great for parents with young kids.

or just want to enjoy the “happy, healthy voices of children” for yourself —

I'd rather starve.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Their borscht is really tasty. They openly admit its not authentic, and is instead based on caramelized onions like french onion soup. Whatever it is, I really like it. The lobster bisque is quite good too.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

If I wanted to hear screaming kids I'd eat at home.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

How miserable some people are. It's a restaurant that serves soup. Get over yourselves

Kind and generous from the company. Need more like that in Japan.

1 ( +7 / -6 )

Great idea costing very little. not only free but meals made for babies.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The kids I saw today at just before lunchtime were like rabid animals.

Running around the restaurant, spilling things on the floor, having fun in the bathroom with a single stall, running into other customers and the staff, banging their cutlery on the table, screaming and shouting…my initial reaction was “I hate kids.”

Then, I thought, where are their parents. The vast majority were moms on smartphones or gabbing away with their friends. A few dads were there. One on a laptop, another on his second beer already and the third one seemed to be lost in thought cause he certainly wasn’t looking in his wife’s direction while she talked.

These are the people I actually hate. Their kids are their responsibility but instead they let the rest of the customers do the work. I wonder how long it’ll be before a hot iron plate falls on a kids head or god forbid some child goes missing before these people realize that a restaurant is not a park and that their kids are their responsibility.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

It's a good move and might actually kickstart other eateries and restaurants to be more family friendly. I've always found Tokyo's cafes and restaurants lacking when it comes to catering to those with kids - from the difficulties of entering the restaurant due to steps to the lack of space inside for strollers to a limited kid-friendly menu. Maybe this might change things.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

If people no longer feel relaxed in an environment with children then they can always find another place to spend their money. There is nothing wrong with doing that, nor even with actively saying they will do that. The problem would be if people were demanding the chain to reverse their decision.

Time will tell what will happen with this, hopefully this will not only be kept as soup stock but spread to other places as well, if the government is obvious not doing much to support having children at least the private sector can do their part.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

If I wanted to hear screaming kids I'd eat at home.

Don’t worry. In the coming years less and less babies will be born and you can slurp your soup in peaceful silence

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Great! More babies enjoying a nice meal and less cranky people taking up space. I'm good with that.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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