Dining out is a great time to enjoy time together as a family. Since you don’t have to cook you can focus more time on conversation and fun. But when you are a parent there is one dilemma we must deal with and that is how to dine out with kids. When you have small children, especially those between the age of two to four, it is harder for them to deal with things like long hours in public. Even your older children don’t want to go to a restaurant that has nothing available for them. So this contributed post provides you with some tips to make dining out easier with your children.
If you have a small child, you will know that going to a restaurant is a much different experience to what you experienced before having children. It is no longer a relaxing place to go when you don’t want to cook, and it can be a challenge if you have a picky eater to find something they will be able to have on the menu.
But parents- don’t despair, the abuse today we have the ultimate guide to making your life much easier when taking the kids out to eat.
Do your research
The worst decision you can make if you want to take your kids out to eat is to walk in somewhere you’ve never been before. The chances are when you walk into a restaurant blind, you won’t have a highchair available, the kids won’t have enough options and it will end in a tantrum. To avoid this you can usually look on the website to see what kind of good they offer, whether they have child facilities and everything else you need to know.
Go when it’s quiet
Children can get very stressed out and very excitable when you visit a busy restaurant, so it is always in your best interests to wait until it is quiet and go then instead. You will usually find some great restaurant deals during the week or at lunchtime which you can take full advantage of. Plus, your child will have more space to sit and play while you wait for your food to arrive.
Make sure they have familiar food
The absolute worst thing you can do if you want to take your child to a restaurant is to go to one which only has a specific cuisine. For example, if you visit a Greek restaurant you are not going to find chips and beans on the menu to satiate your child. Take the time to find somewhere which has Child options like pizza, chicken nuggets, fish fingers or pie. This will make things much easier for your child and they will not get upset when they have to try something new for tea. Remember, children get very hungry.
Keep them entertained
If your child is one that will likely become anxious around lots of people, you might want to bring along something that they can do. A coloring book or a puzzle book is an ideal choice because it won’t take up a ton of space, but it will keep them quiet as you wait for your meal.
Above all, remember that you are in a public place and not everyone will appreciate your child singing at the top of their lungs or running around the room. People are here to enjoy their meal in peace, so you should make sure you keep your child quiet and happy throughout the meal. If your child does throw a tantrum, take them outside for five minutes and calm them down before coming back inside. This will avoid any annoyed faces staring at you.
Dining out with smaller children can be tricky. I remember when my children were younger, going out to restaurants was something I almost avoided. When we did go we chose the same place over and over because it was able to accommodate our toddler.
Just because you have small children doesn’t mean you have to avoid dining out like my husband and I choose to do. There are much better options today. Taking steps to plan your trip will allow you and your whole family to be accommodated.
You can take a some of your child’s books and games with you to help ease them as they get bored. Bring more than enough because you do not know for sure how long you will be there.
Choosing the right restaurant beforehand is very important because you need to make sure they can accommodate your families needs. Go early enough because you will have to wait for seating times and food service. All of this can add to your child’s frustrations.
Choosing a place with great kid-friendly menus that your kids will enjoy is very important. I remember my kids loved the kid-sized pizzas and the dinosaur shaped nuggets. It actually did keep them docile.
Though sometimes it can be difficult, when everything went smooth, the time we spent together as a family was so rewarding. And watching my toddler in his high chair eating on his nuggets was always the cutest thing. I really miss those days.
Have you had difficulties dining out with your small children? Are there tricks you use to make it easier?