Tips For Eating Out With Your Kids
Lets talk about eating out with your children. There are definitely some tips and tricks to be aware of before you venture into the unknown. When you’re going to a restaurant, as we all know, it can go awesome or, depending on your child’s mood and several other factors, it can go not so awesome. So the best thing to do is to be as prepared as you can be as a parent for every scenario that may come your way One thing I’ve found that really makes life so much easier is to have a hobby closet at home. Inside this closet, always have a bag stocked and ready to go for a restaurant. This is key. Having a bag ready will come in handy, especially during those impromptu spur of the moment dinner invitations. You’ll be happy you won’t have to run around trying to remember if you have everything. In your bag, you should have your handy wipes, your pack of tissues and the absolute basics you normally keep in your diaper bag as well. I stress keeping diaper bag items in this bag because you might be leaving your diaper bag in the car and just grabbing your restaurant bag. This will make it easier for you and the restaurant eliminating one extra bag.
So you’ve got your basics. Because you’re in a restaurant of course, you’re going to bring your bib. Of course, disposable bibs available these days. Reusable and washable bibs are fine as well. Also you’ll want to bring table toppers which are great because babies obviously don’t keep their food on the nice little neat napkin and plate you give them. There are a couple of different toppers out there today including the disposable kind as well as others that you can roll up, take home and wash. Toppers are also great because they give you peace of mind that whatever germs are on the table are not going to get on the baby’s snacks and food that you bring which brings me to the next point, snacks.
Although you’re going to a restaurant, you actually want to pack some snacks because, as you know, it takes time to drive to the restaurant and it takes time to place your order. If you don’t have a savvy waitress that thinks ahead and puts the baby’s meals in first, your child is going to go berserk. So it is always a good idea to pack some little snacks such as push-up yogurt, grilled cheese, grapes etc… whatever you have, bring them along as they’ll buy you time while you wait for your food to arrive.
Another thing you’ll want to think about are toys and entertainment for your children. A quick trick is to always keep the stuff in the restaurant bag unique to capture your child’s attention. Don’t pack the the toy or the book your child has been reading all week long because obviously that’s not going to buy you any time at the restaurant and don’t be surprised if it ends up on your neighbor’s head which obviously won’t get you anywhere. Some ideas for neat little things include a book they haven’t seen in a while or write-on erase-off boards for games and doodling (make sure the marker wipes off objects easily in case your child writes on the restaurant table). Kids love this and it allows them to use it with their siblings or the friends you’re meeting which achieves the goal of providing activities that they can do on their own and keep busy while you’re talking to your buddies that you’ve met out for dinner.
The last little tip I would give you is to pack something in your bag, albeit hidden, so a child can’t find it on their own. This little treat is emergency back and should be something that you only pull out as an absolute last resort. This item can be a new toy, lollipop, or any other item that your child does not receive often. Whatever the case is, make sure you have the item hidden somewhere for that absolute disastrous restaurant situation so you can whip it out for good behavior or whatever the situation is.
I hope these tips have helped. Do you have any that have worked for you that you recommend?