Toddlers and Restaurants: Tips For Braving The Dining World

I would say eating in general is one of the biggest challenges all parents face. Whether it’s getting your kids to eat, finding time to feed yourself or if you are really brave, trying to do both in public.
 
This chart is pretty accurate: 
 
 time-spent-in-restaurant-with-toddler-33414

 

Here are my 6 tips for dining with toddlers:

1- Pre-game: Hungry kids never make well-behaved diners. Because toddlers don’t eat their $7 plates anyway, I feed my children at home, bring healthy snacks for the wait time and share my dinner with them.

2- Pick your battles: If the kids have been cranky all day, maybe taking them in public isn’t the best idea. Or if the wait time is 45 minutes, maybe you should find another restaurant.

3- Teamwork: My husband and I take turns. One will walk around with a restless child while the other eats.

4- To-go is your friend (not to be confused with fast food): It’s not only faster, but allows for much greater views. We do a lot of picnics with our take-aways. Parks, beaches & our own home are actually far more enjoyable than busy restaurants.

5- BYOE: Bring your own entertainment. While most restaurants have crayons and paper, this doesn’t do much for younger kids, especially my 13-month-old who is a crayon eating fiend. Toys, books and dare I say, iPods are a huge help for quiet meals.

6- Tip well: As a parent I can attest to the fact that kids are loud and messy. Make sure to drop your waiter a good tip for cleaning up the mess you didn’t feel like making at home.

 

Best of luck my friends and wishing you a peaceful dinner!
 

Click HERE to read “Finding The New Norm” Navigating the new waters of parenthood.

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