How to Eat at a Restaurant with Kids and Enjoy It

By Shannon Gosney
In Uncategorized
August 20, 2008
1 Comment
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I was reading a friend’s blog and she was talking about what a nightmare it is to take kids out to eat and to “pay” literally for the stress of going out. I received an email today from an online parenting program that I found was very helpful. Thanks BabyCenter.com. By the way, this is suggested for kids ages 2-4.

Pack a bag of goodies
– Include some of your child’s favorite books, games, coloring books
– Include a new item if your child has a lot of energy – this will help to occupy him or her until the food comes out
– Bring some of your child’s favorite snacks (in case your child doesn’t like the food at the
restaurant or it takes longer than usual for the food to come to the table)

Go to a “family friendly” restaurant
– Choose a restaurant that is casual and may be a little loud with people talking – this will help
absorb any extra noise your family makes
– Practice makes closer to perfect – practice at a burger joint and work your way up to a buffet
then try a restaurant
– Make reservations so your family doesn’t have to wait
– This is our personal favorite – we go to a Teriyaki Restaurant we enjoy and order our food
ahead of time so it is there ready and waiting for us when we get to the restaurant

Set ground rules at home and enforce them at home
– Your child is more likely to obey those rules at home and at the restaurant (cross your
fingers) πŸ™‚

Get to the restaurant early
– If you arrive before the breakfast, lunch, or dinner rush, you’ll more likely miss the crowds
and be seated quickly as well as receive your food quickly

Order kid-friendly food
– Don’t expect your child to try new and unusual foods
– Order from the kid’s menu or try finger foods such as french fries or chicken nuggets – things
your child can dip in different sauces

Order an appetizer
– Don’t expect your child to sit around while you get through your soup and salad portion of
the dinner
– Order an appetizer you can all share as soon as you sit down at the table

Order something special for your child
– Treat going out to eat as a special event and order something special for your child to eat
that he or she does not normally get at home (i.e. dessert, caffeine free soda, hot chocolate)

Show your appreciation to the staff
– Make an extra effort to thank the server and host or hostess and try and minimize as much
mess as possible at your table
– This will result in faster and better service the next time you eat at the restaurant with kids

Be realistic
– Eating out with kids is going to be nothing like eating out with adults
– Your kids will probably not sit still or be quiet through the whole meal
– Use this as an opportunity to interact with your child (reading to him or her or playing
games)

Choose your battles carefully
– Make it a general rule to display good manners – such as talking quietly and not disturbing
others

Share the load
– Take advantage of having another adult at the meal with you
– If you have a particularly active child, let one adult eat while the other one occupies him or
her

Practice makes better
– Even if you end up leaving the restaurant with your food in doggie bags, do not give up
– Keep practicing with your child until he or she gets it (remember repetition is a necessary
part of your child’s learning)

About Has 4151 Posts

Shannon Gurnee is the author of RedheadMom formerly "The Mommy-Files", a national blog with a loyal following. She has a Bachelor's Degree in Marriage, Family, and Human Development with a Minor in Business Management. Shannon and her husband, Frank, have a large family with 6 awesome kids and love living on the Central Coast near San Luis Obispo, California, as well as traveling around the world. A full-time Social Media and Professional Blogger, Shannon also serves as a National Brand Ambassador for many well-known companies. Her blog focuses on motherhood, family fun activities, traveling, fashion, beauty, technology, wedding ideas and recipes while providing professional opinions on products, performances, restaurants, and a variety of businesses.

One Response to “How to Eat at a Restaurant with Kids and Enjoy It”

  1. Mom23 says:

    Great tips! Thanks Shannon πŸ™‚

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