6 Easy Ways To Make Dining Out With Kids Less Stressful
If you’re dying to get out of the house and treat yourself to a great meal but the thought of taking the kids along makes you want to stab yourself with a fork, then these tips are for you!
1. Choose a family friendly restaurant
Dining out with kids is not the time to try that cute little French restaurant you’ve had your eye on. Stick to establishments that are family friendly. If the place has tablecloths I’d stay away. Asian and Italian restaurants are usually good choices. Lots of kid friendly menu items and food is prepared quickly so less waiting time means less chance of a temper tantrum.
2. Eat early
Find out what time the restaurant opens and be there before the doors open. The earlier the better. If anyone has been out with toddlers during the dreaded witching hour then you have experienced literal hell on earth. There is no amount of dessert bribery that will calm a screaming child down once 6.00pm hits.
3. Look at the menu online before you arrive
This one is a no brainer, and I still do it every time I go somewhere new. If you’re armed with the knowledge of what’s on the menu that means less time deciding while you’re there and less time spent at the restaurant. Remember the aim is to get in and out as quick as possible. So jump online and check what your kids will like so that as soon as your waiter asks for your order you’re ready to rock and roll!
4. Bring stuff
Put a couple of ‘new’ things in your bag that your kids haven’t seen before. A sticker album, a colouring in book, a new little toy. Something that will hold their attention long enough for you to drink that glass of wine without looking like a desperate alcoholic. And for God’s sake, if that fails or if you forget to pack something, then give your child your phone or their tablet or whatever will ensure they stay seated longer than 3 minutes. No parent shaming or guilt here thank you!
5. Lower your expectations
Please don’t expect your dining experience to be some civilised affair. I mean if it is, that’s a bonus! But in reality, you may not find yourself sitting around the table sharing stories about your day. Instead you may be dodging flying fried rice and picking up toys from the floor. That’s okay. That’s what the dessert menu is for. So we can eat our feelings.
6. Hire a babysitter
Hahaha…not kidding! Good luck either way.