Going out to a restaurant to eat a meal is one of the most common and enjoyable experiences for people all over the world, even the parents of small children. However, not all modern-day restaurants are kid-friendly. Furthermore, not all kids are restaurant-ready. It can sometimes get a bit much. To make the most of your outing, prepare the family with some of these helpful tips on how to enjoy your time at a restaurant while in the company of youngsters.
1. Try to Eat When There’s No Rush
Waiters and waitresses are already under a tremendous amount of pressure, especially since many of them work strictly for mostly tips. Asking them to serve you and your children is a big deal, so do them a favor by planning your meal for a time when the restaurant is relatively slow. Prime time is certainly not the right time to teach your kids about proper restaurant etiquette.
2. Keep Things Out of Their Reach
Most restaurants offer child-friendly accommodations such as high chairs or booster seats; use them to your benefit. By placing your kids in one of those secure seating options, it will be easier to control their behaviors. Moreover, doing so makes it possible to keep hot plates, condiments, and drinks out of their reach. Not only will this habit make your dining experience more enjoyable, it will drastically cut down on the amount of mess and mayhem your child creates, which is good news for everyone involved.
3. Bring Your Own Activities
While many modern-day, kid-friendly restaurants offer simple entertainment like coloring pages, crayons, or stickers, those items are typically not enough to keep today’s children satisfied throughout an entire meal. Bringing your own entertainment from home can help matters greatly. Although some experts claim the using electronic devices does more harm than good, offering your children some tech-based distraction works wonders. Just be sure to bring along a set of headphones so you don’t disturb nearby guests with the excess noise. Though don’t let them stare too closely at the screen.
4. Ask for Kid-Appropriate Seating
If you dine out when a restaurant isn’t full, it should be relatively easy to find an area of the establishment that is appropriately private enough to suffice your rowdy children. Choose to sit in a booth rather than at a table, and opt for corner seating whenever it’s available. If this type of seating arrangement isn’t available, wait patiently for something to open or dine somewhere else. Often, you can call ahead to be sure you will be seated in a comfortable spot.
5. Save Fine Dining for Date Night
Although taking your kids along to a nice restaurant can be exciting to them, it’s usually not a good idea, nor is it welcomed by many patrons who have chosen a fine restaurant to get away from the rigors of parenthood. Go to kid-friendly, family restaurants only (if possible), that way you’re not the only people dragging boisterous children into an otherwise sedated environment. After all, your kids most likely won’t enjoy themselves very much in that situation anyway. Choosing family friendly restaurants comes with perks as well, not only is the environment suited for them, but the menu as well. Some places provides kids menu that are cheaper with smaller portions so it is more worthwhile.
Any other dining tips when eating out with kids?