Saturday, August 21, 2010

Eating Out with the Kids

I'm sure you all know how embarrassing/frustrating it can be when you go out to eat and your kids are throwing a screaming fit and refusing to eat their dinner. Been there. Done that. Sometimes my husband and I try to pick out places to eat where the environment is not-so-quiet so that we can accommodate our rambunctious son. Doing this makes it just a little easier on us so we're not trying to make him "be quiet" the whole time. With that being said,

What are some of your favorite places to eat that are kid-friendly?

Do you have any tips for taking your kids out to eat?


Megan said...

Chili's and Olive Garden are always great for us because we can always find something on the menu for L and they usually have pretty good crowds so I'm not as worried when he is loud. We also really like this little hole in the wall Mexican place because they have awesome food and it is very family friendly.

Tannie Datwyler said...

Another good kid friendly place is Firehouse Pizzaria - they give FREE kids meals on Tuesdays!! And the tables are far apart so you won't bother anyone else.

A trick I've learned is to bring a "backup" just in case you have a picky toddler like my son. I always have something extra packed in the bag for him to eat in case nothing on the menu is good for him. That way, he has something to do while I eat.

Chris and Laura said...

We practice good table manners every night at home when we eat dinner. I think having the same kind of routine and expectations at a restaurant that the child is used to at home can make a huge difference.

I like Tannie's trick of bringing food that you know your child will eat. Even for my daughter who will eat just about anything, I generally take a few goldfish or crackers or something for her to munch on in the beginning--it can be a really long wait before the food comes.

I have also found it helpful to bring our own spoons and/or forks--most restaurants don't have child-sized utensils and I found that my daughter was often able to keep in control better if she had the right size of utensils and could actually eat her food. And random tip: My husband carries a leatherman knife that has a pair of scissors. We cut off the end of our daughter's straw so that she can actually drink out of it without having to tip the glass so far. We have prevented a lot of spills that way. :)

Ihop is another good kid-friendly is Denny's.

The Fishes said...

With two kiddos (ages 4 & 2) we have learned to only buy one kids meal and spilt it. They never eat enough of their own to make it worth the $4+. Then they get a bit off ours as well. Usually they eat everything this way, instead of wasting so much $ and food :) We also like to bring our own silverware as well as sippy cups and a bib. It just eases the stress of the mess that can be made.

Favorite places, hmmm, Cracker Barrel, the cornbread and biscuits always come quickly! Otherwise you do need those little snacks to get them through the waiting time.

Heather said...

We just try to get a babysitter. :) It makes the event SO MUCH more pleasurable. Sorry this doesn't help at all.