Just because you’re a mom now doesn’t mean you can’t still eat out at restaurants. You might need to trade in your late-night suppers and champagne-filled brunches for a more family friendly choice, but if you’re prepared, eating out with kids can still be enjoyable. Here’s how to keep them happy and save your sanity at a restaurant.
- Pick the right restaurant - While you probably don’t want to take your toddler to that hot new sushi spot on a busy Friday night, but that doesn’t mean you’re stuck at Chuck E. Cheese either. Try to find a place that doesn’t mind a little noise or spills and one that has high chairs if you need one.
- Book an early seating - If you can get in at 5:00 p.m. before it’s more crowded and your kid is starving and tired, do it.
- Bring distractions - Crayons, toys, games, and books are your best chance at keeping your kid entertained at the table. Young children just can’t sit still and be quiet for an hour with nothing to do, so keep them busy to pass the time, but please don’t do it with a loud smartphone.
- Scope out the menu beforehand - When your toddler is hangry, it’s not the time to make them try Indian food for the first time. Make exceptions and allow them to eat stuff you normally wouldn’t, like French fries, if that’s what it takes.
- Order something as soon as you sit down - Get some crackers, rolls, or an appetizer on the table as soon as you can.
- But also bring your own food - Moms always have snacks in their bags and it’s okay to use them to keep junior happy until dinner arrives.
- Get the check ASAP - When your meal is served, ask for the check just in case you need to make a quick exit.