- The Women Who Came Before Us
- Christmas Self Esteem - Giving the Gift of Self Worth, Self Confidence and Self Respect
- 5 Financial tips for families having disabled kids
- Breaking Down The Communication Barriers With Your Kids
- Are You Raising Codependent Children?
- Camp Safely With Your Kids This Summer
- Helping Your Child With Autism Cope With School Anxiety
- Routines to Improve Concentration in Children
- Single Mothers: Guide to Measures of Help Available
- How to Create Special Memories for Elementary School Kids
Surviving Eating out with Children: EMBRACE THE EXPERIENCE WITH THESE TIPS!
By: Carla Sullivan Founder & Mommy Muncher (MiniMunchers.com)
As a mom of two, I know first hand how difficult it is to come by restaurants that cater to and welcome children. More then that how do you have an enjoyable meal when eating out with the tots? MiniMunchers has a few tips to help you navigate the restaurant world with kiddies and hopefully enjoy the experience in the meantime.
1. RESEARCH Before You Go - Many experts will advise parents to order off the adult's menu for tots when eating out to avoid fried/starchy foods (i.e. chicken nuggets, French fries, grilled cheese), which can get pricy. We say do some research and try to find a restaurant that you and your kids will agree is a good spot (both good for you and good to eat!)
2. Know Your Needs - Part of your research should entail making sure the restaurant caters to children YOUR AGE. Think about what you need before visiting If you have an infant are you hoping to keep the baby in the stroller sleeping while you eat? Does your toddler like a booster rather then a high chair? Feel free to call ahead and ask questions about your specific needs, that is what a host/hostess/manager is for!
3. Keep it Moving - If your child is 4 or under don't expect a relaxing drawn out meal. Yes, we all have times that are children are perfect angels but lets be honest most of the time we are eating to fill our bellies then get out. To this point, don't order an appetizer just go with an entrιe. You will thank me for this later.
4. Order as a Family - DO NOT have them bring out the kids meals first. It sounds like a good idea but when their meal comes within 5 minutes, what are your little ones going to do while you are waiting and then eating. It is best to eat ALL together.
5. Entertain, Entertain, Entertain Ok, it is great to think your tot will sit and chat with you for an hour, but time to get real and think in advance. Crayons work for a few minutes (and most kid-friendly restaurants will supply), but when they tire of the old faithful, small items that you can store in your purse (matchbox cars, Wiki sticks, finger puppets, stickers, tattoos, etc.) are great to have on hand. Of course, you can always hand over the iPhone and turn on one of the numerous apps that kids love!
6. Tip Accordingly Yes, it is a nice break not to have to clean the crumbs off the floor when eating out, but remember there is SOMEONE who has got to do it! Your tip should reflect the mess on the floor as well as how much the servers catered to your family Did they "get" your time constraints? Did they engage your child(ren) when they ordered? The extra effort should be rewarded J
7. When they got to go, they gotta go! Some times you just can't fight it - either your toddler had a bad day or the baby missed her nap. Any way you slice it everything you do just isn't working and it is time to ask for the check and wrap up your meal - even if it hasn't come yet! TRUST me - your server will be more then happy to accommodate, especially if it means a better dining experience for everyone else at the restaurant.
Visit www.MiniMunchers.com for the complete children's menus of over 225 great restaurants in NYC! MiniMunchers also offers great weekly discounts on children's products and classes in our "Goodie Bag" as well as advice from experts on making your eating experiences with kids enjoyable from celebrities to restaurateurs to Moms-in- the-know!
Back to listings of articles about Parenting