Today’s topic is:
Eating Out With Your Toddler
As a mom of a daughter (now two!), I often consider myself lucky when eating out. This is a major generalisation but on the whole, I have noticed that boys are busier and more energetic than girls. Although, SJ’s teacher along with her grandparents and any other babysitters will agree that SJ is very busy and always on the go too. Although, she does have the ability to calm down and try and sit quietly and be occupied – especially with food.
As a baby, eating out was a dream as SJ ate her finger food or bottle and then happily sat and played in her pram, observing those around her. Now she takes a little more convincing.
SJ likes to be independent and please others, so she tries her best to sit in a big girl chair (like the adults) and eat with a spoon and fork and drink from a glass/cup – all like the adults. But once her food is finished, she starts to fidget and wants to be on the move. A few toys are a good distraction but they don’t last too long. We often go to meals with friends or family and she enjoys their attention and company – and this keeps her occupied. However, if she starts to get a little out of hand, we call for a high chair and this keeps her strapped in one place.
We also like to take her to child friendly restaurants that have a kiddies play area – either inside or outside and this keeps her busy and active for the time that she isn’t eating, and allows the adults to enjoy a good catch up.
SJ is a good eater and she enjoys almost all foods so choosing a restaurant isn’t difficult – as most menus cater for her. We eat out for breakfast or brunch quite a lot as egg and bacon are her favourite foods. We also love a good coffee (babychino) or milkshake date – this is normally short and sweet and she is only focused on her food.
A few tips that have helped us:
1. Stick to your old favourite restaurants that cater for children
2. Use a high chair at home as this allows good discipline in a high chair when eating out
3. Choose your times carefully – a tired or grumpy child is never going to allow for a good meal
4. Try avoid screens at the table – nothing worse than a child on a phone or iPad at a family meal
5. Don’t be scared – the more you do it, the more your child will get used to it and enjoy it
What are your thoughts on eating out with your toddlers?