How to Make Eating Out with Kids Enjoyable


As parents, we have all been out to eat, whether by necessity or choice, with an unruly child, who throws their food, has a melt down and cries. We have all, also been on the flip side, as the paying customer who wonders why are these parents out with these unruly children in the first place?  While this does happen, there are ways that parents can try and avoid putting themselves, their children and other diners in this situation. No one wants to listen to screaming children while they scarf down their overpriced meals. Eating out should be enjoyable for everyone, isn’t that why we do it, to have a good time? Here are some steps that parents can take to avoid finding themselves in a less than pleasant dining situation…

1. Practice Before– Acting things out can help children learn what to expect. Pretend play going to a restaurant and tell your child about everything involved, including all the rules and expected behaviours.
2. Pack Snacks – Bring along some veggies, fruit or your child’s favorite snack so that they don’t get too hungry before their meal arrives. Many children (even adults too) have trouble patiently waiting for their food. If you have a snack on hand, it can help keep your child busy, making the time pass drama free.
3. Be Choosey – Choose a kid-friendly restaurant that can accommodate your need for a high chair, booster seat, and know how to deal with younger patrons. This will help to make your child’s experience that much better.
4. Bring Some Fun – Pack some toys or activities that can keep your child busy until the food arrives or when waiting for the bill. This will help keep them entertained and avoid boredom related meltdowns.
5. Check the Mood – If your child is already having a hard day and are moody, tired or defiant, pick another day for your restaurant adventure. You will be sure to have better results when your little one is in a better state of mind. Maybe try ordering in if they just don’t seem up to the occasion, you have the benefits of not having to cook, without worrying about how your child will behave in public.
6. Escape Plan – Be prepared that you may have to leave if your child is overwhelmed, acting out or being overly disruptive to the other patrons. Go over a plan of action with your partner or who ever your dinner date may be so that you can jump into action if needed.

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2 thoughts on “How to Make Eating Out with Kids Enjoyable

  1. Sound advice. We’re just getting there with our two year old – now able to enjoy meals out relatively stress free but ‘choosing the right place’ has been key. We had a few favourites as good ‘training ground’ – Bills & Nandos always super accommodating 😉


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