Tips for Dining Out with Toddlers
Do you ever have those fantasies of your beautiful family out to eat for a nice dinner where the children’s white monogrammed clothes are perfectly pressed with not a stain in sight and they sit politely telling you about their day while using impeccable manners? So do we. If that’s not your actual life, here are our tips for dining out with toddlers (other than do so at your own risk).
If you’re feeling brave, read on for our tips for dining out with toddlers:
Earlier is better. We all know about the Toddler Witching Hour(s) that start each evening, so think Early Bird Special. Like 4pm. Or just go to breakfast. Pancakes are usually a hit.
Find places for kids to eat and play, like restaurants with playgrounds. They’re like built-in babysitters.
Bring all of the toys and distractions. Extra coloring books, sticker books, a bag full of grab-and-play activities like Good Manners Flash Cards from eeBoo (hey, can’t hurt). But you know, quiet toys. Unless you want serious glares from other patrons.
eeBoo’s Good Manners Flash Cards are available online at Barneys.com for $12.
Don’t go to nice places. White linen tablecloths and sommeliers = no toddlers. Let others enjoy their evening out. You’re usually safe with places that provide crayons.
Order their food first. And bring snacks like Annie’s Organic Crackers. Hangry = not a fun time. Worst case you can take their meal home with you for later if they over-snack.
Available online at Target.com for $5.99.
Eat quickly. This is not the time to order a seven-course meal. And pay attention to the cute moments that pop up in between the madness.
If you get desperate, resort to bribery (ice cream usually does the trick). If all else fails pull up a quick educational video on your phone (let’s face it, hangry moms do not have an abundance of patience either).
If the you-know-what totally hits the fan, sometimes it’s best to doggie bag it up and enjoy your meal at home after they go to bed. Glass of wine in hand, naturally.
What are your tips for dining out with toddlers?