Monday, December 05, 2016

Mommy Mondays: Eat in? Go out!

You want to know the true test of parenthood?  Going out to eat with your kids.

Inevitably even the best behaved angels find a way to try your patience when you sit down to eat, whether at home or away from home.

So here are my tips for dining out with little eaters.

1) Deep breath.  It's never as bad as you think.  Chances are no one notices the behavior as much as you do.  And there are going to be other parents in the restaurant.  Even if their children aren't with them.  And although they may not love hearing your children acting up, they understand.  Especially if it appears that you're making an effort, not encouraging the behavior.

2) Just like home buying, location, location, location matters.  Which is not to say that you can only eat at fast food restaurants, but some places are more child friendly than others.  So while we take the boys to an upscale neighborhood restaurant we've been going to for years, the French place down the street is reserved for date nights.  Places with outdoor seating, areas designated for kids, or places where the owners feel like family are other great things to look for in a kid-friendly dining establishment.

3) Timing matters.  Although chances are, if you're dining with kids you already know that.  The fact that my kids are beyond ravenous by 5:30 means that we are often dining in quieter, less crowded restaurants. Breakfast is always more successful than dinner.

4) Manage your expectations.  Thatkid is expected to sit nicely at the table, eat his meal with silverware, and no burping.  We call these "restaurant manners."  They're a little heightened from the rules at home.  Thatbaby however?  Our goal with Thatbaby is to get him in and out and keep him happy.  That means sometimes taking him for walks outside, or bringing snacks and activities.   We also will look at the menu ahead of time and figure out what they'll be eating so we can order it once we're seated and get them their dinners as soon as possible.


  1. Haha I remember going out with my son. We were taking shifts when eating because he couldn't sit down more than five minutes and he was always on the run! Not fun at all!

  2. What's funny is I used to HATE eating out - HATE IT. I always wanted what I cooked at home because I love my own cooking. That being said, there are four restaurants that I ADORE going out to - and if I could, I would at out at them every single day of the week! It's interesting how I now like to eat out more than I like to cook in!

  3. i love the analogies. as a former VERY picky eater... i feel so bad for what my mom had to deal with. LOL!

  4. We've only ever taken Remy out for brunch or lunch thus far, and it's been mostly successful! Dinner...would probably be another story lol. But we'll get there!