It can be a daunting task eating out with younger children, but its also an amazing opportunity for the kids to get out and experience new foods and practice those table manners. Mine are 5,3 and two months old and I have had my fair share of restaurant disasters.  Here are some of my tips on surviving, no scrap that; ENJOYING your family meal out.

Eating out with children

Plan ahead

If you know where you are going in advance then google, Facebook, Instagram, twitter anything to see if you can get the low down on the menu, facilities and layout. If you don’t have an exact location yet then look at the area and check out potential options, Only last week I was going to review a place but I was stopped at the first hurdle, I came across a review on a Facebook mummy group from a rather irate mother, who just wanted a coffee and a spot of lunch that the mentioned establishment do not allow prams inside; so for me with a new born, that was the end of that. Quite often if you have a particular request, most restaurants are more than happy to accommodate, Even better if they know in advance. Do not feel afraid to call ahead and ask for a certain dish or even a certain table location.

Plan Activities

Ok so not all places have an amazing kids menu or a crèche for the kids so parents can eat in peace (chance will be a fine thing!) but that does not mean you cannot go. I often have a little stash of things from the pound shop like surprise eggs or a superhero colouring book and crayons set. These can act as a brilliant thing to keeps the kids entertained while you order/wait for food. All else fails ? Technology … tablets or similar doesn’t matter and its only for 20 minutes  (yes I really did admit I let my kids use technology, its ok once in a while !) Always, always get a toilet trip out of the way. Bet your last Rolo that they will suddenly decide they are bursting to use the loo halfway through dinner, Que you running through a restaurant with your child under arm in  rugby hold.

Plan to Fail

So the idea of eating out sounds good ? No washing up and maybe eating something you really enjoy, cannot cook at home or a new cuisine ? But with children, often the reality is stressful and not a joyous experience. Just getting the kids dressed and into the car is a feat in its self ! I used to be so anxious that my child would have a dreaded toilet accident at the table or scream, run around the restaurant and everyone give me the disapproving stare, but actually unless you are at a Michelin starred bistro on a Saturday night filled with people on anniversary dinners,  Majority of places are full with families or at least used to having them around. Its us that feel the shame of it all and it can make us feel stressed an in turn that projects on the whole family and even the staff . So just relax and if you feel you are failing that day at parenting, you are probably not at all ! So what if the kids are under the tables or screeching at the top of their lungs for no apparent reason, They are happy that’s all that matters.


Author Bio:

Sara Saleh: Mum to three, telecoms consultant and a qualified beauty therapist. My ramblings are mainly about what my family eat, our recipes, and reviews of halal food joints with an emphasis on how family friendly they are.

You can find Sara blogging at What Mum Eats and can connect with her on Facebook and Instagram.

7 Comments on Tips for Eating out with Children

  1. Aicha
    September 7, 2017 at 4:23 pm (3 weeks ago)

    Thanks for sharing this it’s very true and informative

    Reply
  2. Haya
    September 7, 2017 at 7:35 pm (3 weeks ago)

    Honestly, eating out with children is tough. Little ones have a hard time waiting. Sometimes people around us can be rude.

    These tips would certainly come handy. Thanks for sharing .
    Haya recently posted…Jasmine in the Wind – book reviewMy Profile

    Reply
  3. Shanaz
    September 8, 2017 at 11:50 am (2 weeks ago)

    Thats so thoughtful of you to share such a post which can be helpful to so many parents who deprive themselves of not eating out for years. I am surely sharing this link with my friends who need it.
    Shanaz recently posted…Sheer Khurma | Vermicelli and Milk DessertMy Profile

    Reply
  4. Sumaira
    September 11, 2017 at 11:09 pm (2 weeks ago)

    This was a great read filled with some awesome tips! Eating out with my 4 kids is so stressful, especially with my 16 month old- the last time we went out for brunch it was a complete disaster! I love the tip to plan to fail because that is keeping it real!

    Reply
  5. Carla ~ Tayyib Wellbeing
    September 13, 2017 at 8:21 am (2 weeks ago)

    So many good tips mashaa Allah! You might still not manage to enjoy your meal while it’s hot, and dinner conversation might still be dominated by endless toddler questions, but that doesn’t mean it still can’t be a very enjoyable experience for all! 🙂

    Reply
  6. Afreen
    September 13, 2017 at 10:45 am (2 weeks ago)

    Eating out with children is tough but necessary for the kids kids to get out and taste new dishes…

    Reply
  7. Zainab Dokrat
    September 13, 2017 at 1:41 pm (2 weeks ago)

    Honestly don’t know how parents handle kids when they eat out, especially young ones lol but these are lovely tips, I will be sharing them with my friends who are mums now.

    Reply

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