Dining out can be an amazing experience. It is a time it sit back, enjoy foods you would normally eat, cooked by someone other they you, in a fun and funky atmosphere. Dining with kids can be a whole other experience! It requires planning, patients and the right equipment to make the culinary adventure go off without a hitch!
Here are 5 tips to help make dining out with a Toddler easier:
1. Choose an appropriate restaurant – The restaurant you choose plays a imporant factor in whether or not your night will be a success. Always choose a restaurant that is KID FRIENDLY, not too busy and close to home in case the situation turns hairy. Some of our favourite KID FRIENDLY restaurants include Boston Pizza, Kelsey’s and East Side Mario’s.
2. Bring Entertainment – Although it is a kid friendly restaurant and they may provide colouring place mats, its always a good idea to have a back up plan. Things such as dinky cars, barbies, books and a smart phone (preferably one with your child’s favourite show prerecorded) can help stop boredom and make for a more enjoyable evening. Being prepared has saved our butts many times. This year my extended family and I ventured off to a family friendly restaurant to celebrate Father’s day, when we encountered a longer then average wait time. Luckily, we had DORA prerecorded on an Ipad and DD1 was content and quiet the entire time! Other patrons commented on how well behaved she was and they couldn’t believe how long and quietly she sat for. Thank you DORA!
3. Read your child mood– Children, especially toddlers, thrive on schedules and consistency. When you go out for dinner, you are changing your child’s routine thus placing them in a situation of uncertainty. Although it is a positive situation, your child might not be able to deal with the change. Always read your child’s mood and level of tiredness prior to leaving for the restaurant. If they are tired and cranky, it might be better to call a babysitter then try to chance your luck!
4. Know what you want – Unfortunately, toddlers do not have the attention spans to sit through a 3 course meal. If you want to enjoy your entire meal without a temper tantrum, its best to order your meal right away. You can achieve this by looking up the menu online prior to arriving at restaurant, order an appetizer you can share with your child or ordering your entrees straight away (some restaurants will allow you to put a rush on it!). When you receive your meal, its a good idea to ask for the bill to avoid having to flag down the busy waitress later on. Also avoiding gaps between courses will limit the time that you and your child will be left waiting.
5. Have the right equipment – Have you ever been to a restaurant and asked for a high chair only to find that the only high chair in the place is being used by someone else? Now you are left with a 2 year old to bounce on your lap while trying to feed them and yourself. I have learned my lesson one too many times and now I don’t go out to a restaurant with out my Go Anywhere Booster Seat From A Parent Company!
My family loves the Go Anywhere Booster Seat. Before, we use to take DD1 to restaurants and I would cringe at the thought of placing her in a highchair that had remnants of food (and who knows what else) from its previous user. Now I simply bring my Go Anywhere Booster Seat and I’m 100% sure that I will have a booster to use, it will be sanitary and safe for my child to use. I love the 5 point harness as it reassures me that my child will not flip out. The light weight nature (1.5 lbs) and its compact size allow me to easily store under the seat in my car allowing it to be easily accessible without it taking up too much space. The padded seating provide a comfortable spot for my DD1 to seat and allows us to enjoy our restaurant experience for a long period of time.
How to use the Go Anywhere Booster Seat:
If you have small child and like to go out to restaurants, I highly recommend you invest in this product.