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The Go-to Mom offers tips on how to dine out successfully with young children.
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Tips For Dining Out With Young Children
Most families take out their children for a meal every now and then, but there are some families who don't dare take on that daunting task. Take your kids out, the more they go out, the more comfortable they will be and the quicker they will learn what is expected to dine out with social grace.
It maybe challenging in the beginning, so start with little cafes and family-friendly restaurants. If your children are at a difficult age of eating, make sure before you go that there is something of interest on the menu and that your kids aren't starving before you leave the house. Most chefs will customize food without a sauce or switch vegetable.
If your kid will eat nothing but a certain food, make sure that that food is on the menu. If your kids are hungry when you walk into the restaurant, they are likely to picker and crankier.
If meltdowns begin to happen then it's time to leave. Proper restaurant behavior generally means quite indoor voices and sitting at the table. The goal is to not disturb other dinners and to make sure that your child understands what is expected. Don't give up, even after a disaster try again, make sure that your little dinner knows what is expected before you get to the restaurant.
Tips for dinning out with young children. Do prep work before you go out. Tell your children what you expect of them, before you leave. Clearly explain the restaurant rules before you get there. Make it exciting and have age appropriate expectations. Engage kids in activities to keep them preoccupied. Dine at kid-friendly restaurants. Bring a restaurant toy bag. You can have workbooks, crayons, pencils, little animals and cars.
Dine out early so that children don't hungry or cranky. If a child acts out, remind them of the restaurant rules. If they can't follow through with the rules, take your child to the car and have the rest of the family meet you there once they have paid. You are likely to eat out every night. So make dining out an event and it should be a wonderful one.