Tips For Eating Out With A Toddler

In the UK it seems that children should be seen but not heard. Which is absolutely crazy! We went out for a meal a couple of weeks back, we got lots of weird looks and whispers behind our backs, simply because Emily wasn't exactly quiet. I have to say she is so well behaved when it comes to eating out, but like any toddler there is only so long you can keep them quiet for, especially when they are hungry and everyone around them is eating! 

Many parents are so fearful of taking their toddler out to dinner with them, and it shouldn't be like that. Your child will adapt to the environment they are in, and situations like eating out are good for their social skills. I guess it comes down to your attitude as a parent. If you approach the eating out experience with excitement and with the mind set that its going to be a positive experience, you have more chance of it turning out that way. After all their is no harm in positive thinking. The truth is, eating out with your toddler can be enjoyable and calm. Here are my top tips on how to keep your toddler calm at the table.

Never take a tired toddler out. I'm sure we have all made this rookie mistake but there is nothing worse than trying to keep a stubborn, and tired toddler quiet while you wait for your food to come. Lets be honest, you would be setting yourself up to fail. There is nothing wrong with planning around your child's sleep schedule, or if your going out later in the evening with family, offer your little one a earlier nap. 

Don't dawdle. Ask your waiter if they can make your child's meal, and have it served with everyone else starter. This way by the time you have finished your main, your little one will probably be finishing theirs. 

Ask for a side plate. I have done this many times. I simply transfer Emily's food to a cold plate, and then the food cools down faster.

Bring supplies. I always make sure I have Emily's little backpack full of activities to keep her occupied. Some places do provide children's packs which contain a colouring sheet and some crayons. However I have noticed they are slowly disappearing. In Emily's bag I usually pack some colouring pencils, a colouring book, stickers, a couple of her favourite toys, and some play-doh. I have also started to pack a few snacks encase she really dislikes the food, or encase we get stranded like we did a couple of weeks back. We went to visit a local harvester on the way home from a family day out, a storm struck and all the power went out. 

Order your toddler a treat. They behaved super well, no doubt the experience was stressful for them. It is hard concentrating on your food with lots of people around you talking. A treat every now and then doesn't hurt them. Emily loves being treated to dessert. 

1 comment

  1. Great tips we have take our son out a few times and had people look at us weird when he was being a little noisy.


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