It's not easy to dine in a restaurant with little kids. In fact, it can be downright impossible. Luckily, there are some tricks you can use to get your young children accustomed to eating in public. With some practice and a lot of patience, you'll be able to enjoy dining in restaurants with even your youngest children. Here are some simple strategies that will help you avoid embarrassing moments when dining out with your young children at a family restaurant:
Practice Manners First
When it comes to teaching children new behaviors, practice is crucial. That concept includes proper restaurant manners. If you want your children to behave properly while dining in a restaurant, you should begin by teaching them proper manners at home. Begin by setting the table like you'd find in a restaurant, complete with napkins, silverware, and water glasses. Show your little ones how they should behave while they're eating. The more you practice with them, the easier it will be to enjoy restaurant dining with your children.
Choose the Right Restaurant
If this will be your child's first time dining in a restaurant, it's important that you choose the right one. Don't start out by trying to make it through a meal in a fancy restaurant. Instead, begin by choosing a more family-friendly restaurant for the first few times. Once your child becomes accustomed to dining in family-friendly restaurants, you'll be able to move to other restaurants. It's important to remember that you should also choose restaurants that you know will prepare food to your child's tastes.
When it's time to start enjoying restaurant dining with your young children, remember to start out slowly. If you know your children won't last past an hour, try to avoid restaurants with long waits for service. Try choosing a restaurant that will accommodate your kids level of patience and attention span.
Plan an Early Dinner
If you're going to be heading to the restaurant with your little ones for the first time, try to avoid taking them during a nap time, or several hours past their normal dinner time. Choosing a time of day when your kids are well-rested, and not starving, will help prevent meltdowns that could disrupt your dining pleasure, as well as the dining pleasure of those around you. It's also a good idea to pack a few small snacks in case dinner is delayed. A small package of fruit snacks or a few crackers will help tide your kids over without ruining their appetites.