Dining out with toddlers: What you need to know

A restaurant visit with little ones may fill you with dread, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be the case

How to enjoy eating out with little ones in tow

Going out for a meal is very different with babies and toddlers, but it can still be enjoyable, here’s how

Eating our with toddlers 474

Before you had children, eating out was a bit of treat, maybe a little break from cooking and a chance to relax and catch up with friends or your partner.

With children the thought of tomato ketchup flying across the restaurant, screaming, tantruming toddlers and the stress of trying to get them to eat what they insisted they wanted is probably not your idea of a good evening out. 

But eating out with toddlers needn’t be this stressful, here’s our tips on how to enjoy the experience.

1. Always pick a family friendly restaurant.

2. Make sure there’s something on the menu you know your little one will like.

3. Go early – if they are too hungry and overtired there could be problems.

4. Make sure there is nothing dangerous in their reach, you don’t want your toddler grabbing knives and forks or wine glasses.

5. Have a bag full of things for them to do, drawing, colouring an iPad.

6. Be clear on what you expect from them when you’re out.

7. To save you stress, ask for a table at the back of the restaurant rather than in the middle where a screaming toddler could irritate other diners.

8. If you need to discipline, do what you would usually do, don’t be put off by others looking.

9. Take the opportunity for your children to practice saying ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ when given their food.

10. Don’t plan to be in the restaurant too long, after 20 mins or so a little one in a highchair may get restless so worth ordering nice and quick to avoid a very bored toddler.

Dining out with toddlers: What you need to know