Dining out with little ones can be fun for all the family and great practice for future little diners.
But make sure you do your research first and come prepared. Here are some tips from Little Eats:
1. Check out your venue first
Go to Little Eats (www.littleeats.com.au) and find a cafe or restaurant that meets your family’s requirements. They have a full review and photos of each cafe as well as a checklist detailing their child-friendly facilities such as play areas, highchairs, kids menus and more.
2. Choose your timing
Avoid the busiest times and take advantage of specials when you eat dinner early. Many restaurants have ‘free children’s meal deals’ if you eat before 6 or 7pm.
3. Check out the menu online
Decide what you and your little ones would like to eat in advance. We all know what its like waiting for food with a cranky child. If there are no options suitable for your little ones, bring your own.
- entertainment – iPad, colouring books, crayons and toys. Anything your little ones enjoy and will keep them amused
- snacks – bring a variety of snacks with you to help fill in time whilst you wait for your food to arrive
- your own ‘eating stuff’ – cutlery, drink bottles, bibs, plastic bowls and wipes. You know the drill from dinner time at home.
5. Watch wandering hands
Move glasses and cutlery out of reach when you arrive at your table.
6. Take little trips
Little ones are not equipped to spend long periods sitting at a table. Take walks outside, to a play area or even to the bathroom to make the experience more fun.
7. Don’t be afraid
The more you take your little ones out with you, the better they will become.
If your child becomes distressed, take them outside to calm down. If that doesn’t work, leave a tip and get out of there!