Toddlers’ appetite is limited. They usually recognize only home-cooked meals.
So parents cannot be blamed for waiting for their kids to reach past the age of 12 before they actually take them to restaurants. They think it not only saves them dollars, but patience as well.
On the other hand, it is beneficial that kids become familiar with other foods early on so they can enjoy gastronomic adventures with the family.
With that, here are few precautions to making dining experiences with toddlers fun and memorable.
Take the corner seat.
Or that one near the restrooms or exit doors.
Taking your toddler out while waiting for the food be served shall help keep them calm. For obvious reasons, it also is beneficial that the restroom is located nearby.
Kids should not be allowed to wander inside the restaurant. Other diners wouldn’t mind, but there are those that will. Show respect. You too would not want toys flying onto your plate.
Avoid dining during peak hours.
Rush hours can turn into a riot when kids are in tow.
Chances are you will have to wait for long before a table becomes available. This is inevitable if you are to dine in a popular or go-to restaurant.
Take a short break from essay writing or household chores and reserve ahead of time. Mention you’re taking a kid with you so you can be advised beforehand whether children are allowed within the premises. Yes, some restaurants are just not into kids.
Dining before peak hours presents opportunities for the crew to be able to pay special attention to your young one. They can attend to your requests faster and even go the extra mile entertaining your kids while you are finishing your meal.
Tip: If you can approach waitresses, the better. They tend to be more emphatic than their male colleagues.
Look into the menu.
Avoid instances of begging your kids to finish, let alone touch their food.
Guide them into the menu. Check the website together so you can have an idea of the foods served. This also helps shorten your stay at the restaurant.
If the restaurant does not offer a specialized menu for the kids then you can at least request for few changes on the side dishes to make them appealing to young eaters.
Treat the dessert as reward time for your kids behaving well.
Bring plastic bags.
At home, mats and trash bags are used. But since you are in a restaurant, you might want to carry plastic bags instead to cover the floor under the high chair.
Cleaning is easier when you have anything you can just shake outside or dispose afterward.
The restaurant staff might wrestle with you when they see you on your knees tidying after your toddler. Even though, they for sure shall be more than grateful and appreciative of your kind gesture.
Since it takes extra work attending to your needs particularly when the restaurant is currently packed, be more generous to the restaurant staff. Leave tokens.
You need not give more than you can afford but at least be a little more considerate. Think of your special requests that were immediately attended.
Nettie Gray can afford missing out on travel mementos for herself but would never compromise opportunities to try out local cuisines. That is even if it takes courage way more than the dose needed surviving job interviews.