It's important for children to get practise eating in out if you want them to get good at sitting still and sharing meals with you. However, you don't want to put off other diners, so it pays to choose a restaurant that is family-friendly. Here are some tips on finding a good restaurant to take your children to.
If your kids are fussy eaters, it can be good to find a restaurant with a kid's menu. While these 'kid's meals' don't tend to be overly adventurous, they can be a great way to make sure that your kid gets a full meal while out. Kids tend to be much easier going when they have a full tummy, and restaurants make sure that the kids menus are filled with crowd-pleasing items. Your kids can still try tastes of the adults meals to try some new meals, and who knows, maybe next time they will opt for a small size of a new dish.
Early dining hours
Kids often eat earlier than adults. One of the best ways to optimise dinner out with kids is to eat early so that the kitchen is less busy and there is less difference between their normal dinner time and the special eating out time. If this is not possible for some reason, it can be useful to come prepared with some snacks or ask the waitstaff to quickly bring an easy-to-prepare snack food such as a bread basket to the table so you can get your kids to eat something quickly. Look for a restaurant that is open around your child's normal dinner eating time, if possible.
Open dining areas
If your child is a little wiggly, they might like to jump down for a little meander around the dining room. As long as they keep away from other diners, this can be a great way to burn off some extra energy. This is another reason it's a great idea to choose an early dining time before the other diners fill the room. Try to find a venue with a more open dining room such as a bistro setting, where it is more acceptable for the kids to easily move between tables.
If you are looking to introduce your young children to the idea of dining out at restaurants, it helps to find a suitable venue. A casual bistro or pub lunch with a kids menu can be a great way to get started with having family meals at restaurants.