All milestones are supported by American Academy of Pediatrics findings

Tips for Bringing Kids to Restaurants

Share This:

Mother’s Day usually is a day meant for spending time with family! Sometimes this includes bringing kids to restaurants. But dining out with your little one can be tricky! We recently ran a Feeding Tips Contest and asked for the best advice on eating at a restaurant with babies and toddlers. Here are few great tips from moms, for moms, that you can put to use this Mother’s Day and all year long!

Pick a Time and Place
One mom told us, “Bringing kids to places where there isn’t a long wait is best”. Planning ahead is crucial! Avoid peak times, pick a restaurant without long waits, and make a reservation if possible.

Be sure to consider baby’s schedule as well. Avoid being out during baby’s regular nap time and interrupting their routine. The more you are able to keep baby on their regular schedule, the better!

Plan a Seating Chart
Determining where your baby sits at a restaurant is important. Some parents like having baby on their lap for part of the time. Keeping their high chair next to their caregiver and facing people is key. Try placing the high chair so they are able to see people walking by. A mom who uses this trick with her 3 year old son says, “All the action keeps him entertained.” Even if your child is younger, seeing people move about the restaurant can help them learn to track objects with their eyes.

young_family_at_a_ resturant

Pack Snacks
Snacks can be your best friend at a restaurant, especially when you don’t know how quickly your food will be served. Bring along some of your go-to finger foods or snacks. One mom said she likes giving her daughter a choice in snacks before they leave the house because even if she picks from just two choices, she is more interested in it.

Games On-The-Go
The fun doesn’t have to stop just because you’re at a restaurant! Use the new environment to play some games with your little one. One mom told us her family plays a game naming vegetables, fruits, or animals starting with certain letters. A game like this is great because you don’t need to bring anything with you. There are many variations you can make to keep your child entertained, and it is a great way practice letters and communication skills.

Communication isn’t the only skill to work on though! Coloring and using stickers, two very popular restaurant activities, both are great for developing fine motor skills.

Other ideas for screen-free games and tools to entertain your little one at restaurants include pop-up books, high chair toys that spin, and crinkly baby toys. The crinkly ribbon toy serves as sensory experience for baby. They are able to hear the sound of the crinkle and feel the different materials on the fabric and ribbons.

The right time to first take your baby to a restaurant is a family decision. But when you and your child are ready, use some of these tips for eating out with baby to make the outing a little easier on everyone!

Click Here to see all of our blog posts.

Want more information on children’s development?

Allergy food
Find information about food allergies and theories about why there has been an increase in recent years.

Home family laundry

Wondering when your child can start doing chores? It is earlier then you might think & chores are good for development. See a list of age-appropriate chores.

5 thoughts on “Tips for Bringing Kids to Restaurants

  1. It’s great to know how to take kids out to eat. My wife and I love going out, but it’s harder with young kids, that’s for sure. Next time, I’ll be sure to plan ahead, so we don’t sit and wait for a long time. That wears on all of our patience.

  2. I like that you explain how planning ahead and choosing a restaurant that is easy to get into or has reservations is a good idea. If they don’t have to wait to get in, it could help them be more patient if you have to wait for your food. Choosing a buffet or some other family restaurant that has options that children will enjoy and is fast and easy to serve would probably be a good idea as well to make sure they’ll enjoy their meal.

  3. My wife and I have a hard time keeping the kids behaved when we go out to eat, so thanks for sharing this. I like your point about bringing your own snacks. I’ll have to try this next time we go out to see if it helps incentivise them to behave.

  4. I like your idea of bringing finger snacks to the restaurant. This is helpful in making sure that your kid is occupied while you are eating and talking. I’ll have to consider your tips the next time I take the kiddos out to eat.

  5. Dining out as a family can be a challenge sometimes so thanks for sharing this. I like your point about packing snacks to help keep the kids busy. I’ll start doing this so they have something to occupy themselves with until the food is ready.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Donate Today!