Tuesday 26 September 2017

Keep Calm and Eat Out

Going out to eat should be a relaxing time. A break from routine. A treat for the family. Bring children into the mix though it can turn into a stressful and unpleasant experience.

So, how can you make it enjoyable and relaxing? Especially when you have a toddler or preschooler in the mix?!

Smartly dressed toddler sitting in a highchair in posh surroundings

Well, this is how.........................

1. Be prepared
Its probably the Snowy Owl in me but you have to be prepared when it comes to eating out with kids. The days of picking somewhere at random are behind you, at least until the kids are older. Be prepared and check, check, check. Check the menu and pick your child's meal or give them the options to mull over before hand. Check the food hygiene rating and check the Trip Advisor reviews.

2. Scope out the venue
This might sound a bit odd but on arrival have a good look round. Where are the toilets? You don't want to running round with a toddler shouting 'I need a wee', whilst in a rugby style hold under your arm while your looking for the loos! Do you want them to play on the park or in the soft play before dinner? Will they come when its time to eat? If not try and avoid them seeing it by using a different entrance or maybe even tell them you have to book a time after dinner!

3. Keep them busy
You've only just ordered and there's a ringing in your ears. A ringing that sounds a little bit like 'is my dinner ready yet'. This is followed by loud sighs everytime a waitress goes by with food that isn't for them. They grow restless and start announcing their starving and haven't been fed all day. Keep them distracted with the usual colouring or take along a couple of toys. We love the Toys in a Tin range and we also have an awesome hand me down Thomas the Tank Engine set.
A tin with a mini farm set inside

4. Take a snack
Yes, I realise this sounds somewhat ridiculous! Who takes a snack with them when going out for meal? Well, if its somewhere that's normally busy or our 3 year old is especially impatient or a bit hangry (hungry and angry) we do. A little box of raisins or a few strawberries and grapes are our go to snacks. Enough to tide him over but not enough to fill him up!

5. Pull out the electronic big guns
Let's admit it pre-children many of us would have frowned on those using tablets and phones to keep little ones entertained but when there's cutlery being used as a weapon and salt being tossed around like an exorcism the electronics are the ultimate shusher.

Now, deep breath, be prepared, keep calm and eat out!

Mummy Snowy Owl

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  1. Great tips! It's so hard going out with a little one! #dreamteam

  2. Fab tips - being prepared is really important and I love the idea of taking a few small toys along with you
    Thanks for linking up to #AnythingGoes :)

  3. I'm all about the snacks - it's a great secret weapon to have up your sleeve! We tend to take a lot of sticker books, which keep my son amused for ages, and he loves the standard colouring kits they have at restaurants too. I love when the restaurant totally get kids, and offer to bring the kids meals out with the starters, or bring them first if there aren't starters. It avoids those meltdowns! Thanks for joining us at #SharingtheBlogLove

  4. Great advice! We've always taken our girls out for lunch and dinner. I think the earlier you start they learn that you have to wait for your food. We take sticker books and colouring to keep them entertained. Thank you for joining us at #SharingtheBlogLove