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Anyone else get super anxious when anyone brings up dining out with a toddler?
When I get invited to dinners, want to go out to eat, or celebrate something I always get super hesitant because that means dining out with a toddler.
Or in my case TWO.
And it is crazy. Absolutely crazy. But I never let that hold me back from taking them out to dinner.
Instead, I’ve learned a few tricks of the trade and figured it was about time I shared my tips for dining out with a toddler with you guys!
Tips for Dining out with a Toddler (or two!)
Bringing these things just makes life a bit easier on you. And we all love tips that make life easier.
Opt for a booth or grab some high chairs
I like a booth to trap them in, but high chairs are also great for locking them in. I am noticing though, that the older they get, the more I enjoy booths to really lock them in and keep them seated.
Bring something for them to do
There are so many ideas all over Pinterest for restaurant boxes and such. Seriously, take a look. There are some great ideas. But you can also download games on your phone, Netflix, ect. I promise you, you are not a bad mom for letting your littles watch a show while waiting for food at a restaurant. Do what works for you.
Order their food first or ask about a kids appetizer
Did you know that some places offer kids appetizers? How awesome is that?! Always ask, and if not, get their food rolling right when you get seated. This will lead to a lot less chaos.
Visit a family friendly restaurant
You can Google this or ask your friends, but seriously. Don’t go to that super trendy spot and just hope your kids are on their best behavior. It won’t happen. Go somewhere that gets it and loves having kids around. We were recently hosted by a chain local to me, La Provence, and I love how friendly all of their waitstaff is towards kids, as well as how understanding they are of parents with kids in tow.
They seated us quickly, were on their A game checking in on us frequently, and even interacted with the twins a bit during our visit. All things I look for in a family friendly restaurant.
Make it a regular thing!
Then of course, the real key to success with dining out with a toddler is making it a norm. Don’t expect them to understand and learn how to dine out if they are only doing it on the rarest of occasion. Go frequently. Don’t be nervous. Just do it!
I promise you, dining out with a toddler doesn’t have to be scary. You can do this. Take these tips and rock it the next time you take your toddler out to eat!