Reducing the dining out stresses

Reducing the dining out stresses

Reducing the dining out stresses

We can all agree that dining out at a restaurant with a little one can be stressful. However, there are some solutions to help reduce those stresses, which can actually lead to dining out being an enjoyable experience for the whole family. Whether you're planning a special occasion or just want a night off from cooking, We have some tips to help you navigate the dining out experience with ease.

Choose a family-friendly restaurant

Choosing a family friendly restaurant is key to a successful dining experience when it comes to dining out with your little one. Choose a place that is already known for their family-friendly atmosphere and menu offerings. Ring or message them to check they have high chairs available, if required. You’ll find that family-friendly restaurants will provide kids' menus with familiar and appealing options for little ones too. Sometimes they may also provide activity packs to keep them entertained whilst waiting for their meal.

Time it right

Timing is everything when dining out with a little one. Try to schedule your meal during off-peak hours to avoid crowds and long wait times for food. Consider your little one’s usual mealtime routine and plan accordingly. If they are hungry or overtired, they’re more likely to become irritable, so aim to dine when your child is well-rested and in good spirits.

Pack the essentials

Come prepared with a bag of essentials to keep your little one entertained and occupied throughout the meal. Most restaurants won’t mind if you bring something small for your little one to snack on, taking along a veggie or fruit snack can act as a great starter whilst they wait for their meal. Pack items like small toys, books, crayons, sticker and colouring books to help distract your little one if they become restless. For slightly older children ‘conversation starter’ cards can provide a great way to pass the time whilst waiting for food. They’re a great way for some family conversation. Of course, don't forget to bring any necessary tablewear essentials, such as your little one's favourite utensils, bibs, and cups.

Be strategic with ordering

Take a look at the menu before you go, this is an absolute must when dining with a little one, as this can speed up the ordering process once you get to the restaurant. When it comes to ordering food for your little one, simplicity is key. Choose dishes that are tried-and-true favourites, easy to eat, and unlikely to be refused. It can also be beneficial to share meals at the table so that your little ones get variety and give them opportunity to try new foods. If your toddler has dietary restrictions, don't hesitate to ask the server for modifications or recommendations.

Be Patient and flexible

Above all, maintain a patient and flexible attitude throughout the dining experience. Children of all ages can be unpredictable, and there may be moments of fussiness or meltdowns despite your best efforts. Take deep breaths, stay calm, and remember that it's okay to ask for help if you need it. Most restaurant staff are understanding and happy to assist families with young children.
Dining out with a little one doesn't have to be overwhelming. Embracing the experience can create cherished memories and some enjoyable quality time together as a family.