Me in a Tree

Eating Out with Kids

by Eva Macyszyn, BSW, RSW

35 a

Sometimes, going to restaurants, kids in tow, can be a recipe for disaster. We’ve all seen the rambunctious toddler running around the restaurant, the won’t-stop-crying baby, and of course the flustered and frustrated parents. To make sure your family doesn’t succumb to the “Annoying-Family-In-The-Restaurant” syndrome, consider these tips.


1: Choose a restaurant that is family-friendly. Here, you have more ability to teach your kids the importance of behaving properly in a restaurant. Family-friendly restaurants are great places to teach your kids good behaviours like speaking quietly, ordering appropriately, waiting patiently, and eating politely.

2: Pack an emergency kit. Kids are messy and they tend to grow restless quite quickly. Having an emergency bag will help you stay on top of boredom groans and sticky messes.

3: Give your children a choice in what they want to eat. If you order something they won’t like, you will be hearing about it through the entire meal, making your dining experience a negative one.

4: Be in control of the experience. It is wise to keep your children under control while at a restaurant. Practical ways to do this include reminding your kids to use “indoor” voices or taking restless kids out to the lobby or for a walk around the restaurant.

5: Above all, keep a sense of humour about you and have fun. Eating out with your kids is a memory-making experience. Spend time as a family and enjoy it.


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