Eating out with kids can be tough at the best of times, but I find when days are extra special somehow the kids know to make it that little bit harder!
Share this with your hubby to help take the stress out of what should be a special, relaxing day with your family.
Here are my tips for eating out on Mothers Day… DADS TAKE NOTE!
1. Make a reservation
I don’t know about your kids, but mine certainly don’t take too well to any sort of waiting! By having a reservation in place it means you won’t be waiting around for your table, with kids ‘creatively’ trying to fill their time. My boys like to fill these sorts of times in by doing things like playing tip, wresting, and throwing shoes. Let’s just say we don’t go anywhere without a reservation these days.
2. Take food
Take food? To a restaurant? Yes. Dining establishments are notoriously busy on special occasions, and food can take longer than usual to come out. My boys get HANGRY (hungry + angry) if they have to wait too long between meals, which leads to endless whinging about being hungry and misbehaving.
Some tips for bringing snacks to a dining establishment:
• Pack them in a small inconspicuous container, one per child. Whilst most places are understanding of kids having a little snack from home to keep them happy whilst waiting for food, I’d think it would be bad manners to pull out a large chip packet at a restaurant, for example.
• Pack snacks that can’t get too messy. I’m sure the fellow patrons at a Mothers Day lunch a few years ago still haven’t forgiven me for the sultana shower my kids gave them. They threw them like confetti! God help me.
• Snacks such as freshly cut fruit and veggie sticks wont fill their tummies too much, and will at least provide them with a little nutrition if they will be eating something like nuggets and chips from them menu.
3. Take nap times into consideration
If your little ones are still having daytime naps, if possible try to plan around them. As we all know, a tired child usually isn’t a happy, well-behaved child.
We often like to go out for breakfast when the kids are fresh and not too ratty, and they will often have a nap in the car on the way home.
4. Pack the kids bag / nappy bag the night before
My husband, god love him, likes to be a bit of a hero on Mothers day and do everything. Sometimes it can be useful to be a little prepared the night before, by packing the kids bag to ensure no essentials are forgotten.
Nothing will ruin a Mothers Day faster than having a child wet themselves, only to find you don’t have a spare change of clothes.. or be one nappy short only to have a poonami to deal with.
I also find during the rush to get out the front door, it can be easy to forget things whilst trying to find your kids missing shoe, get myself looking half decent, and the myriad of other things that need to be done when heading out with kids. Preparation is the key!
Tip: throw in colouring in book and some pencils each (or other appropriate toy/entertainment), to keep them busy whilst waiting for food
5. Keep it casual!
To be honest with you, my boys just aren’t cut out for five star dining. They are rambunctious, noisy, and seem to find it impossible to eat a meal without making a mess.
Eating at a fancy establishment will only add to your stress if your kids are a bit like this too. Whilst I believe we should absolutely encourage good manners and behaviour from our children regardless of where we go, more casual establishments are definitely more forgiving.
About the author
Rachel Cassidy is the author of this article and the founder of Little Peeps Eats. She is a passionate food blogger and brand ambassador, but her most important job is being a mum! Little Peeps Eats helps families take the stress out of mealtimes by providing healthy, kid approved recipes, as well as fussy eating tips and tricks. Their website hosts a directory of nutritionists, resources and mealtime products to ensure that you have everything you need at your fingertips when it comes to feeding your family.
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