Shortly after becoming a family of three, I soon realized that my love for cooking had some stiff competition: dining out. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE cooking for my family. But I also enjoy someone else doing the work and cleanup afterwards. Plus we live in a city (Birmingham, Michigan) that is known for quant, delicious restaurants.
Now that Joey is eating solid, finger foods, we’ve taken more family dinner’s and weekend lunches to the road. Exploring new restaurants or dining-in at some of our family’s favorites is a great way for the 3 of us to spend time together AND most importantly, get out of the house (I think that’s the most important thing for Mom). Here are some of my full-proof tips for eating out with little ones:
- Order appetizers for the table! Appetizers are portioned smaller than entrees and are typically sized-right for kids.
- Ask for ½ sized portions. Not all restaurants will do this, but I’ve had it done mainly with pasta entrees for Joey. Or think about sharing an entrée with your little one.
- Choose “sides” for kids. There’s been plenty of times I’ve ordered seasonal vegetables, mashed potatoes, or mac n’ cheese for Joey.
- Consider bringing some non-obnoxious, noisy toys to the restaurant with you, such as one’s that stick to a highchair or table. Joey loves this one from Infantino.
- Pack some Clorox disinfectant wipes + traditional baby wipes. The Clorox wipes are for the highchair and table, and the baby wipes are for (you guessed it), baby!
- Lastly, pack a disposable placemat or two. They stick and are easily removed from the table and keep baby or toddler busy while you eat too!