How to Take a Toddler to a Restaurant & Actually Enjoy a Meal

Bringing small children to a restaurant can be a really challenging experience. If you have more than one kid, you may also have to deal with fighting at the table, constant whining, and wanting a phone to watch a video. But, because we were all stuck at home for over two years now, you may want to enjoy a nice meal outside of your house and without having to cook it yourself. So here’s what you can do to have a good time!

toddler eating pizza at a restaurant

Lower Expectations

Don’t expect your child to do something they are not capable of doing. This means you can’t expect a toddler to sit still during the entire time you are at a restaurant. They will probably want to explore, have something fun to do, and not be stuck at a chair waiting for food and then for you to finish up your meal. So, you have to be creative and allow them to explore the place first before the food arrives. Talk a lot and show them interesting things around them. This will keep them engaged before your food is ready and they won’t be tired already of sitting at a table.

Go to the Restaurant Early

Avoid going to restaurants with small children at busy hours. Try getting there a bit early so you can show them around and have enough time and space to have the meal and not worry about dealing with crowds.

Family eating together at a restaurant

Prepare for a Quick Exit

Try to get the kids’ food at the table first and prepare that things may not go as smoothly as you may want. You may not be able to finish up your entire meal. Be ready to leave whenever you have to leave. If your little ones are getting irritated, they may need a change of scenery. To be ready for that, ask for the bill as soon as the kids are done with their food. It will also help if you have chosen the food you are going to eat before you get to the restaurant.

Don’t Stress Over Food Choices

kids eating burgers

Most restaurants offer kids’ options that consist of pasta, pizza, burgers, and chicken nuggets, all served with fries. It’s not the healthiest of foods but if you want to enjoy some time out with the family and teach your kids some social skills, you can forget about good nutrition for a little bit. Order something you know the kids will love so you can earn a few more moments of peace!