Eating out with your Kids

Dining Dilemmas: Eating Out with Kids


Farida Dahee

9/22/20232 min read

Eating out with your Kids!

The much-anticipated dinner party invite arrived, and excitement filled the air. The only catch? Our little one would be joining us, and a wave of parental concerns crashed over me like a tidal wave. Am I going to have to feed her at that grand dinner fest? Will she mess up her beautiful outfit? She doesn’t even know how to hold the fork & spoon, Oh man chuck it, it’s too much to handle. I will give it a pass!

You know the feeling, right? I vividly remember grappling with these thoughts just a couple of years ago.

Are these the thoughts you get whenever you are invited to a dinner/lunch by family or friends? Well then you are not alone, many parents are anxious about their kids eating habits & hand feeding them in front of that idiot box or not so smart phone of ours. The worry about potential messes, proper table manners, and ensuring your child enjoys the meal can be overwhelming. However, with a few tips and tricks, you can turn that dining experience into an enjoyable and stress-free family affair.

1. Be Prepared: Before heading out to the dinner party, make sure you are prepared. Pack some essentials like baby wipes, a change of clothes, and maybe a favourite toy to keep your child occupied if needed but avoid gadgets. The idea of trying to feed your child amid a grand dinner fest may feel a bit overwhelming but remember this every parent has been through it so they will understand.

2. Timing is Key: Timing is everything, align your dinner plans with our little one's routine. If your child has a regular mealtime routine, try to plan the outing around that schedule. A well-fed child is generally a happier and more cooperative one. Avoid scheduling dinner too close to your child's bedtime to prevent crankiness.

3. Embrace the Mess: Kids are naturally messy eaters, and that's okay. Try not to stress too much about the potential mess. Choose clothing that is easy to clean and consider using disposable bibs for added convenience. Most importantly, focus on the joy of spending time together rather than worrying about a few spilled crumbs.

4. Teaching and Learning: It's never too early to start teaching your child basic table manners. Amid the giggles and clinking of cutlery, take the opportunity to teach your little one some basic table manners. Be patient and offer gentle guidance during meals. Consistent reinforcement will help your child become more comfortable with dining etiquette.

5. Lead by Example: Children learn by observing, so be a positive role model at the dinner table. Demonstrate good manners, try new foods yourself, and show enthusiasm for the dining experience. Your child is more likely to follow suit when they see you enjoying the meal.

6. Build long lasting memories: So, to all the parents out there hesitant about dining out with your little ones, take the leap. Remember, dining out with kids may have its challenges, but it's also an opportunity to create lasting family memories. Embrace the chaos, savour the joy, and turn those dinner party dilemmas into stories you'll fondly recount in the years to come. After all, the grandest feast is the one shared with the ones you love, messy spills and all.