Throughout college and for the first few years that I lived in Hawaii I worked as a waitress. As most of you mamas know, dinning out with your kids can make for an interesting experience. I’ve seen it all; tantrums, thrown silverware, dumped bowls of spaghetti and even a full on brawl between a snappy fellow dinner and an overly stressed out dad.
Of course eating out with your kids isn’t always so hectic and should be something you all enjoy. Follow these waitress approved tricks below and you might find yourselves staying through dessert:
– Avoid eating out during nap or bedtimes. If your kids are overly tired they are more prone to meltdowns and this is no fun for you, them or your fellow patrons. If you find yourself in a pinch opt for take out or ask for a quieter section where your kid has some room to stretch out, relax or would make walking them easier.
– Use your dining out experience as an opportunity for your child to practice his/her manners and self sufficiency skills. Talk about the menu with your child and encourage them to place their own order and ask questions. There is nothing sweeter than hearing, “umm do you have chocolate milk” and a polite “Thank you”.
– Don’t be afraid to ask for your child’s order to be placed first or rushed. It’s completely standard for parents to order their child’s meal right off the bat with drink orders that way their food comes first and mom can help get them settled before her meal comes.
– Choose a restaurant that serves food your child actually likes. It’s great to encourage trying new foods but in the end you want your child to be fed and happy.
– Sometimes a little bribery does go a long way. Use dessert or a special beverage as an incentive for good behavior. This makes eating out something to look forward to and it should be! My parents used to bribe me with chocolate milk shakes and it worked!
– Bring along toys, coloring books and a bag of tricks to keep your child occupied while waiting for their food.
Check out the awesome place mats from Modern Twist These modern yet playful place mats are made from silky food-grade, hand silk-screened silicone and won’t crease or rip when you bring them along to your favorite restaurant!
“Nurturing the inner artist in every child, the mats are doodle-friendly with the use of washable or dry erase markers—save paper/save trees, just clean off with a damp cloth or rinse. Color again and again.”
Remember any meal time with your family is a special time and is the perfect setting to model manners, social skills and healthy eating. So tell me, what other tips and tricks do you mamas have up your sleeves and what I REALLY want to know is your absolute WORST dining experience. Humor me in the comments section below…
* I was not compensated in any way for this review *