We went out for a family dinner on Sunday night. Not gonna lie we were nervous as hell. Having a toddler at the table is like having your wildcard bestie from high school out on a bender. You never know what you’re gonna get.
The night did not go to plan. But hey, it was still a fab night out so, here are my top four tips on eating out with a toddler. But mind you, I think the best tip of all is to just roll with whatever life throws at you (food included).
1. If you can call to make a booking always ask if they have high chairs and/or room for a pram. This gives a clear indication on whether you’ll be welcome with your toddler. (That’s right I said call, don’t be lazy like me and just check the website because there’s a high chance it hasn’t been updated. So then you’ll sit down and go ahead and order a drink and wait for the kitchen to open for dinner. But it will never open because they are CLOSING. That’s right they aren’t doing ANY DINNER SERVICE).
2. Get there early 12 noon on the dot for lunch or 5pm dinner (yep total granny timeslots) this is gonna help you avoid the crowds with the messy, loud and potentially food throwing toddler. (Or if you’re us and didn’t do point 1 properly, now you will be behind schedule and have another restaurant to find PRONTO that will most likely be totes busy because you are way behind schedule.)
3. Bring toys! Yep cars, and trains and paper and crayons, and stickers and whatever else you can grab in the dash to get out the door. And if you’re really struggling there’s always old trusty youtube. Not saying it’s going to win any parenting awards but it does buy a solid 20 minutes to eat your meal. (And hopefully you’re not like us sitting in restaurant number two for the evening and all of the toys have been played with and tossed aside and you are getting desperate. Time to get creative! Why not push coins through the slots of the table over and over again? Sounds pretty drab but GUESS WHAT it was a roaring success. Austin thought it was hilarious).
4. Bring nappy wipes. Duh. (Yes, I forgot the wipes. Yes, he did a big stinker).
Now with these tips in hand you can go out in to the world and nail your family dinner, woo! Or not nail it. And you know, just roll with the punches.