Eating out with toddlers is really a big challenge for the parents. It puts great pressure on them whether the experience is going to be good or bad. Most parents avoid to dine out with their toddlers because of this fuss.
Parents are mostly worried due to the following reasons:
- Sometimes their kids don’t eat at all and get distracted by other things like TV, games, etc. in the restaurant.
- Like most of the adults become impatient if their food is slightly late on the table likewise toddlers do in the restaurants.
- Ambiance with lots of noise is also another factor which might create a problem for the toddlers to enjoy the meal.
- Toddlers usually demand junk food like French fries and sugary drinks which develops an addiction to unhealthy heat-pasteurized food as well.
- Toddlers also create disturbance for other people.
With a little knowledge and practice, parents can easily learn how to dine out with their toddlers and have a great time in their life.
Here are the basics tips for parents to follow while eating out with toddlers to make this a good experience:
Choose Restaurants wisely while eating out with toddlers:
Deciding family-oriented restaurants is one of the most basic and important tips to follow. Below are the reasons why:
- People who come to dine at these type of restaurants are comfortable with the children.
- Most family oriented restaurants have comics, color book and games to play for toddlers to keep them busy till the food arrives and also to educate them something in a fun way.
- You will get prior knowledge about the kind of food that they serve and whether it will be healthy or not for your toddler.
- Refrain from opting restaurants where speaking loud is prohibited.
Order the food carefully:
- Try not to order junk food in front of your toddlers as they mostly like to eat and follow what their parents are eating.
- Order from the kid menu (if it’s there).
- Ask the server about the number of spices they are going to put in the food and tell them accordingly.
- Try a different type of foods which your toddler has not eaten before, they might like it.
- Order healthy food from the menu. The benefits of healthy eating are numerous for your toddler’s growth. If you are not aware of the ingredients ask the server/chef regarding the amount of fat, sugars, and salts.
- Do not pressurize them to eat more. Let them decide on the amount.
- Encourage your toddler to try fresh cold-pressed juices rather than sugary drinks. If the cold-pressed juices are not available at the restaurant. Buy it prior to going there.
- This will help them to get used to healthy food/drinks.
The benefits of healthy eating for toddlers play an important role in their speedy growth and development:
- Adults tend to follow their eating habits since childhood. Thus it is essential to start off with healthy food.
- Healthy food leads to better development of the brain which is not possible in case of unhealthy junk food due to the lack of amount of nutrient requirements.
- It prevents toddlers from some severe health problems like tooth decay, obesity, sleep, disturbance, addiction to processed junk food, diabetes, high blood pressure, etc.
Order Drinks with meals:
In some restaurants, it takes quite a lot of time to prepare meals for kids. While just like any other adult, toddlers are also affected by this and become impatient. Keep them diverted by ordering fresh cold-pressed juices to satisfy their hunger. Please do not go for sugary drinks as they have abundant chemicals.
On the other hand, cold-pressed juices are 100% natural and fresh. They do not have any additive color, preservatives, sweeteners, flavors, etc. that’s why they do not cause any side-effect to your child’s health.
To make your task easier, there are plenty of cold-pressed juice brands available in the market which you can buy easily from a nearby shop or simply order them online.
It will be a cherry on the cake if you will choose that brand which proves to be beneficial for you as well as your child’s health. OMJOOS is such a brand which I chose because of its juice quality.
Educate them in a fun way:
You can encourage your child to solve a puzzle, color a book, recite a poem. This is a great time for you all to educate or entertain your child about anything as per their understanding level.
Go along with their favorite toys:
Nowadays, most of the restaurants have a TV which distracts them to a great extent. Also, your kid might want to play a game on your mobile phone. Take a smart move ahead of it. I am pretty sure there are toys in your house which your kid likes the most to play with. Keep them in your bag and give it to them in the restaurant when needed.
It will also help to keep them busy if the food is served late if they reject the food that has already been arrived and the other one is being prepared.
Give them healthy snacks:
Snacks fulfill the nutrient requirement in the body which left out in meals. Carry yogurt, fresh seasonal fruits, oats, nuts or fresh cold-pressed juices for proper nourishment and give them on your way to the restaurant, while you are waiting for others to finish the food, keep them busy while the food is being prepared.
Engage them in the conversation:
Do not go for eating out with toddlers if you want to talk about your personal or professional life. Kids feel left out and they will not eat properly. Do not forget you have come together as a family. If your child has started to understand things. Kindly talk about the things in which they can participate.
Kids feel wanted and nice if they are engaged in the conversation.
Do not yell at your child.
Even if your child has done something wrong like spilled something or dropped something. Do not shout at them. In fact, this is a good time to teach them how to sit, how to eat, how to place napkin and other table manners. Appreciate their efforts.
Do not consider the restaurant as your home!
Do not become very comfortable. Respect the privacy of other people as well at the restaurant. If your child is creating extra noise which is disturbing others since too long. It’s better to take them out and come inside till they become calm.
Never go out if your child is restless.
Avoid eating out with toddlers if they are feeling sleepy, tired or are not well. It will spoil the entire purpose of the meal. Neither you nor will your kid will be able to enjoy the meal.
If you are eating out with toddlers it’s better to practice a little at home. Teach them some basic table manners and let them understand how they can communicate while out from the home. Let them know the benefits of healthy eating in simple ways that they can easily understand.
While at restaurant let them order the meal by themselves only if they have started to speak. It will build up their confidence to speak up in public places. Eating out with toddlers can be the most memorable outing for you. All you need is to adapt these above basic tips or make modifications as per your wish.
About the author –
Tanya is a graduate from Delhi University and working for OMJOOS, a brand of More Orgo Private Limited. She has health and fitness industry experience and she loves to share knowledge with people about organic food and cold-pressed juices available in the market. For the most part, she interacts with people to know about their lifestyle and how they can stay healthy and fit to live life to the fullest.