What are your tricks or tips for dining out as a family?

Although quick and easy dinner ideas for families make meal planning easy, sometimes you just need a break from cooking. A dinner out at a restaurant whether nearby your house or out of town on vacation makes for a non-ingredient mixing and dish cleanup experience. However, I find dining out can be a challenge with kids in tow. So do any of you parents have solutions or tips to make eating out as a family a fun and stress-free night off?

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  •   -   07/25/2019

    When they’re young, I think letting kids play a little bit or walk around before the food arrives helps them sit more calmly in the high chair when it’s time to eat. Of course, feeling comfortable letting them play is a challenge! So even though we don’t typically eat early meals, sometimes going to a restaurant earlier in the evening or lunch time avoids the rush. I think just having a little extra space with fewer people can make the entire experience calmer and totally worth the off hours!

  •   -   07/17/2019

    I find that my kids tend to eat more if they control what they order (within reason of course). I have them read through the menu, decide what they're indeed craving, and take part in ordering.

  •   -   07/18/2019

    I always try to have something in my bag to entertain the kids quietly when they get bored. The paper kids menus and crayons they hand out at many restaurants often work great for a while, but books, a few bristle blocks, or wax sticks are also nice to have on hand for continued entertainment!

  •   -   07/17/2019

    When mine were younger, we would order the kids meals first (usually at the same time as our appetizer). Less time for the hungry kids to wait.

  •   -   07/17/2019

    Kids can be messy and clumsy. Take away the filled-to-the-brim adult sized glasses from young children. Some tabletops are so cramped; there are times when I switch their cups to ones with lids to avoid spills.

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