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Dining out with your toddler


Forum: 2010 Playroom

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  #1  
January 20th, 2013, 08:46 PM
mrsdaiwa24's Avatar Amy, soon-to-be-mama of 2
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: The Midwest
Posts: 10,094
Do you go out to eat often with your toddler?

What kinds of restaurants do you take him/her to?

When you go out to eat with your toddler, how do they act?

On a scale of 1 - 10 (1 being "oh my gosh, we will NEVER eat out again" and 10 is "Miss Manners would be so proud!"), how would you rate them?

Any absolute "restaurant nightmares" to share?

Any tips you'd like to share to make the experience more successful?
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  #2  
January 21st, 2013, 06:10 AM
Countrymom4's Avatar Chrystal
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Saskatchewan, Canada
Posts: 3,584
Do you go out to eat often with your toddler? yes

What kinds of restaurants do you take him/her to? fastfood alot, boston pizza type rests

When you go out to eat with your toddler, how do they act? usually good

On a scale of 1 - 10 (1 being "oh my gosh, we will NEVER eat out again" and 10 is "Miss Manners would be so proud!"), how would you rate them? prob 7

Any absolute "restaurant nightmares" to share? not really with DD#1 there were lots

Any tips you'd like to share to make the experience more successful? bring small toys or a tablet something to help keep their attention, I always have in my purse micro toys that the boys playwith only when we are out
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  #3  
January 21st, 2013, 06:40 AM
TreeTog's Avatar Love is in the Air!
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: La Porte, TX
Posts: 2,325
Do you go out to eat often with your toddler? no

What kinds of restaurants do you take him/her to? we go to places with play areas or family places

When you go out to eat with your toddler, how do they act? They are fine until their meal is done and they are bored.

On a scale of 1 - 10 (1 being "oh my gosh, we will NEVER eat out again" and 10 is "Miss Manners would be so proud!"), how would you rate them? 7

Any absolute "restaurant nightmares" to share? not today, Liam is bad in grocery stores.

Any tips you'd like to share to make the experience more successful? go when the kid is hungry and not tired!

Leslie
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  #4  
January 21st, 2013, 08:45 AM
Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 32,940
Do you go out to eat often with your toddler? 1-2 times/month


What kinds of restaurants do you take him/her to? anything except fancy places

When you go out to eat with your toddler, how do they act? pretty good

On a scale of 1 - 10 (1 being "oh my gosh, we will NEVER eat out again" and 10 is "Miss Manners would be so proud!"), how would you rate them? 8-9 most times

Any absolute "restaurant nightmares" to share? not that I can think of

Any tips you'd like to share to make the experience more successful? I always have crayons and paper with me which is usually enough to keep her happy. She loves people watching so there is rarely a problem with her.
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  #5  
January 21st, 2013, 12:07 PM
white.house's Avatar Kelli
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Southeastern, USA
Posts: 11,344
Do you go out to eat often with your toddler? Yes (we eat out more often than I'd like prob 1x/week)

What kinds of restaurants do you take him/her to? All kinds, whatever we're feeling like. Anywhere from McDonald's to Carrabas or Cheesecake Factory

When you go out to eat with your toddler, how do they act? Better than if we were at home. It's odd. He does really well.

On a scale of 1 - 10 (1 being "oh my gosh, we will NEVER eat out again" and 10 is "Miss Manners would be so proud!"), how would you rate them? 8-9

Any absolute "restaurant nightmares" to share? None. Well one time at Cracker Barrel he accidentally topped a glass over and it spilled all over DH's lap Luckily just water!

Any tips you'd like to share to make the experience more successful? Definitely bring in either some small toys or a drawing pad. I don't like electronics at the dinner table, but I'm sure a device would be a good emergency distraction. Go when they're hungry. Order an appetizer or ask for bread so they can snack while you wait!
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  #6  
January 21st, 2013, 01:26 PM
RunningWithBoys's Avatar Amanda
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 4,202
Do you go out to eat often with your toddler? sometimes but not often. We don't eat out much though.

What kinds of restaurants do you take him/her to? sit down restaurants with waiters and menus and the whole deal. Fast food isn't what we call eating out, and we go there sparingly.

When you go out to eat with your toddler, how do they act? Depends. Sometimes he is great. Sometimes he isn't having it. Depends on how the wind is blowing I guess.

On a scale of 1 - 10 (1 being "oh my gosh, we will NEVER eat out again" and 10 is "Miss Manners would be so proud!"), how would you rate them? Personally I would give him a 5 just because he doesn't eat off the kids menu so we always bring something for him to eat and secondly, at some point, we always have to break out the ipad...and I hate that. I would rather stay home than have a child with an iPad at the table.

Any absolute "restaurant nightmares" to share? We went out to eat much more with Evan and Luke, but that was because there was only one of them. One time at Chili's he started screaming bloody murder because his food fell on the floor. While he was flailing about he knocked over John's beer on his lap. We just got up and left. It was so embarrassing.

Any tips you'd like to share to make the experience more successful? Do what works for the family. If going out to eat is too stressful, don't do it until she is old enough to understand your expectations. If going out to eat is something you want her to do with you guys, start easy - go to a noisy place that is fast with food delivery. Obviously take things she enjoys doing. And don't beat yourself (or her) up if it doesn't work. She'll learn. I promise. Evan was the same way and he knows sits at the table, eat and has conversations with us. No iPad needed.
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  #7  
January 21st, 2013, 01:56 PM
amonstersmomma's Avatar Coetta Dawn
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Florida
Posts: 4,520
Do you go out to eat often with your toddler? 1-3x a month

What kinds of restaurants do you take him/her to? Any place we're in the mood for

When you go out to eat with your toddler, how do they act? Pretty well

On a scale of 1 - 10 (1 being "oh my gosh, we will NEVER eat out again" and 10 is "Miss Manners would be so proud!"), how would you rate them? 8. When he's done eating he does not like to wait on anyone else.

Any absolute "restaurant nightmares" to share? Nope

Any tips you'd like to share to make the experience more successful? None really...Caleb has just always done well
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  #8  
January 21st, 2013, 06:00 PM
TanyaMM's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 1,218
Do you go out to eat often with your toddler? We eat out about 1 - 2 times per month with the kids.

What kinds of restaurants do you take him/her to? We usually do a nice family restaurant. Not a super fancy one, but I can't think of anyone that would be similiar in the US. For the Canadian Girls - the boys favourite place is Boston Pizza.

When you go out to eat with your toddler, how do they act? Mason has always been so good. He eats his food, colours, sits nicely. Myles is a different story. He is loud and doesn't understand that he needs an indoor voice.

On a scale of 1 - 10 (1 being "oh my gosh, we will NEVER eat out again" and 10 is "Miss Manners would be so proud!"), how would you rate them? Mason is a 8-9 and Myles is a 6-7.

Any absolute "restaurant nightmares" to share? We haven't had many horror stories with our kids. We go out with another couple (there kids are right in between our kids 5 & 3) and their kids are always so bad. Running around the restaurant etc. Its pretty embarassing.

Any tips you'd like to share to make the experience more successful? Hmm ... we alway pack a little snack, so they have something to eat while we are waiting. We try to get them to colour and play eye spy.
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  #9  
January 21st, 2013, 06:40 PM
Memi's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 4,966
Do you go out to eat often with your toddler? Yes. Probably once a week.

What kinds of restaurants do you take him/her to? My favorite is taking him to a Japanese restaurant bc it keeps him entertained while we eat.

When you go out to eat with your toddler, how do they act? Its touch and go depending on his mood. Usually he does great unless hes just tired and fussy and then it is NOT happening!

On a scale of 1 - 10 (1 being "oh my gosh, we will NEVER eat out again" and 10 is "Miss Manners would be so proud!"), how would you rate them? Hes normally a 7-8... Those tired moments id say hes a 2 lol!

Any absolute "restaurant nightmares" to share? Tge last one was on DH's biryhday. We had to keep taking turns leaving the table with G to let the other one eat. At the end the entire restaurant staff kept starting music and parading out to sing to DH but he was outside with G to let me eat. Theyd blow the candle out, go back in the kitchen, then come try again. After three failed attempts I finally decided to releave DH. It was pretty hillarious!

Any tips you'd like to share to make the experience more successful? Anything that will distract them for a bit.
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  #10  
January 21st, 2013, 06:48 PM
irish luck's Avatar *Callie*
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 5,843
Do you go out to eat often with your toddler? We eat out about 1 a month with the kids.

What kinds of restaurants do you take him/her to? We do family resturants Boston pizza, Crabby Joes (kids eat free Sun) Kelsey's (kids eat free Mon)

When you go out to eat with your toddler, how do they act? Logan is good, Gavin is ok
as long as we keep it fairly short

On a scale of 1 - 10 (1 being "oh my gosh, we will NEVER eat out again" and 10 is "Miss Manners would be so proud!"), how would you rate them? Logan is a 9-10 and Gavin is a 8ish.

Any absolute "restaurant nightmares" to share? We havent had any horrible dinners but I dont find them overly enjoyable, I tend to stress about them being good. I find going out for dinner with others (outside my parents) isnt worth it,,,, you cant take 30 mins to choose what you want to order when you have a 2 year old


Any tips you'd like to share to make the experience more successful? We take little cars with us and the colouring is normally enough

***** the big tip I have is getting the bill with the food. That way you can pay it even while you are still eatting. If our dinners starts to go down hill it can turn to trouble fast if you need to wait to get the waiters attention, then wait for them to get the bill, then wait for them to process it
If you pay while you eat you can make a fast exit
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  #11  
January 21st, 2013, 07:43 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 32,940
Good tip Callie!

I forgot I wanted to put about MY worst nightmare as a kid. It was right when we moved here, so it was right before going into 4th grade. We were eating at a family kind of restaurant and I had pancakes and chocolate milk. A little after eating I started feeling sick so I wanted to go to the bathroom, but since we had never been there before (had JUST travelled from NE to IL that day!) I went to the front to ask where it was and when I went to ask, all that came out was Where is the <barf all over the place!> I was so embarrassed, as were my parents. My dad teased me for so long after that. Anytime we'd go somewhere knew, he'd tell me to make sure I new where the barfroom was.
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  #12  
January 21st, 2013, 08:17 PM
Pupcake74's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 1,580
Do you go out to eat often with your toddler? a couple times a month

What kinds of restaurants do you take him/her to? sit down but not fancy

When you go out to eat with your toddler, how do they act? Good

On a scale of 1 - 10 (1 being "oh my gosh, we will NEVER eat out again" and 10 is "Miss Manners would be so proud!"), how would you rate them? 8 or 9

Any absolute "restaurant nightmares" to share? Don't have any.....all 3 of our kids have been pretty good

Any tips you'd like to share to make the experience more successful? We just intact with them and typically we go for early dinner. Around 5 so they are not over tired or starving.
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  #13  
January 22nd, 2013, 01:45 PM
The Heather's Avatar Jedi Master of Piffleness
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Tucson, Arizona
Posts: 10,436
Do you go out to eat often with your toddler? Yes

What kinds of restaurants do you take him/her to? Fast food frequently and casual sit down a couple of times a month.

When you go out to eat with your toddler, how do they act? Chase is usually pretty good, unless it is close to nap time or bed time. Then he can get a little cranky.

On a scale of 1 - 10 (1 being "oh my gosh, we will NEVER eat out again" and 10 is "Miss Manners would be so proud!"), how would you rate them? Usually around a 7 or 8

Any absolute "restaurant nightmares" to share? Nope, not yet. Fingers crossed!

Any tips you'd like to share to make the experience more successful? I try to avoid times that he is super tired or really hungry. I usually bring something to entertain him (or let him use my phone to play games) while we wait. He has also been going out to eat since he was a baby, so I think that makes it a little easier. He sort of knows the routine of eating out.
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  #14  
January 23rd, 2013, 07:12 PM
mrsdaiwa24's Avatar Amy, soon-to-be-mama of 2
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: The Midwest
Posts: 10,094
Do you go out to eat often with your toddler? We went out about once a month until this summer and then due to some rocky experiences, we scaled back.

What kinds of restaurants do you take him/her to? Sit down but not fancy

When you go out to eat with your toddler, how do they act? It's a complete gamble. Sometimes she's perfect and sometimes she's unbearable. Like Callie, I usually don't enjoy myself when we're out -- I'm too busy trying to entertain and/or deal with her behavior.

On a scale of 1 - 10 (1 being "oh my gosh, we will NEVER eat out again" and 10 is "Miss Manners would be so proud!"), how would you rate them? I'll go with a 5-6. Like I said, sometimes she's perfect and sometimes I wish that we never left the house.

Any absolute "restaurant nightmares" to share? We had two back-to-back bad dinners this past summer where food went flying and she was out of control. During one of the nights, she had to be removed 3 times from the table.

Any tips you'd like to share to make the experience more successful? We go out to eat when Betsy's meal times are. I always bring a couple of healthy snacks in case she won't eat anything off the actual menu. I also bring her own plate and flatware to make it easier for her.
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  #15  
January 29th, 2013, 10:06 AM
AtomicMama's Avatar CopperBoom!
Join Date: May 2008
Location: MI
Posts: 14,754
Do you go out to eat often with your toddler? No. As infrequently as possible. If anything, we try to do take out.

What kinds of restaurants do you take him/her to? If we HAVE to, we will very rarely take him to Applebees. Sometimes Chic-Fil-A because of the play area.

When you go out to eat with your toddler, how do they act? Horrendous. He is a maniac at restaurants. He hates to eat anywhere, so it's bad at restaurants. He's loud. He does not sit still. He won't sit in a high chair or booster without screaming. If he's in a chair or a booth he tries to run all over the place. He throws food and refuses to eat. 99% of the time I end up sitting with him in the car waiting for everyone else.

On a scale of 1 - 10 (1 being "oh my gosh, we will NEVER eat out again" and 10 is "Miss Manners would be so proud!"), how would you rate them? A 1. I am not over exaggerating. Max is typically better in public than at home, but for some crazy reason he is terrible at restaurants.

Any absolute "restaurant nightmares" to share? He once shocked himself on an outlet while trying to crawl under the table. Once, we were out to breakfast with my parents and he hit my mom, and then spent the rest of the meal sitting with me in time out outside the restaurant. At this point, we usually just assume someone will spend half the meal in the car with him. Actually, at this point, we've pretty much given up on taking him to restaurants.

Any tips you'd like to share to make the experience more successful? Leave Max at home. That said, on the very rare occasion that he's rested and happy and we do risk it, we always order his food (and Sam's) as soon as we sit down and tell the waiter to bring it as soon as possible. We order easy, quick food for the rest of us, and things that will pack up easily to take home if needed. Like Callie suggested, we ask for the bill when the food comes. I always bring lots of toys and activities, although they rarely help, I imagine they would with a child who wasn't a terror when it came to eating out. I usually bring light snacks and extra juice boxes so he has something to do while waiting. Lastly, I always go in prepared to leave and wait in the car (or go home) at any point in the meal. Max now knows that I don't mess around and will leave with him (which he HATES). I'm just waiting for it to start reflecting in his behavior.

I realize that I came down really hard on Max. He isn't a bad kid in general. He is typically very good in public (Malls, Shopping, Grocery Stores, Parks, the zoo, going to the doctor, pretty much anywhere else), but he is just HORRIBLE at restaurants. I'm not sure what it is.
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