When M started eating solid food, we started eating out again. We were so excited about being able to take the whole family out to eat, since it had been something that we enjoyed before.
Along the way we've learned what works and what doesn't work to keep her mellow. Surprisingly empty restaurants are a no no (thank you to the hostess who seated us in the empty corner for helping us learn that one the hard way), since she's a social girl and is quiet when getting attention. Bring snacks, food rarely comes as fast as you need it to. Bring veggies when going to a "family" restaurant, since they seem to be the worst for kids meals. When ordering fast food (what, like you've never done it?), your best bet is the hamburger, and bless the people who finally decided to offer something other than French fries (yay apple fries).
And of course, my personal favorite, you will never order anything you really want for yourself ever again. I learned this one last week on my birthday. We decided to put our lessons to good use and go out to (gasp) a fine dining restaurant in the neighborhood. Being a neighborhood joint we knew they had a reputation as being welcoming to kids, but we were a little unsure and we were going to risk it.
M did great. It was earlier on a week day, and it was pretty quiet, but the wait staff did a great job entertaining her. They didn't have a kids menu, but offered buttered noodles, and we were happy to say we didn't need them, she eats veggies. I ordered things with veggies she would eat, and they were kind enough to bring some bread for her to snack on while we waited on the food. While we were eating, the chef came over and complimented her (and us) on her eating. He was happy not to be buttering noodles.
So far, we've managed not have any restaurant meltdowns. We're hoping to keep it that way, so we're planning on regular practice. If we do, we're at least hoping it isn't anywhere we want to eat regularly.
This post was written for Parent Bloggers Network as part of a sweepstakes sponsored by Burger King Corp.
Is it wrong I want to go order a kids meal so I can play with the toys?