Preschoolers eating out, manners
April 2018 – Prestige Preschool Academy – Tips For Eating Out With Kids

Eating out With Kids

Here are some great tips for eating out with kids and enjoying the experience.  Children learn and gain confidence as they develop social skills and manners.  Learning restaurant manners at an early age will get your child off to a good start.  Prepare for a stress-free outing by using these simple tips.

Make Sure Kids Are Welcome

Not all restaurants embrace children; some are explicit about that, others are not. Play it safe and call ahead. This is a good opportunity to check that there is a children’s menu or something on the regular menu that your kids will eat.

Ease Slowly Into Fine Dining

If this is your first foray into dining out with the little ones, choose somewhere nice, not too fancy, and family-friendly. In the beginning, order just one course.  “Most parents can gauge what their children can handle,” says Jessica Ritz, creator of Taster Tots LA (tastertotsla.com), a blog that lists child-friendly restaurants with adult-friendly food in Los Angeles. “By a certain age, some kids enjoy dining role-play too, like placing a cloth napkin in their laps.”

Eat Early

An overtired or over-hungry child is no fun for anyone, so hit your favorite spot in the mid-afternoon, after your little one has had a nap, or while the Early Bird Special is still available. The restaurant will be quieter, you’ll be less likely to disturb other diners, the waitstaff will be less frazzled, and (best of all) your child won’t be exhausted.

Pack Your Own Distractions

Pack a few toys, books, tools for coloring, or anything that will keep your kids quiet and won’t make noise that will distract other diners. Murphy cautions against electronics, though. “Coloring is fine, but please leave the iPads, iPods, DS games, and any other electronic device at home. Parents want peace and quiet when they eat, but the way to get that to happen is not to reinforce that children will get to watch a movie if they scream or misbehave.

Think About Seating

Request a corner table rather than one in the middle of the room or ask your server where the least conspicuous spot in the dining room is. Your kids will be out of the way of other diners and more contained in a private area. This will also help keep any kids’ noises or disturbances from being too noticeable and make the overall experience more enjoyable.

 Always Say “Thanks”

“What better setting for adults to model and teach good manners than in restaurants?” Ritz asks. Take the opportunity to explain how important it is to say “please” and “thank you” to waiters when making a request and to say “thank you” again to the restaurant host at the end of the meal. If the kids are old enough, teach them about tipping for good service, and get them to help count out the tip. “If you can spare a minute before you leave, make an effort to tidy up your area a bit,” Ritz says. “Especially if it’s a place you want to eat at again!”

Manners for 3, 4, & 5  Year Olds is part of the Prestige Curriculum.
Taken from Parents Magazine by Kirsten Matthew.  You can read the full article here .  Copyright © 2012 Meredith Corporation..
Image:  BabyGizmo.com