eating out with toddlers

Theresa - posted on 07/03/2009 ( 9 moms have responded )

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When we take our toddler out to eat with us, she ALWAYS seems to misbehave. So therefore we feel we have to scarf our food down and get out of there as soon as possible. I've been thinking that maybe I could entertain her until the food arrives, but not really sure how I could do that. She has no interest in the crayons that the resturants give you. Does anyone else have this problem? I am so open to suggestions.

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Jocelyn - posted on 07/03/2009

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my son is 2.5 and we get them to bring out his food early. we also give him a glass with lots of ice and a straw/spoon in it and he'll play with that for ages lol.

Christine - posted on 07/03/2009

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Bring a new little toy, even a mcdonalds toy, what it is, and what its worth is, isn't important, as long as it's new and can engage her interest. For my son, I'll bring a new hotwheels car, not a huge purchase and I don't feel like i'm spoiling him, but he'll play with it, and with the people at the table and he's quite content until the food arrives.

Marisol - posted on 07/03/2009

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this has definitely improved over the last cpl yrs. My son is 4 now, but i find that i still ask to have his food brought out first. He tends to really only want to eat the same things: chicken fingers/fries or pancakes,eggs and bacon. So needless to say, i really only go to the places that serve a full menu 24/7 ( ihop, cracker barrel, denny's, etc. ). Although, i would like to try new places with him and try to introduce him to dif things, i can still order something traditional for me and have the safe choices for him. I also allow him to take in 1 small car. Lately, he's been interested in "building blocks" with the jelly container. Lol

Heather - posted on 07/03/2009

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We give our son one or two of the sugar packets to play with. He also likes to play with straws. You can always ask the waitress/waiter to bring some crackers or something right away so she has something to eat. The last time we went out, they had the ketchup bottle on the table. We would squeeze a little onto the back of his hand (being careful not to touch his hand to the bottle) and he had a blast licking it off over and over.

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Lindsay - posted on 07/04/2009

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My 23 month old son tends to get fussy at times when try to eat out too. My husband I found that by packing some of his favorite toys and healthy snacks that keeps him occupied. Also some places you can ask for a fruit bowl, or kid friendly appetizer to be brought out before the rest of the meal so he isn't kept waiting for long.

My other suggestion, is keep track of his napping schedule. My son we noticed would be more frustrated when they are a tired.

If all else fails there is always take-out ^_^; (or finding a babysitter)

Anita - posted on 07/04/2009

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Its always going ot be hard taking a toddler out and eat even if u've been doing it since they're very young..I'm rather lucky that my 22 month old behaves well whenever we go out to dine..What I always do for emergency sakes is to take a few small toys (without them knowing so when you whip it out its a suprsie for them) and I would take it out one at a time (when they show signs of getting bored with one, you bring out another)..Instead of using the restuarants crayons, take your own activity books and rading books...kids prefer their own things...Try not to strap your toddler in too early and pick something from the menu that doesnt take too long to serve and that your toddler can also eat. When a toddler is left to eat on their own it gives you a little time to enjoy your meal too...I would also add as a really last resort (which we have not yet needed to use) if you have a travel dvd player then u can always put on their fav dvd on..

Lynlee - posted on 07/03/2009

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Our son was like this and it ruins a nice meal out when he starts whinging and trying to get out of his chair! One thing we discovered the last time we went out was take him to a busy child-friendly resturant. We went to Lone Star on a Saturday night and the table next to us had some older kids at it and the waitresses were all running around and he spent the whole time watching the other kids and all the activity around us. We also drew cars and things with him on the paper. It was the best time and we stayed for about 2.5 hours and didn't feel the need to rush as he was happy just watching everything going on around him.

Cara - posted on 07/03/2009

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my son is 1.5, and to keep him busy I always bring some snacks and a few toys (especially anything that I can attach to the high chair with plastic links). Right now he has a mini magna doodle witch he loves. Also maybe have toys that are only for when you go out to eat, that way they are new and exciting for him each time!

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my son will play the crayons for a little while but then he gets bored or throws them. we try to bring a few small toys from home with us. right now hes into cars and trains so we bring a few of those that he push on the table. if your toddler has some small toys that they like you could try taking those.

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