Tips for Toddlers in Restaurants

Kids eating Spaghetti

Going out for dinner with your toddler doesn’t have to be stressful – although I know it can be! We can’t always predict how they are going to behave in public or whether or not they will eat what we order them. Here are a few tips and tricks that may help you in making the experience a little bit easier on you and your family.


If your child’s bedtime is at 7 pm and you usually start their bedtime routine around 6 pm, try and go for an early dinner between 4:30-5pm if possible. This will leave ample time to get home and settled.


Look at the menu ahead of time if you can and make sure you are ready to order right away. Ensure you are prepared to leave easily and quickly after the meal especially if you are bringing your toddler out close to bedtime.


This will simply take off the added stress that we do not need as parents!

Child eating dessert


Pack some fruit, veggie sticks, or crackers if your toddler gets a little fussy before their order comes.
Anyone with a toddler knows they love to keep busy. By packing one of their favourite toys or games, this may help keep them happy before their food arrives.
Bring a fun bib, spoon/fork and silicone plate, make them feel as if it’s meal time for them too! Often toddlers just want to be like us big kids 🙂
Bring their favourite cup and ask the waiter/waitress to put their drink inside


Some healthy ideas for children in restaurants are:

  • Order water
  • Avoid deep fried foods
  • Order a side salad, raw veggies or steamed veggies if your toddler will eat them!
  • Many kids meals in restaurants are not healthy. Another option is to order a meal from the adult side of the menu and share it with your child
  • Order a few healthy side options and create a meal for your child. Ex. soup, baked or sweet potato, shrimp skewers or grilled chicken.

If you are trying to focus on the health and nutrition of your family, it is usually best to eat out less often and enjoy home-cooked meals – but you probably already knew that! Hopefully, these tips help when you do decide to enjoy a morning, afternoon or evening out with your family.

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