Tips for Toddlers in Restaurants

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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.

Go EARLY

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.

Be QUICK

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.

Go somewhere FAMILY FRIENDLY

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

Child eating dessert

Pack the ESSENTIALS

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

NUTRITION tips

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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Jenna StandishContributor
Jenna Standish is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist, Reiki level one practitioner and RMT student. She gets excited about all things nutrition, fitness and personal development but her biggest passion of all is being a Mom to her sweet baby girl, Lennon. Since becoming a mother in 2017, Jenna’s dream has changed to guide and empower women to become the healthiest and happiest versions of themselves. She loves to motivate women to take control of their body, mind and spirit health so that they can show up as their best selves every day, especially for their families. Follow her on Instagram to receive tips, tricks, free recipes, health and wellness advice.


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