Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Eating out with a toddler

Its rare the three of us eat out together, between work, nap times and being unable to decide where we want to go, it rarely works out. As it was Mothers Day we decided to make the effort and go out to one of our favourite bars - The Market Bar. Going anywhere with a toddler requires a bit of planning, in order to avoid a meltdown. 

Here's how we manage:

1. Choose a child friendly restaurant

The Market Bar is pretty good in terms of child friendliness. Its big and roomy with plenty of tables that have buggy space. As well as that, they have a table with toys and a good few high chairs. We have a booster seat that we keep in the boot of the car in case the restaurant doesn't have high chairs  (its surprising how many places don't). 

2. Don't go at nap time

Being anywhere but home at nap time tends to be a bit of a disaster as Lyla isn't into sleeping in her buggy or car seat. So all plans have to be made pre mid-day or post 2 o'clock. If she's out at nap time everything gets thrown on the floor and there's always the risk of an almighty tantrum.

3. Bring entertainment

Crayons and a colouring book is the best for keeping her occupied. I don't like her having much screen time as she becomes an absolute zombie and goes mental when you try to take it away, but an episode of Holly and Ben or Peppa is great for when she's getting bored.

4. Bring food

Yeh, bring your own food to the restaurant. if your child is any near as fussy as Lyla then just bring what you know they'll eat. Lyla is awful for having a meltdown if she's offered anything she's unfamiliar with. (So irrational) We always have ham and cheese sandwich's with us as a back up. 

5. Don't take forever

Don't spend ages deciding what to order or ordering too many courses. Keeping a child in a high chair longer than an hour is asking for trouble!

I've made it sound like eating out is way more effort than its worth, its not. I love eating out with Lyla. She charms the staff and is usually delighted to be in a new environment. Plus I love food. 


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