We want to first say that with unpredictable tiny humans, there are times when no tips will work! We all have had a moment while in public that no tricks would work! But, we have found some of these things to be helpful when eating or waiting at a restaurant.
- Salt and Pepper Shaker Game.
This has easily been Lucian’s most successful tip for this list. Months ago, he came up with the idea that the salt and pepper shakers were specific characters from his favorite show. They talk to each other and also hide from each We followed his lead and this game has carried on! Since most restaurant tables have these, we think this was a genius idea. I only wish I could take credit.
- Magnet sets
These come in a travel tin, so they are perfect for throwing in a diaper bag or carrying into a restaurant. We have this Paw Patrol set, but I think Lu would love the Goodnight Goodnight Construction site one too!
- I SPY
As soon as we could, we started trying to play I SPY while we are out. We didn’t start with colors, we started with simple objects like “I spy a fan!” Now, he will request this game! He gives hilarious hints and usually points directly at what he spies, but its fun for everyone!
Brooks LOVES this one and it is the most successful one for us! He usually starts this one as soon as we find ourselves waiting anywhere!
Speaking of I SPY, we love look and find books at restaurants. We also enjoy Shine a Light books since we always have a flashlight with us on our phones! Any book, especially interactive ones will do!
- Disposable Placemats
When kids first start eating, it is easier to just put their food on the table, so I liked to cover the table when we were eating out (at least in the beginning)! I did this on the cheap and just carried Press and Seal in our diaper bag. But these mats are way cuter!
- Mash Bowl
I was obsessed with this bowl. I could just throw a banana or avocado in my bag and knew I cold smash it right at the table!
- Outdoor Seating
We LOVE places that have room for the kids to run and play while we enjoy our meal! This isn’t always an option, but it makes dinner much easier when it is!
Last week, we were at a restaurant for a birthday party and Lucian only wanted to eat parmesan cheese and fruit snacks. And you know what, I gave him exactly that (and also the meal we had ordered him, which he didn’t touch)! He was a little bit grumpy that day and he had fallen and hit his head pretty good. So, I knew we were on the verge of losing it at any minute. I knew that if I just let him eat whatever he wanted, we would all enjoy the birthday dinner more. Honestly, we aren’t super strict with what Lucian eats, but normally fruit snacks and parmesan certainly wouldn’t count as dinner! You are not going to ruin your child’s diet with one meal made entirely of snacks! And sometimes, your priority can be enjoying your night with friends!