Dining out with Toddlers

If you think I’m crazy, as many people do, just for attempting to eat out with toddlers, that’s okay.  I am a little crazy, hehe, but I don’t mind having to eat out with the kids.  We eat out way too often, but when we have to go do things, we are generally gone from a good portion of the day.  My family gets together for birthday dinners and the guest of honor gets to choose the restaurant and we don’t want to miss out!  Dining out with two little ones can be interesting.  With Maggie, I was always very lucky.  She has always been very well behaved when we are out to dinner.  Charlie is a little busier, so I have to plan accordingly, but he loves food and is very cooperative!  I tend to think that they behave so well because of the fact that we have to eat out somewhat regularly, and they know what to expect.

Our Piece of EArth, Tuesday's Toddler Tales,

A few things we {almost} always have with us are:  disposable placemats that stick to the table.  Yes, I know, they don’t really fit with the green living thing we are working on, but they are the best solution we have found so far.  I do not have faith that restaurant tables are extra clean, so being able to feed my baby boy while keeping his food off the table is very important to us.  We absolutely must have sippy cups!  While they can both drink from a regular cup, less mess when we are out makes my life easier.  Having quiet activities for them to do helps keep them busy while we are waiting for our food.  I let Maggie pack some things to bring with, and we generally have books, paper, pens/crayons, a baby doll, and matchbox cars.  You may also hear us singing a song or two while we wait, hehe.


When possible, I try to get a booth, but with a large group that isn’t always possible.  The booth allows my little goofballs a place to move around.  My dear friend Katie and I use to have a standing date at Pizza Hut for lunch 2 times a month after our breastfeeding group. It was very laid back.  There generally weren’t too many people in there, so the girls could get down and play a little bit.  If I can manage it, I get a spot in a more secluded section of the restaurant.  I love when places have party rooms.  It makes a nice boundary for the kids.


Since I know my little crazies, I always get extra napkins right away!  Just in case.  Even with nothing at the table, they can still find a way to get into something if I give them a second.


Those are the little things I do to make dining out with my babies more pleasant for me and everybody else.  Do you dine out with your kids?  Is it a pleasant experience or one you dread every time?


Toddler Tuesday
Each week we are linking up for Tuesday’s Toddler Tales.  This week’s topic is dining out with toddlers.  Next week, we are talking about personality traits you would love for your child to have.  Link up any post, old or new as long as it’s on topic!





  • For the most part, I love eating out with our boys! They are 4 and 1 1/2 and (usually!) pretty well behaved. The absolute best thing we’ve found out so far is that they do a TON better with less of a wait time for the food. Once the food gets there, they are happy to eat, but that wait time can lead to some grumpiness! So, if it’s just our family going out we will go to a buffet of some kind so we don’t have to wait for our food. If it isn’t our choice on where to go, I’ll sometimes bring a little snack with us in case they are begging for food before it comes. 🙂

  • Some great advice for once my boy gets to be a toddler! Have you considered reusable paper towels instead of disposable placemats?

    • I haven’t. The reason I use the disposable ones is b/c they have a peel off thing on the top and bottom so they stick to the table. I’m sure there is a reusable thing but I haven’t found it yet.

  • We take out 2 year old out to dinner and hes really good . Hes a little bit messy but all 2 year olds are. I recommend taking the take and toss sippy cups . I once left a brand new sippy cup in a restaurant we went back a few minutes later and it was already gone. I always bring a good bib too.

  • The disposable placemats are a great idea. I really doubt the rag they wiped the table with is clean…ew. Great idea!

  • Our family also celebrates or meets up for meals often. I have a 7 month old who just started baby led weaning and we were looking for tips for eating out! I love the disposable placemats! I have to find some of those! I know Chikfila has them on their high chairs as we have used them before. I love that they stick to the table. Thanks for the tips!

  • I’ve been very fortunate with our little one. She is a social butterfly and is always getting the attention of other diners. She’ll wave hi to them and bat her eyelashes. I don’t need to put much though into entertaining her because people watching is almost always enough for her. We do make sure to bring our own sippy cup too. It really makes life easier.

  • I don’t mind dining out with children as long as it is a children friendly, family restaurant. I would NEVER bring my child to a nicer place and find it really rude when others think it is ok. It is a huge pet peeve of mine.

  • My 2 year old son has so much energy and loves to be on the go so it’s difficult to get him to sit down in a restaurant where you have to wait! He’s not bad in fast food since you get it immediately, but no amount of toys or distractions have worked yet – especially if he’s not hungry as he’s in the “I’ll eat once, MAYBE twice a day” phase right now. Definitely something we need to work on with him!

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