Instead of dreading eating out with your toddler, let me show you how to create a survival kit that has the tools to help you enjoy family dinners again. Once I started using these simple tips my stress level went down when we had dinner out, and I know yours will too. I’m excited to share this mom hack with you and let you in on my bag of tricks!
I’m the kinda girl that enjoys eating out. I mean, who doesn’t love the idea of having someone cook your meal for you and clean up?! Yes please!
Here’s the truth though, when you’re a mom of a toddler the thought of having a nice family dinner at a restaurant doesn’t even sound possible let alone fun. In fact, when I mention eating out with a toddler you may laugh at the idea or it might make your stress level go up…I know it did for me.
Don’t miss out…put a plan in place!
I’ll be the first to admit that there were plenty of times I told my husband I’d rather eat at home instead of chancing it at the restaurant. I don’t want you to miss out like I did!
Once I put a plan in place – my survival kit – we began having nice family dinners where I didn’t constantly feel stressed out and I even began to enjoy our time together. I’m here to tell you that having an enjoyable family meal with a toddler is possible!
Everything in this survival kit is going to seem super simple…and it is…but each and every item gave me the success I needed to have an enjoyable meal when we visited restaurants.
Let me show you what’s in mom’s survival kit!
Toddler Flatware – Have you seen the size of silverware at restaurants…it’s ginormous for a toddler to use.
Reusable Placemats – It’s inevitable that food is going to fall off of your toddler’s plate onto the table. When you have these placemats under the plate (they’re awesome because they have grippy bottoms that stay put) you won’t have to panic as much about table germs.
Miracle Cup – I love these cups because if they fall over (which, hello they will with a toddler) they won’t spill. (Yes, some restaurants have cups for kids with lids and a straw but even if those tip over on the table they’ll still make a mess.)
Baby Wipes – Even if it’s only a small package, baby wipes are a must! (You can also get a refillable wipes travel case.)
Snacks – Whether it’s a box of raisins, a bag of crackers or individual portions of your toddlers favorite snack, bring a little something you know your child will eat. Not only can a snack keep your toddler preoccupied while you’re waiting on your food but it’s also a great thing to keep on hand in case you want to order an appetizer that you know your child won’t eat.
Toys – It’s highly likely that your family will not only have to wait to be seated when you arrive at the restaurant but you’ll also have to wait for the food after you’ve ordered it. And while some restaurants have coloring sheets and crayons for your child some won’t. Set your child up for success by having a few toys in your survival kit for them to play with.
***Super Important*** I want to encourage you to only let your child play with these toys when you’re eating out at restaurants. This will keep the toys “fresh” and “new” in the eyes of your toddler which will keep him preoccupied playing with these toys longer. Every month or two you’ll want to switch out the toys to mix it up for him.
Here are a few of my son’s favorites.
Check out more screen free activities for toddlers here.
Mom’s survival kit is a simple but powerful tool!
Like I said, this survival kit is super simple but it has also been a very powerful tool and helped this momma be able to eat out with my toddler with less stress.
I’d love to know how you keep stress to a minimum when eating out with your toddler. Please share in the comments below so the rest of us can glean from your wisdom!