Friday, 2 August 2013

Eating Out with a Toddler

When Calleigh was a baby it was really easy for us to go out for a meal. Most of the time Calleigh would remain asleep in the pushchair and if she did wake up a bit of milk would normally keep her happy. She was very good as a baby.
Even when she grew a bit older and was big enough to be put in a high chair she would sit there and look around quite happy. I never purchased any kid's meals when she was that young and normally brought some kind of bowl or packet food with me  for her to have. 

Now though, it is a completely different story. 
Calleigh is older, more curious and much more of a fidget bum. Because of this we tend not to go out very much anymore. 
On our recent trip to Florida we didn't have much choice and had to eat out. 

Our preferred sort of place to eat with Calleigh is somewhere that offers a buffet and the option for kids to eat free. That way we are not restricted to a less than exciting kids menu and don't have to pay for something Calleigh is not going to eat. 
Seating wise we try to get a booth if we can, that was Calleigh can sit next to us on a booster seat instead of in a high chair. Calleigh doesn't stay sat in the high chair very long now and tries her best to climb out of them unless we can keep her entertained. Restaurants that offer crayons for kids are great!

On my birthday we went for a meal at TGI Fridays and I was very happy to see a more exciting kids menu, with more than just chicken nuggets or burgers. We brought Calleigh the spaghetti with marinara sauce. She loves spaghetti! When the meal arrived it was huge! 

That was a pretty successful experience. 
Others have not been so good. We went to one restaurant and Calleigh would just not sit still. Everything was thrown on the floor, she kept shouting and was generally just a nightmare. Although some bloke sitting across from us found her hilarious. I partly blame him Calleighs behaviour, his laughing made her think it was okay to carry on what she was doing and she acted up for the crowd.

We plan to try and go out more often as if we don't get her used to the environment and how to act then she will just carry on. Don't get me wrong I want it to be a fun experience for her too so I don't plan to just have her sit there in silence, only able to move her hands but I would prefer a little less animal behaviour.

It seems to be hit and miss with Calleigh. Sometimes she will be an angel and eat all her food and really enjoy herself playing with the crayons. Other times, well let's just say we sometimes want to walk out mid way through our meal. 

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