Eating Out with Kids
Tips on What to Order 

Dr. Maria Rivera

Eating out with kids, do you dare? Eating out has been a big part of my husband and my relationship so we have been taking our now two year old to restaurants since he was a baby. Sometimes it goes great, sometimes it ends in tears (more mine than his). Today I wanted to share a couple of steps we follow when eating out with kids, specifically how we pick meals for him at restaurants. These are geared towards babies and toddlers and I hope you find them helpful. 

1. Pick something for yourself that your kid might also enjoy

We are big on having him eat what we are eating. We don’t make separate meals for him at home either. At restaurants since there are lots of variable I pick a meal for myself that I know has at least 1 thing he loves. Or a side dish he might love even if its plain rice. This meal in picture I picked because I know he LOVES rice and beans. 

2. Make a small plate of their own from your own plate

Portion sizes in the U.S. are usually huge anyways! 

3. Start their plate with very small portions, especially of foods they are skeptical of.

Kids get really overwhelmed and this will encourage them to try more things. You can imagine eating out with kids is itself overwhelming for little ones. Remember, you can always offer more!

4. Don’t pressure kids to eat

Don’t talk about the food. You have provided them with food and options (including 1 you know they love!) Let them decide if and what they eat. 

5. Let your little one eat as much as they want from the options you provide.

From this plate Zayn wanted more rice and more beans, and wouldn’t touch his shrimp. That’s ok! Trust they know what their body needs. 

How about eating out with kids with food allergies?

Eating out with a child with food allergies is a bit different. Check out our guide to that here. 

What do you do? 

If you have any tips for eating out with kids, we’re all ears!


Need a place to go?

OpenTable has a kid friendly round up. Is there a place near you on the list? 

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