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The Ten Rules of Dining Out with Children

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by Shannon Meyerkort (subscribe)
Writer. Blogger. Mother. Food-Lover. Chief Editor at freeperth.com.au/ Find out more about me at shannonmeyerkort.com/ or join me at Relentless frommumtome.blogspot.com.au/ and fundraisingmums.com.au
Published May 22nd 2012
1. Leave them at home where possible. I have three kids, so I can say that. But when you are unable to bribe a family member, neighbour, or spotty high school student, I suggest you try the following in order to survive your night out.

Be prepared for anything. Baby wipes are your friend


2. Avoid any restaurant where the stemware on the table costs the same as your monthly mortgage repayment.

3. A phone call in advance to find out about pram access, high chairs, kids' menu and change facilities can be the difference between a comfortable meal, and eating a steak with a toddler on your lap and changing the baby in the back of the car.

4. If you have fussy children, sneak their favourite food in your handbag and feed them under the table rather than spend money on a kids' meal that you will end up eating yourself.

Waiter, more prawn crackers please


5. Watch out for young, childless waiters who think it is a clever idea to put steaming bowls of soup/curry/sizzling satay prawns within arm's reach of your grabby toddler.

6. It is entirely valid to use dessert as a bribe to get your kids to sit down and be quiet.

7. As soon as you arrive, remove all glass, metal, china and pepper-filled objects from a two feet space around each child.

8. Order a basket of chips or bread as soon as you walk through the door to avoid long waits and whingey kids.

9. Take toys (without sound effects), paper and pencils, books or anything that will distract your child. A portable DVD player with headphones probably isn't overkill these days.

Restaurants that provide colouring-in are always a winner with kids (and parents)


10. Repeat after me: A ten-course degustation with matching wine. Bad idea. A meal that can be prepared and eaten within an hour. Good idea. Chinese, pasta, pizza, burgers... You will be much more likely to end with all family members still alive and on speaking terms.

Bon appetite
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Why? Because kids need to eat too
When: Kid-friendly early service
Where: A restaurant near you
Cost: A small piece of your sanity
Your Comment
11. Don't feel bad when you completely break the 'I won't use the iPad to get my child to behave' rule that you set for yourself before you had children. Childless you didn't know diddly squat.
by Carly Ogborne (score: 3|4616) 1406 days ago
LOL - love the first pic. I always take ipad or iphone with kid friendly apps - gives us an extra half hour at least
by Zara May (score: 0|7) 1897 days ago
Brilliant article! As a mother I can really relate to this and completely agree with all your sentiments! :)
by Sally Writes (score: 2|533) 1742 days ago
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