Oct 02

How To Make Dining Out a Breeze

Here are a few items that are sure to make dining out an easier experience.  Whether at a restaurant or simply on the go while visiting friends or family, these items have made my life much simpler.

Before my daughter was born, my wife and I used to eat out often. Even if it was a quick bite at our favorite local sushi restaurant, we were out several times a week enjoying the many restaurants in our town.  Now that Shelby is here, our eating out habits have been dramatically cut back.  We still like to occasionally eat out together though now this usually means as a family. Don’t worry – we are not those people who take their children to widely inappropriate restaurants – only family friendly places with Shelby! (My personal favorite is Chip’s which recently opened a 2nd restaurant which just so happens to be in our town. I could eat the banana chocolate chip pancakes for every meal…. Don’t tempt me….)

Eating out with kids can be challenge at times and for a variety of reasons, but I have found some great items that have made it a breeze.

Shelby ready to dine out

Shelby happy as ever with her bib and place-mat ready to go.

Here they are in no particular order:

1.     Throw away bibs – these are amazing! They come in a pack of 16 and fold up very small which can be easily stored. I usually leave 1 or 2 in my diaper bag. The best part is that when are done, you simply just rip it off and throw out. I’m not sure about other kids, but Shelby can be pretty messy at time (hello mac and cheese), so it’s nice you don’t have to worry about carrying around a dirty bib which can sometimes smell after a while. Here is the link to the product that we purchased – Bibsters 16 CT- Large

 Throw Away Bib

We always make sure to keep a few of these in the diaper bag. Clean clothes and less food on the floor!

2. Placemats – Have you ever been to a restaurant and just felt like the table was not clean enough for your not-yet-ready-for-plates child to eat off of? Not sure about your children, but plate and Shelby do not mesh well, so she often eats her food off her highchair and/or table. We have found these plastic placemats that stick in place. They also provide entertainment as they have Elmo on there too. Here is the link to the product we purchased – Neat Solutions Table Topper Stay-in-Place Mat – Sesame Street – 18 count w/ case

 Elmo placemat and carrier

Easy entertainment with Elmo joining for a meal. Also, a simple case for when traveling.

3. Travel booster seat – Booster seats can be large and bulky and hard to take from place to place. Last Thanksgiving, Erica’s cousins had this travel booster that collapses into a bag for easy transport. We immediately went to Amazon to order one for ourselves. 6 months later, it arrived and we could not live without it. It’s so small and packs up so nice that we often leave it in the car, so we always have a place for Shelby to eat. Here is the link to the product we purchased – Regalo My Chair Portable Booster

 Portable booster

Shelby didn’t cooperate so here’s a stock photo but this is a necessity at friends houses.

4. Disinfecting wipes – It is a moment many of us can recount over and over.  You are out for a meal and go to sit your child down but realize that the chair, booster, or table is absolutely filthy. You think about wiping it down with a napkin, or maybe a wet paper towel, or anything else you can think of in that hurried moment.  Most of us carry around diaper wipes as a standard issue item in our diaper bags.  Another main item to have (especially in those germ filled winter months) is hand sanitizer.  However, not every diaper bag seems to have something for truly cleaning that troubling surface in front of you.  There are many options out there but here is an item I found in the discount travel bins at a local store.  What I liked about these specifically is that the package was easy to reseal..a necessity for any on-the-go parent! Here is the link to the product we purchased – Clorox Disinfecting Wipes To Go Pack 9ct (This link is for a box of 24, if you go to a local store like Bed Bath & Beyond or similar you can usually find them sold separately for about $1 each.)

 to go wipes

This is compact enough for your back pocket or bag and the best part is it is resealable.

Overall, these products are what have allowed us to eat out with Shelby. I mean – who wants to cook every night?!

Do you have any favorite items for dining out or just some general tips on how to make it a smooth (and fun!) experience?  Do you have similar items to these that you think are even better?  If so, please share below in the comments!

Please note these are some of my personal favorites and the companies listed did not ask me to post about these items. I wasn’t paid and I didn’t receive any demo products. This is just my family sharing our favorite items with yours!

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