We’ve heard of restaurant kits. Many moms have lived by this necessity especially when they’re dining out with kids. Nobody likes to sit beside a table with a screaming or misbehaving kid. You’ll get nasty glances even though it’s perfectly normal for kids to be a tad noisier than adults.
People will give you a look that seems to say, “Control your kid, will ya?”. And, it’s not a pleasant feeling. It makes you want to just shrink further down your seat.
Dining out with your kids should not be stressful. It should be filled with fun and laughter. There should never come a point where you and your husband would dread it because your child is uncontrollable. In addition, it would also be unfair to always leave your child with the sitter.
What you need is a child-approved restaurant kit that will keep your child entertained and any potential tantrums at bay. What do you put in it? Here are our top picks.
What’s Inside Your Restaurant Kit?
For toddlers and infants, a bib is a definite must. You don’t want food stains to ruin their cute outfits, right? Also, this will save you from hand washing food-stained clothes the moment you get home. Pack a couple or more to be safe.
Some restaurants provide kiddie cutleries for families who have toddlers and infants. But, some don’t. So, it would be better if you have a set stashed in your restaurant kits. The normal spoons won’t fit your baby’s mouth. It would be troublesome for him and for you.
Your toddler will be wanting to handle his own utensils. The adult kind will be harder to handle and more hazardous as well. This is also great to have in case you need to feed while in the car or while on a walk.
For your infant’s feeding, of course. The kiddie cutlery would also work but what if you have both an infant and a toddler, right? Apparently, there are also different kinds of baby spoons. There are ones for weaning or teething babies.
Better to have both to be safe rather than sorry. They’re pretty small so, they won’t take up so much space.
Have you ever tried to remove dry food stains off your face with a dry napkin? It’s painful Imagine what would your baby feel. Wet wipes are must-haves in your restaurant kits. They’re the best things to keep your baby clean aside from a shower.
I’m an adult and I always have a pack in my bag for any emergency!
5Adhesive Table Topper
The wait before the meal is one of the most dreaded periods when dining out with your child. They get antsy and irritated when they’re hungry and everything they get their hands on either ends up broken or on the floor.
Set up an adhesive placemat right away to keep them preoccupied for a good period of time. Adhesives would prevent them from pulling the placemat down and avoid spills. There are plenty of different designs online so choose one that you’re sure your child would enjoy.
Baby magazine subscriptions are super worth every penny spent. They come with different stories, coloring activities, and fun puzzles. There are also subscriptions that come in small sizes so you can easily fit them into bags without it taking so much space.
Kids love to color. They don’t know how to exactly, but they find it entertaining nonetheless. Pack a set of twistable crayons for your child’s coloring needs. We recommend the twistable ones because they are harder to break which means less chances of them eating the broken pieces.
8Mini Coloring Books
There is no need for me to explain further why coloring pages are so effective. That’s probably on top of your restaurant kits must-have!
If your kid is at that stage where they’re able to match shapes, a puzzle would be the perfect challenge for them. Figuring out which piece goes where will give them a very entertaining challenge. Be sure to change the puzzles regularly because once they know it by heart, it wouldn’t interest them anymore.
Activity books are fun especially when they are age appropriate. Bring a more challenging kind for your older kids and one that is more simple yet entertaining for your toddlers.
Connecting the dots, color matching, and puzzles would be perfect for your preschoolers.
These are more for your older kids. Rather than watching them rough house each other, why not have a healthy game of cards instead? You can include flashcards for your toddlers and preschoolers.
12Biscuits and Cookies
There will be plenty of times when your kids will want to eat before you even get to the restaurant. Carefully planned restaurant kits would have some sort of favorite snack within their folds. Don’t put anything sweet if you don’t want to deal with s sugar rush while dining out. Yikes!
Serving the same purpose as snacks, an added use would be if there’s nothing on the menu that your kid can drink. We recommend something organic with less sugar. Why? Again, because of sugar rush.
Sippy cups are too bulky to bring in your restaurant kits. Plus, you child would seriously want to try out the straw in your glass. Give him one of his own, but make sure they’re the bendy kind. The straight stiff ones are a lot harder and have more chances of your child poking the back of their throat.
You can probably ask from the restaurant for a couple of these, but what if a spill happened en route? Putting an extra plastic bag or two in your restaurant kits is pretty necessary. There will come a time when your child will be soaked in juice, peed his pants or vomit on his clothes. You’d thank yourself for putting that extra plastic bag to wrap your soiled pieces in to protect the rest of your stuff.
Extra Restaurant Kit Tips
How to make 20 busy bags for evenings out with kids – get the ideas here.
Tips restaurant kits for kids of different ages with list of ingredients. Read the full post here.
DIY travel coloring cases not just for restaurants but great for road trips too! Get the tutorial here.
LEGO kit for restaurant, details here.
In a nutshell
There’s no need to overthink what your restaurant kits should contain. You just have to make sure to include the most convenient things that keep your kids busy. Keep it simple yet well thought of. Minimal yet completely ready for anything.
You may not see the use of it now especially if you have a baby bag with you. Trust me and all the other moms who live by this trick, you’d need one.
So, before your get started in putting one together, sit down and think about what you’re going to put in to avoid you forgetting important items. One item could be the make of break of your potentially pleasant meal out.
Do you use restaurant kits for your kids? Leave us a comment below!
featured image: real simple