Going Out to Eat
How did you make going out to eat with your toddlers easier?
Our Mommy MD Guide’s reply: At home, my daughter uses toddler-sized utensils. When we go out to eat, rather than me having to bring those along, I often ask for plastic silverware. They’re smaller than regular silverware, and they’re easier for my daughter to manage.
–Tanya Douglas Holland, MD, a mom of a two-year-old daughter, a women’s health advocate, and a consultant in medical affairs to a pharmaceutical company, in Atlanta, GA
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Our Mommy MD Guide’s reply: When we go out to eat, I always ask the waiter to bring four servings of the kids’ vegetable of the day first, before we even crack open the menus. That way, when my kids are hungry and bored, they eat all of their vegetables first, while they’re coloring on their placemats and playing with their straws. With any luck, after they’ve eaten their vegetables, they might be a little less starving for the sweet drinks and mac ’n cheese.
Also we keep kosher, and the way we are able to go out to eat is we eat vegetarian in restaurants. Vegetables, fish, and meatless pasta are all great choices.
—Deborah Gilboa, MD, a mom of nine-, seven-, five-, and three-year-old sons, a family physician with Squirrel Hill Health Center in Pittsburgh, PA, and a parenting speaker whose advice is found at AskDoctorG.com
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Our Mommy MD Guide’s reply: When my husband and I took our toddlers out to eat, they knew we expected them to behave. If one of our sons didn’t behave, one parent would take him to the car. You don’t have to do that many times before kids realize that you mean it. If one of my sons had to go to the car, he knew that his brother was having a good time and he wasn’t. Pretty soon, my husband and I would only have to ask, “Do you need to go to the car?” and our boys would shape up.
—Carrie Brown, MD, a mom of eight- and six-year-old sons and a general pediatrician who treats medically complex children and specializes in palliative care at Arkansas Children’s Hospital in Little Rock