Why You Never Take a Toddler Out to Dinner

Do I even need to say anything?

The hostess’s and waitress’s were not happy with us. Many actually glared at us. I asked have you ever had a kid in your restaurant before? and do you have a broom and dust pan? I promise that’s all it’ll take. 

Published by Samantha Mellen

Certified personal trainer & health coach helping women transform their lives through fitness, abundant mindset coaching and internal peace. Mom of two boys, living life in Alaska.

17 thoughts on “Why You Never Take a Toddler Out to Dinner

  1. Well, since I live in Knappa, we only have 2 restaurants, we all know the owners very well. So I just hop into the back and grab a broom and do it myself lol.

    But at other restaurants, I try to do the least messy food possible. Make it easier on myself (cleaning her is a challenge…she screams haha) and easier on the wait staff.

    I mean, I realize it's 'their job' to bus tables but I clean and stack my plates before I leave a restaurant so why wouldnt I help clean my childs mess??? Thats just me tho, Im a tad OCD. =)

  2. Wow- I know that sight all too well!! 🙂 I have always taken him anyway (he is 5 now and still an extremely messy eater) I usually try to get something easy for him to eat like grilled cheese and tip big! 🙂 They So should be understanding though!

  3. Hehehe too funny! We usually try to clean up as much as possible but that's what a good tip is for =o)

    There are some wonderful family restaurants and with awesome staff out there- you just have to find them!

  4. That's a lot of mess for one kid. 🙂 I remember taking my son when he was probably more like 2 and he made the same level of mess. I was dining with my child-less friend and she (fortunately) snickered quite a bit about the mess.

    And, if Lucas is a normal kid, I bet you had to run out of there because after about 20 minutes, because he had things to do, places to go, and couldn't tolerate a boring restaurant any longer.

    Thanks for sharing. I'm glad I'm not the only people with “bad” kids.

  5. Thanks for sharing these great shots! We eat out with Brady (17mo) about once every other week. To make things easier on us and the resturant staff we use disposable placemats that have double sided tape on the back side. I know, the Green Police are coming after me …but they really do help. At the end of the meal we peel off the placemate, fold it up, and the mess is contained. We order him things that aren't toooo messy…baked chicken, hot dog, grilled cheese. We avoid soups, mac and cheese and mashed potatoes.
    Also, I have one of his forks and an extra sippy stashed in the diaper bag. I added these after I asked or a children's cup with a straw only to find that it was stryofoam and not plastic…I'm sure you can figure out what happened with my toddler and his death grip on the stryofoam!
    Take him places more often…the more you do it the easier it is! = )

  6. This looks like Chilis & they usually are more kid-friendly. But like someone else mentioned, we never order mac & cheese because its so messy. And I always just grab a wet wipe & wipe off the floor. Makes everyone happier & I feel less guilty. The grilled chicken & broccoli side there is really good and not messy at all! But kids will be kids!

  7. Well the important part is that he had fun and those other people, they will get over it.

    I agree with the above poster, the more experience he has out and about the quicker he will learn how to eat in public until then don't let the dirty looks bother you, he has a right to get out and have some messy fun sometimes!

  8. I'm just impressed that plate made it intact! If it had been Jordan, the plate would have been in as many pieces as the macaroni! 🙂

  9. LOL, at least he's eating (some) of it! My daughter never sits still to eat more than a bite or two when we go out to eat.

  10. Oh – life is so fun with a tiny toddler! I scoped these out as soon as she started eating soldis – Summer Infant Tiny Diner Placemat -this one suctions to the table, has a little catcher for the lap, then we just wipe it down and use it again and again! Then we also found the Green & Clean Placemats. These come in a pack of 20 and are biodigradable. Good luck!!! For utensils we use Flexi-Grip Toddler Fork & Spoon
    by Sassy. BPA free – okay though, she is not mess free or a perfect eater, but I do feel like these tools set her up for success at least to be less messy! But he is so cute though covered in noodles……

  11. LOL!!! I remember when my son did that at a restaurant. When we only had 1 though, we took him out every week on thurs or fri night, and before long he was SO much easier to take out. Now that we are up to 3, we def do not go out as much – oh well!!!!! : ) I wouldnt' trade it for anything. Kids will eventualy learn if we teach them – and that is what good tips are for 🙂 looks like he had a blast!!!! 🙂

  12. There is no reason for a toddler to make this kind of mess they have to be TAUGHT do you mama';s know that word means not to make that big of a mess. You act that they are not able or smart enough to learn. Sounds like lazy mama's to me. Yes had a toddler but he didn't make that kind of mess because food was to put in your mouth not throw or play with. Yes he had his fair share of accidents. When he started playing with his food very simple I took it away. Plus we made it a game not to throw the food. It's wrong for people to go out to eat and let their child make that big of a mess. Believe it or not the people that works there is NOT AND I REPEAT not YOUR CHILDS PERSONAL MAID. EITHER TEACH YOUR CHILD HOW TO EAT PROPERLY OR LEAVE HIM OR HER WITH A BABYSITTER. iT REALLY GETS TO ME WHEN A MAMA SAYS WELLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL THEY ARE JUST BABIES MAKES ME WANT TO THROW UP.

  13. When we take our little guy (14 months) out to dinner, we end up with a bit of a mess. What we try to do is clean it up as we go and pick up all the bigger pieces of the floor. We try to leave it as clean as we can short of sweeping up. Then an extra big tip. Needless to say we're not going out as often as we once did. But I know it takes practice teaching kids how to eat in a restaurant and what is acceptable behaviour. We'll get there one of these days 🙂

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