The #PrezzoLaFamiglia Challenge, Eating Out with Kids

Tips for dining out with kids.

Eating out with kids. Does that phrase fill you with dread or have you mastered this skill down to a fine art? For us, just as we thought we had got to grips with taking our eldest out we had our little Pud! This threw me into a frenzy of coping with two kids at a dining table when eating out. Don’t get me wrong when Pud was a tiny baby the only issue I had to overcome was my anxiety of breastfeeding in public. Then we started to get to the point where he just wanted to explore the world! Luckily Pops can now be entertained by a magazine or a colouring book or dare I say it – the iPad!

So I’m not perfect, we have resorted to screen time whilst eating out but I will only use it as a last resort. I much prefer to try other tactics first. I feel eating out is valuable family time where we should try to interact, talk about the day or upcoming events, school, family etc. Good intentions and all that. Some visits out are easier than others, all depends on their moods I guess…and ours!

Well over time we have learned a few tricks and valuable lessons that mean we can enjoy eating out more. By no means are they foolproof but they could go a little way to helping you enjoy a family meal out.

PICK AN APPROPRIATE TIME

Eat out at a time that suits the kids. Breakfast and Lunch usually mean happier kids but if we choose to go out in the evening then my kids like to eat early, sometimes as early as 4:30! So why on earth would I book a table for 6pm by which point they will be grumpy and hangry. I try to find a happy medium and book the table for 5pm. Think about the time it will take to get seated, pick your meals and then await for it to arrive.

Or if you are dining at Prezzo, then avoid the whole decision malarkey and check out the La Famiglia Menu. The menu is designed to be shared and consists of a large bowl of pasta (choose from rusticana, arrabbiata, carbonara or bolognese) to share from, 2 garlic breads, 4 soft drinks and 4 single scoops of ice cream. No food envy here and an enjoyable sharing experience. You could even decide which dish you’ll go for before getting there and order straight away.

Prezzo Family Dining – TalkingMums

TAKE RESOURCES OR BE INVENTIVE

Take items that will entertain such as a small toy, crayons, puzzle book, small book, stickers, toy cars etc. Or make up some games like versions of eye spy or how many ‘x’ can you see.

DON’T EXPECT TO DINE LIKE A COUPLE

Don’t expect to be dining out for a leisurely length of time. Kids are unlikely to be happy sitting for a long length of time. Unless you give them a screen. But if you’ve got a toddler, even screen time is unlikely to keep the little cherubs happy in their high chair for long.

Luckily at Prezzo, we got to order within 10 minutes of arriving and the food was served no longer than 10 minutes after that. After the main course it wasn’t long before we were offered our ice cream.

Penne Rusticana

Prezzo and TalkingMums

GO FAMILY FRIENDLY

Going somewhere that is family friendly is key. You soon learn your favourite family haunts. You know, the ones with baby change facilities, a family approach and a quick and friendly service.

Previously I would have said to save nicer restaurants for those rare date nights and stick to family pubs with the kids, more families mean more acceptance of the largely normal behaviour of kids. However after visiting Prezzo I now know you get get the best of both worlds. A restaurant atmosphere, fine decor but still with a family feel. The waiter appropriately offered a high chair and to swap the large cutlery for smaller forks and spoons for the kids.

Prezzo and TalkingMums

Over time I have become reluctant to order from kids menus. There’s often a really poor choice and an abundance of fried food with chips, that is overpriced. Only for most of it to be left. Now ok, all kids are different from what they will and won’t eat to the size of their appetites. My eldest will eat most foods but not a large amount. So the kids meals are often too large. My youngest is only 1, so while he can gobble on occasion the volume is generally not huge. So here are two solutions:

One kids meal between the two of them, or

At Prezzo with the La Famiglia meal you decide the portion size you dish out to them. Just make sure it’s not the oversharer that dishes the food out. In our house Daddy is responsible for huge portions being served up to the kids.

I have to mention that Prezzo is one of the few places that offer two kids menus, a children’s and a tots! The choice isn’t bad either. However we still found The La Famiglia Menu a winner.

Prezzo and TalkingMums

We had a fab time at Prezzo.  Fast service, friendly staff and very tasty food. Thumbs up all round from us. We’ll definitely be visiting again. 

This post is an entry for the BritMums #PrezzoLaFamiglia Challenge, sponsored by Prezzo. We went to the Prezzo near Cheshire Oaks.

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Bridie By The Sea
The Pramshed
Mummuddlingthrough
JakiJellz
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15 COMMENTS

  1. What a brilliant idea! How much was this menu – it kinda looks like it should be a bargain option too – I HATE paying out for 4 meals when at least one of the kids won’t touch theirs. Plus, when one of your kids doesn’t like fried food, the standard kids menu is a total disaster!

    Will definitely be looking for a prezzo near me!

    Thanks for sharing with #coolmumclub

    • I think it depends on how many are eating but for a family of four it’s £30 all in. I too hate paying for 4 meals when I know most of the kids meals are going to get left! x

  2. This is great advice for eating out with kids. We usually go for lunch as a family. The girls are so well behaved but yes we have often resorted to screens. They are getting better now as they get a little older. Prezzo is lovely and such a great place for families. My two would definitely leave full up and satisfied. Thank you for linking to #fortheloveofBLOG

  3. Aww I’ve been spying on lots of photos from the Prezzo challenge and very jealous! It looks fantastic and lots of family fun…that chocolate dessert looks yummy too. How brilliant that the food came after 10 minutes too, I find it so hard to stall Emma from having a full on meltdown when she enters a restaurant expecting food NOW! Thanks for linking up to #dreamteam x

  4. That last photo is amazing!! I am guilty of using YouTube as a distraction technique when going out for food but now my eldest is nearly 4 things are getting easier..I love Prezzo, one of my faves xx #triumphanttales

  5. The pictures in this are just priceless. My kids have always been absolute troopers in restaurants from an early age. Frankly, the biggest challenge is the husband who isn’t satisfied with his kids’ behaviour no matter how well behaved they are! Looks like you all had a fab time #coolmumclub

    • Thank you, tbh I think it’s me with the issue when we’re eating out, too blumin worried what others will think of us. The kids aren’t badly behaved just noisy! x

  6. we are really lucky in the sense that Ben is really good when we go out to restaurants. Im not sure if its due to us doing it from the get go and him being used to the environment or its because he’s super chilled, but we love prezzo and places like it ie Pizza express etc.
    Thank you for sharing this with us at #TriumphantTales. You inspired my dinner for tonight – good ol’ italian!

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