Like many people we’re partial to a good meal out. We don’t really go out for dinner other than the occasional pub meal with family, especially the big family Christmas eve meal. But N and I do quite often eat lunch out if we’ve been out for the day. We just leave the OH to fend for himself as needed as he’s never with us. It’s something I’ve always enjoyed doing with N, and he’s a big fan of a treat in a coffee shop or lunch at a restaurant.
Some people really worry about taking their children out for a meal, but I think it’s one of the best things. Especially once your children are old enough to appreciate the restaurant and food. It’s also one of those experiences that they’ll need to be familiar with when growing up.
With younger children, however well they’ve been brought up, you never know how they’ll act in public. In restaurants there are lots of distractions although family friendly places will usually have colouring things to help entertain them.
We’re usually out just the 2 of us so we can choose where’s good to eat. At the moment it is harder because I’m eating low carb, so it does restrict the places we can eat. But N’s fairly flexible, and as long as there’s something on the menu suitable for him, he’s happy.
He’s got a couple of recent favourites, Zizzi and Ask Italian. But he did say he wanted to try a thai street food place in Oxford next time we’re there. Burgers always go down well, as does tapas, and he likes mexican so anything offering that would be a good option.
Now he’s a bit older, we’re just moving off the children’s menus. It means he’s got more choice, and while he’ll just have a main course now, it means he will sometimes try part of my starter if I have one. Yes it costs me a lot more money, especially when there’s no discount offers around at the moment. I dread to think how much he’ll eat as a teen if the tween years are anything to go by.
Eating out means children have a chance to try foods they might not have at home.
Taking N out for a meal means we can concentrate on conversation. There’s no distractions from him fidgeting around, kicking a ball or wandering around while we’re at home. No electronics for him, and only the occasional need for my phone – to take pictures, or look up the answer to one of his questions.
Having a tween means you get more interesting conversation, can find out what they’re thinking, and put the world to rights. As well as being able to talk about the menu, different foods or places he wants to try.
It’s a chance to relax. To enjoy each other’s company. To listen to opinions on various things in the restaurant.
It’s never quite the same when you’re eating at home and have had to cook the food yourself. You’re always thinking about clearing up, food being leftover, whether everyone will like what’s been cooked. In a restaurant it’s just about enjoying the food and chatting away.
Hopefully we’ll get more meals out, and enjoy more relaxed time in each other’s company. Time to spend before he becomes a teen who goes out more with friends than family.
How do you find eating out with your kids?