Remember to bring some toys whenever you go out. You’ll probably have to wait a little while, and that could mean you’ll have some bored toddlers on your hand. If you bring some toys, coloring books and crayons, some reading books, or something similar, you’ll have a much better chance of keeping them occupied before the food arrives. Make sure the toys are small and that you don’t bring felt-tip pens.
Give your children a snack before you bring them to the restaurant. That way, if there is a longer wait than normal they won’t throw a fit because they’re starving. Give them a small box of dried fruit on the way just in case. Also, if you take children, you simply must bring another adult if possible. You won’t be able to leave them unattended when you go to the restroom.
You don’t need to try and impress small children with a pricey menu, because they won’t know the difference anyway. Keep it basic and simple. A buffet can work, as can a more reasonably priced restaurant. If you can, try to take them to lunch rather than dinner, where there may be more couples trying to have some peaceful time together. Just about any restaurant you go to will have a kid’s menu, but if you don’t like the selection you can always order a half-portion from the regular menu. It might also be a good idea to bring your own cutlery if the establishment doesn’t have knives, spoons, and forks that fit little hands.
It’s also important that you keep your expectations realistic. While everyone would love it if their children were perfectly quiet at all times, you know that’s not going to happen. If yours start talking too loudly or screaming, quietly remind them that they are in a public place and their behavior is unacceptable. Be prepared to have to do this quite a few times. If your children act up to the point where it is disturbing other people seated in your area, take them outside until they finally calm down.