There are many benefits to eating out as a family, not least the fact that there’s no preparation, cooking or clearing up involved!
According to the Daily Mail, eating together as a family nourishes the mind as well as the body.
Of course, eating out can also brings some challenges depending on your children’s tastes and behaviour.
Eating out as a family gives you time to spend together. The restaurant experience removes the distractions that children have at home such as the phone ringing or a computer game they simply must get back to. Quite simply, it allows you time out of your busy schedules to sit and chat together.
For older children, they have the opportunity to be grown up and show some autonomy. They are free to read the menu and choose what they eat themselves.
Eating out is also a great way to practise good table manners and learn how to behave in a social setting. If it’s a child’s first time, though, you may want to explain to them a little bit about how it will work before you go.
There’s no getting away from the fact that not everyone can afford to eat in restaurants regularly, but lots of venues offer free children’s meals with a paying adult at certain times. Look out for vouchers and offers, too, to help reduce the cost.
Probably one of the biggest challenges parents face in taking their children to a restaurant is the fussy eater. If your child isn’t keen on trying new things, why not consider an all you can eat buffet style meal? This way, the children get to pick from a large array of items and if they don’t like it, they can try something else and you haven’t wasted money on a meal they won’t eat. Pizza is also always a firm favourite, so if you’re looking for Dublin restaurants, try http://www.forno500.ie/.
Finally, if your child misbehaves when you’re at home, it’s easy to get them to leave the table and go to their room or naughty step, but you won’t have this option in a restaurant. Be prepared for this and decide in advance how you will handle it, and remember, although it can be very stressful at the time, your child is learning valuable lessons from this experience.