Drug testing

Say No to Mealtime Mayhem: Eating Out With Your Baby or Toddler

Many parenting books advise against eating out with young children. Their short attention span and need to be involved in everything will mean a nightmare for you, they say. They're wrong. We eat out regularly with our two year old and have a wonderful time. Here are a few tips to make sure that you can do it too.

First of all, make sure you choose a family-friendly restaurant. Look out for easily accessible (and clean) high chairs, a willingness to warm milk, free bibs and baby food (available at some rest stops and motorway service stations) and entertainment for your child in the form of crayons and paper or a soft play area.

In case none of this is available, you need to take your entertainment with you. Crayons and paper, an etch-a-sketch or other drawing board toy and a couple of books are often enough to distract your child from any thoughts of mayhem.

Choose your time carefully. Ideally, you should arrive half an hour or so before your child's regular mealtime, so that their food arrives on time. And don't even think about going out when your child is already tired - you'll be setting yourself up for the evening from hell.

Children are bad at waiting, so you'll need a food backup in case your order is late. Pack a box of raisins or snack bar. Although you're not supposed to take food from outside into eating establishments, if you politely explain that the alternative is a screaming child, they'll definitely turn a blind eye.

When placing your order, ask for your child's meal to be delivered first. That way, you can do any cutting up that's required and start the feeding process early and you'll be free to focus on your own meal when it arrives.

Make dining out interesting for your child. Talk about what you're going to order; point out what waiters and waitresses are doing; take a tour of the salad bar; discuss whatever's on the walls. Your child will be pleased to be included and won't even think about having a meltdown.

Once you've finished your main meal, ask for your bill at the same time as dessert. You'll want to make a quick getaway once you've demolished a sweet treat, because by then your little darling will be running out of patience.

We've been taking our daughter into restaurants before she could sit up. At first she was in a car seat, then a high chair, and now she can sit on a big chair (she's very proud of that!) She can order her own food (with please and thank you) and talk about what's happening. Don't think she's a paragon of virtue, because she's not - she's a very spirited two year old. But she enjoys eating out and generally behaves well enough for us to stay in the restaurant for an hour and a half or more. Since the parenting books claim that half an hour is pushing it, we don't think that's half bad. Why don't you try it, too?

Sharon Hurley Hall is a freelance writer, ghostwriter and editor. Sharon worked in publishing for 18 years, writing articles and editing and designing books and magazines. She has also lectured on journalism. For more information or to contact Sharon, visit http://www.doublehdesign.com/

In The News:

High levels of cocaine are causing some eels in London's famous River Thames to be "hyperactive," new research by King's College London shows.
The tiny, immortal hydra is a freshwater animal that can regenerate an entirely new animal from just the tiniest sliver of its body.
A man was getting ready to do his "business" on Saturday morning when he was startled by a large carpet python peaking its head out of the toilet.
Deep in the dark depths of the Gulf of California — where "virtually no oxygen" exists — live schools of fish that are thriving in an environment marine biologists would otherwise consider deadly for their kind.
The Soviet Union left a chilling legacy of the Cold War dotted across Poland – bunkers that once housed nuclear warheads hidden deep in the nation’s forests.
The remains of a prehistoric shark that lived during the age of dinosaurs 67 million years have been found, to the surprise of scientists and onlookers alike, according to a new study.
There has been much speculation about the existence of Planet Nine and its impact on distant objects in the solar system. But a new study suggests that some of the farthest celestial bodies in our planetary system aren't being impacted by this yet-to-be-discovered planet, but rather another mysterious object deep in the echoes of space.
Stunning pictures reveal the rare ‘super blood Moon’ that turned the Earth’s natural satellite a remarkable shade of red.
In the coming decades, more than a quarter-million people may die each year as a result of climate change , according to a new review study.
Skywatchers have been enjoying a rare ‘super blood Moon’ as the Earth’s natural satellite turned a stunning shade of red.

Sibling Fighting - Reduce Sibling Rivalry by NOT Keeping Score

Recently, a much-anticipated game of mini-golf with my children soon... Read More

Parenting Your Teenager: The Power Struggle

Q: My husband and I are at a loss as... Read More

My Children

I have been a single mom for almost 20 years.... Read More

How to End the Misery of Bedwetting

When a child wets the bed they worry. Children tend... Read More

A Legacy For Dakota

Have you heard the song; "I Hope You Dance"? It... Read More

How to Make a Time Capsule

Looking for an unusual and memorable gift? Why not preserve... Read More

The Symtoms Of Meningitis And Septicaemia

Meningitis is an inflammation of the membranes around the brain... Read More

What Is Homeschooling And How Do I know If Its Right For My Family?

Do you know what these famous people have in common?Alexander... Read More

Single Parents: Give Yourselves Credit

Single parents are not often thought of as good parents.I... Read More

Sharing Books with Children

One of my first memories of childhood is that of... Read More

Parenting Skills - Five Ways To Turbo-Boost Your Confidence

The 'phone conversation had nothing at all to do with... Read More

Build Character with this Delicious Triple A Recipe!

Vinegar or honey, what do kids really want? "Toys, candy,... Read More

10 Signs That Your Teen Is Using Drugs

Did you know that over 75% of teens aged 16-17... Read More

Should The Dad-To-Be Attend The Birth?

Not so long ago a dad-to-be would pace up and... Read More

Educational Jigsaw Puzzles, How Educational Are They?

Many companies advertise their products as being educational. How much... Read More

Childrens Safety in Public Places - 10 Useful Tips

My kids ask me all the time to take them... Read More

Son, Can I Use The Car Tonight?

I recall somewhere in the recesses of my aging brain... Read More

Parents and Children Working Together

When parents help their children learn to read, they help... Read More

The Old and the New

During one "generation gap" quarrel with his parents young Michael... Read More

While You Have the Time, Take the Time

Here in Kansas, where we live, the leaves are turning... Read More

How to Cope With Colic

When my oldest daughter was born, I walked the floor... Read More

7 Things To Teach Your Kids About Money

Did you know that many people retire broke?It's true. After... Read More

Is a Mothers Love, Medicine?

Minus all meningitis thoughts. The flu symptons were strong. Headache,... Read More

Over-Focused ADHD

The least flexible character in all of the stories of... Read More

Awesome Dads Top Ten Ways To Be The Foundation of Your Family

Part of the responsibility of being a father is to... Read More

led garage light fixture street light fixtures Pete's produce ..