Read our helpful tips about family restaurants in Ottawa.

How to Keep Kids Good-Humoured When Bringing the Family to Restaurants in Ottawa

A family dinner out at a restaurant can be fun, however, it does have its own set of challenges if your children are young. Sometimes parents are afraid to bring their little ones out to dinner since kids often become fussy when they are tired and hungry. But there are things you can do to ensure your child is comfortable and good-humoured at family restaurants in Ottawa. Whether your child is a baby, a toddler, or a big kid, keep these tips in mind when planning a family outing at a restaurant.

Choose A Time and Place

To make the family dinner more enjoyable for everyone, choose a time and a place that isn’t too hectic. You can even make a reservation at a restaurant to avoid a long wait. The less time you have to wait for your family to be seated and served, the better. Also, consider your child’s schedule when choosing a time. Plan to go after nap time (or before), so you won’t interrupt their routine. You can be sure to avoid a tantrum if you go out when they aren’t tired.

Bring Snacks

In case there is a wait for your food, bring some of your kid’s favourite snacks so they don’t get cranky from hunger. Pack easy-to-eat finger foods, such as crackers, fruit, and veggies. If your child is old enough, let them choose two snacks to bring along so they will be more inclined to eat the snacks instead of being fussy.

Seat Your Child Strategically

Where your child sits at the table can help keep them entertained. One of the best spots is next to mom or dad and facing people in the restaurant. If your child can watch people talking and walking around the restaurant, they will be more captivated. And if they are very young, people-watching will help your child develop visual skills, such as tracking objects.

Play Games

While family restaurants in Ottawa usually have fun activities for kids—such as colouring activities—there are also fun games you can play with your family to make the restaurant experience more enjoyable. Consider games that rely on memory and communication, while also practicing the alphabet, such as naming things—animals, fruits, vegetables, and objects—that start with a certain letter. If your child is very young, bring pop-up books, high-chair toys, and other favourite baby toys to keep them engaged with sensory activities.

Although it’s normal for parents to be hesitant about bringing their little ones to restaurants, this experience can be easier for everyone with the help of some careful planning beforehand. Keep these tips in mind the next time you want to go out for a special occasion at family restaurants in Ottawa.