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Thursday, July 1, 2010

Tips for Eating out With Your Children

2745 Broadway at 105th Street
(212) 866-0600

Henry Rinehart the owner of a critically acclaimed Henry's which is a modern American bistro on the Upper West Side of Manhattan has created a list of techiniques that he uses with his 5 year old son Jules while eating out and thinks the list would be benificial to other parents as they eat our with their children. Henry has both observed families as they dine in his restraunt and experimented with what works with his own child and has a pretty good idea on how to keep the dining experience calm and relaxing for all.

  1. Allowing children to dine out with the family allows them to see for their selves acceptable behaviors. When dining with your family you should keep in mind 3 P's (Predict, Perspective and Plan ahead) Before leaving to dine out prepare your little ones as to where you are going, how they should behave and how you expect them to act. Henry states that bringing along silent toys such as books and colors as well as small toys can help the child keep quiet and behave while the adults chat. Share your perspective and reasons why you want to take your family to eat out. Explain to them the importance of being seen out as a family together to relax and have a good time as you all share time together. Plan ahead, start a day or so ahead of the date to eat out and role play what is expected and some of the distractions that may occur and what they are to do if a distraction does occur. Role playing allows them to have knowledge of what they are going to do and how they are expected to behave.
  2. Children do not always have a hearty appetite in fact many are picky eaters and this may become a problem at a restraunt. However, you can solve this problem early by looking at the restraunt menu ahead of time. There are many restraunts that have menus online or perhaps you are familiar with the restraunt and have a good idea of what they serve. Henry suggest talking to the chef or owner to get an idea of what to order if you seee nothing on the menu that is appetizing to your child. In the end perhaps the promise of a dessert will solve this sticky issue.
  3. We all know that reputation is the key to sucess. Family habits take time to develop so do not give up if your first or second attempt does not go well.
  4. Search for the restraunts that offer service to the pint size diners. Every restraunt will not offer the same service so you should go out of your way to find those special places that do.
  5. Relax and enjoy at the restraunt. Rest assured that if you have completed all the hard work to prepare your child for the dining experience then it is now time to relax and enjoy your meal with your family. Working together with your children to teach them what is acceptable and expected of them while dining out will continue to pay dividends for years to come, setting the stage for healthful eating habits while defining and enriching the family dynamic.

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