How to Keep Kids Happy and Busy in a Restaurant?

After your first experience with your child in a restaurant you may wonder how to keep kids busy and happy in a restaurant?

It’s always nice to dine out. Isn’t it ? When we had our son, for first two years we tried to avoid restaurants. We preferred home delivery and enjoyed our meals at home with our friends who had kids of similar age. But sometimes it’s unavoidable and even fun to dine out. It was not that hard when my son was a baby. But at toddler age, it was difficult to make him sit at one place.

True Story

Once it so happened that me and my husband went for dinner to a restaurant. Our son really got cranky and was not in a mood to stay at one place. What did we do? Well, I finished my dinner first and then took my son for a walk outside while my husband finished his dinner sitting all alone on the table. I think most of the all parents of toddlers face this issue.

Avoid Giving Mobile Phones

I will admit I am often tempted to give my mobile phone so that I can eat in peace. And sometimes I have. It is always easy to just give them mobile phones or ipads, but this wont teach them how to sit and behave in a restaurant. I believe as parents we also need to teach them how to sit in a restaurant without running around. Also mobile phones are super annoying for other diners in the restaurant.

It was a learning experience for me. And now we three enjoy our time as a family in restaurant. The following tricks have helped us get through the majority of out out-of-the-house meals in peace.

Here are some tips to keep your kids happy and busy in a restaurant

Pick a kid-friendly restaurant

This is the most important thing. Choose kids friendly restaurants. Please avoid sports bars and restaurants serving sheeshas.

Carry a Kids bag

Carry a little back pack with water bottle, sanitiser and quite toys your child can play at restaurant. You can carry clay, colouring books, small puzzles etc.

Carry Paper and Pen

I always have a notepad and pen in my purse. Just give it your kid to make doodles while he/she is waiting for the food. You can kill atleast 10 mins with his activity.

Go early

Go early so that you don’t find waiting line. Nothing is more annoying than to wait in queue with a child.

Order your child’s food first

If you are planning to order starters, order your child’s dishes with it. Also, the earlier it arrives, the more time you get to cool it.

Use High Chairs at Restaurant

Now most of the Indian restaurants keep high chairs. Please make full use of it, the belt really helps 😉

Let Your Child Order

If your child is able to make his/her food choice, encourage him/her to do so.This will make him/her excited to wait for the order.

Pack snacks

Carry some snacks for your child in case the food is too spicy for your kid and doesn’t suit his/her taste bud.

Feed your Kids Before

If your child doesn’t like restaurant food, feed him at home before visiting the restaurant.That way he/she won’t be hungry and cranky.


Incase you are out for lunch, don’t go at their nap time. Make sure your toddler has had a good nap before coming to the restaurant or leave early if it is his nap time.

Don’t Give In To Their Demands

This is the most important thing. If your child wants you to take him for a walk in a restaurant, don’t listen. Try not to submit to what they are asking for. If you do, the next time you go to a restaurant they will do the same because they know it works. It may sound harsh but this always works.

Just Talk

You can take waiting time as a perfect time to talk with your kids. All kids love undivided attention from their parents.

Few Simple Games you can Play Sitting at the Table

Measure the Table

Use sugar  packets to measure the width and length of the table.


This is a classic game where one person chooses an object in sight and others guess it using yes or no questions.

Hand Guessing

Hide a coin in one hand and have your child guess which hand holds the coin.

Letter game

This game is ideal for preschoolers. Just ask your child to make letter using the fork and spoon (A, E, F, H, I, K, L, M, N, T, W, X, and Z can be made using silverware)

Be considerate to Other Guests

Please do not let your child run in restaurants. It is totally bad manners. I know its hard for a three year old to sit still. But we need to be considerate to other guests too. We need to teach kids how to behave in a restaurant. Trust me, for people without kids it is nothing more annoying than kids running in restaurants. We all have been that person before 😉

I hope these tricks help everyone have a happy time, including the kids, parents and guests at the restaurant.

Please comment and tell me your thoughts. Would love to hear from you 🙂

Also Check our Post

Best Kids Friendly Restaurants in Jaipur



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