Episode 5: The Inconvenient Truth about Dining Out With Kids

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Here's an idea! Let's take sitting around a table and feeding kids — one of the most stressful parts of our day — and bring it into a restaurant full of other adults who aren't related us and who aren't compelled to think that our kids are cute. Let's pay to make the experience happen. OH! Let's also throw in waiters who are loathe to deal with our small people and pay them extra for having to serve us. And for good measure, let's call the whole things pleasurable, shall we?

This, friends, is dining out with children. Let us speak of why we partake of this ritual. Because, yes, we believe it's worth it. (But, yes, it's possible we're just crazy.)


An Inconvenient Truth 

Taking Kids to Restaurants is a Worthy Mission

If you read the intro, it's clear that we get that eating out with children is not the most enjoyable experience. Oh, let's be real: It can be downright unpleasant. Yet, Stacie and Meghan both firmly believe that taking your kids to restaurants frequently and from a young age is something worth doing. 

We know it sounds crazy — and perhaps you will still think it is after hearing us out — but we hope you'll listen to why we think it's important to take children out to eat if you're playing the long game when it comes to feeding kids. We discuss lots of reasons that you may not have thought of, for the good of your child, for the good of society (yes, seriously), and most importantly, for your benefit. 

Because, really, if we can't raise kids to be convenient for us, what's the point, right?

(Okay, that's a little tongue in cheek, but kinda totally true. Right?!) 


When it comes to feeding our kids, we are playing the long game. They won’t learn how to eat in nice restaurants if we don’t take them to eat in nice restaurants. You have to start practicing early and often. It’s not easy though.

An Even More Inconvenient Truth

There's a Right Way to Take Kids to a Restaurant

 Photo by  Daiga Ellaby  on  Unsplash

Photo by Daiga Ellaby on Unsplash

We try not to get dogmatic on DIJFY, but having worked in the food industry, we've been on the other side. And let's be clear: No matter how kind you are and no matter how cute your children may be, waiting on a table with small children can suck. So the more thoughtful you are about how, when, and where you dine with your kids, the better things will go for everyone. Trust us. 

Plus, we share our best tips on how to entertain your little — and even bigger! —ones at the table without completely losing your night to playing Go Fish! or (necessarily) handing over the iPads. Because despite what it may sound like, we believe that going out to dinner should be enjoyable for you too. (It isn't only about creating a teachable moment.)

Oh... and speaking of iPads. We talk about those too. And OH BOY do we want to hear from you about this matter.

In fact, after you listen, give us a shout on the @DidntIJustFeedYou Instagram feed to tell us how you entertain your kids when you're at a restaurant. Because Stacie and Meghan don't fall in exactly the same place on this issue. 


About Our Sponsors

A big thank you to One Potato and Elmhurst for sponsoring this week's episode and for generously sharing discount codes to our listeners. Read below for more! 

One Potato organic meal kit delivery service designed especially for families | Didn't I Just Feed You podcast [sponsor]

One Potato is the first organic meal delivery service made with families in mind. Each week, One Potato delivers semi-prepared ingredients like chopped veggies, prepped sauces, and sometimes even cooked, shredded chicken that come together to make meals that both kids and parents love in no time flat.

Each week, you can choose to receive 2 or 3 meals from 10 options, including gluten- and nut-free choices, and you can customize meals to your family’s size. Also, every meal comes with tips on how to encourage kids to try new foods. Genius!

To learn more about One Potato, visit onepotato.com and use the promo code FEED30 for 30% your first box! 

 

Elmhurst plant-based milks | Didn't I Just Feed You podcast [sponsor]

Stacie's a huge fan of Elmhurst. Because when you're a food writer who feeds a dairy-loving family of four, but one kid just can't tolerate milk, you get pretty serious about finding the healthiest and most delicious plant-based milks on the market. And if you ask her, Elmhurst is it. 

Elmhurst plant-based based milks have more nutrition and whole grains than other leading brands and are made without gums, emulsifiers, or carrageenan. Their nut milks have four times the nuts and nutrition compared to other leading brands, and their oat and brown rice milks have a whopping 20 grams of whole grain per glass!

Most importantly, Elmhurst tastes delicious. Even the dairy drinkers in Stacie's family are fans. Good thing all the varieties come packed in shelf stable packages that keep in your pantry so she can stock up. If you want to do the same, use the code HUNGRY for 20% off your next order at Elmhurst1925.com.

 

What We're Digging 

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This week, Stacie shares her love of cornstarch (and potato starch) on the heels of trying out the FODMAP diet. She's been using this pantry staple to cook up chicken and fish fingers this summer. But Meghan shares her love of corn starch for sweet potato fries and fried chicken too. 

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Meghan crushes on Everything Bagel Seasoning and shares some of the most inspiring (and horrifying) ways she's seen it used recently. And Stacie tells her secret for keep avocado toast green! Its simpler than you might think. 


Dining out with kids is like setting a bowl of money on fire in public.

Try This At Home

Our try this at home is more of a try this at a restaurant: Pack a "dining out" kit for your kids. Tiny kiddos need a bib, wet wipes, and an easy to pick up snack like Honey Nut Toasty O's or freeze dried yogurt drops. 

Meghan always travels with small cars, crayons, and a notepad for her 3 and 6 year old. Stacie suggests playing card and hello an iPad or other handheld games . What's in your dining out with kids kit?