Tips for Eating Out With Baby

dining out with babies

photo by sarah6183

My husband and I used to eat out all the time. But we haven't gone out nearly as much now that we have a baby. We've brought her to our local restaurant a few times, but that was before she started solid foods and she'd just sleep through the meal. Now that she's learned about the joy of food, there's no way she'd miss a bite. I usually just give her some of my meal, but there are some family-friendly restaurants that have special foods on the menu for babies—like pureed veggies.


If you're planning on taking your baby out to eat, here are some tips from Carolyn O'Neil, a dietitian and co-author of The Dish on Eating Healthy and Being Fabulous! to make dining out a breeze:

1. Table lessons. Dining out with babies helps encourage a healthy curiosity about food and how to behave at the table.

2. Fruit first. Ask for cut-up fruit for the baby while you enjoy an appetizer. It gives him a serving or two of healthy fruit and it keeps him busy.

3. Pasta, please. Penne or shells is the best choice for babies working on their pincher skills. Ask for pasta tossed with a little olive oil and grated Parmesan cheese rather than coated in melted butter.

4. On the menu. Try to work with what’s on the menu and ask for slight variations. For instance, miso soup at Japanese restaurants comes with chunks of tofu, so ask for pieces of tofu on a little plate. It’s a good source of vegetable protein and soft enough for babies eating solid foods.

5. Off the menu. Most eateries have eggs, so you can request one scrambled for baby.

6. Simple is best. Request that baby’s vegetables or mashed potatoes be prepared without added salt.

7. Serve safe. Bring a portable place mat that can stick to table tops so you know the surface is clean. You can cut things up so that older babies can eat with their hands right off of the mat.

Bon appetit, baby!

Do you take your baby out to dinner? Did it go smoothly?

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