Children are naturally playful and spontaneous. Because of this, they often do whatever comes to their mind that they think is fun.
Younger kids are also inherently inquisitive, which is why they ask a lot of questions and inspect everything they are not familiar with or anything they find curious up close.
Lastly, younger children thrive on routine and familiarity, especially when it comes to food and mealtimes. There will be many instances wherein they would eat the same things over and over again and turn their nose up when they see something unfamiliar on their plates.
This combination of traits can make eating out with your kids a challenging experience.
But even if your children are naturally playful, spontaneous, curious, and thrive on routine, you don’t have to be worried about taking them to the best restaurants in Doha. With the right tips and tricks, you can still enjoy this experience.
Tips for Eating Out With Your Little Ones in Doha
If you want to enjoy a stress-free and pleasant experience when eating out with your young kids in Doha, below are some helpful tips to keep in mind:
1. Choose the right restaurant.
Finding the right restaurant that can accommodate your family, particularly your little children, is the best tip you can follow to have an amazing dining experience with them.
Eating out on a whim with your family, therefore, is not a good idea. If you have little children, take some time to study your options. Use the Internet to look for family-friendly restaurants in Doha.
The best family-friendly restaurants in Doha have facilities and décor that appeal to kids. Moreover, they have plenty of high chairs, which you’ll need for your toddlers or preschoolers.
Additionally, they have menu items that both adults and children will love.
Some restaurants in Doha also allow young diners to display their creativity on their plates with fresh fruit, edible paint, and other ingredients. This option is a great way to keep your children entertained and get them to eat something.
Lastly, look for a restaurant with an alfresco dining area. By choosing a table in this spot, your children will have plenty of things and scenery to see that will help them stay preoccupied.
2. Avoid going to the restaurant during peak hours.
Even if you choose a family-friendly restaurant, you and your family won’t have a delightful dining experience if there are too many customers.
As such, avoid going to a restaurant during peak hours. These are during 12 noon and 2 in the afternoon and 6 to 9 in the evening.
If you want to have a pleasant dining experience with your family, consider eating out early or during off-peak hours. With fewer people around, you are less likely to disturb your fellow diners. Moreover, the waitstaff will be more attentive to and accommodating of your requests.
Eating out early also ensures your children are still in a good mood. Hungry, tired, and sleepy kids are hard to deal with, even if you’re at home. You’ll have even bigger problems when you take them to a restaurant.
Going out early also means you’ll have a higher chance of staying on track with your afternoon or evening routines and having extra time in case your plans get derailed.
3. Order as quickly as possible.
Even if there aren’t that many diners in the restaurant, you should try to get your order as soon as possible to minimize the issues and stress you may deal with.
Doing so ensures you get your food and beverages faster, allowing everyone to enjoy their meal for longer.
If you already have a restaurant in mind, visit their website to go over their menu. Choose the dishes and beverages that you know your little ones will love.
If there is an option to order in advance online, do so to save more time on this process.
If this is not possible, place your order at the waiting area with your drinks a few minutes after settling in.
4. Let your children know you expect them to behave.
If it’s your first time bringing your young kids to a restaurant, discuss with them the kinds of behavior you expect them to demonstrate before you go out.
Explain to your children that you expect them to sit up at the table, keep the noise down, and use the right utensils to eat. If necessary, show them how to do these properly so that they know exactly what to do.
Also, let your kids know that you won’t tolerate shouting, crying, running around, and throwing food inside the restaurant.
Aside from letting your kids know that you expect them to be on their best behavior, consider giving them a reward such as star or smiley stickers when they remember your instructions.
You can also promise your little ones that they can get something from the dessert menu if they behave in the restaurant.
Another option is to promise your little ones that you’ll let them enjoy some kids’ activities in Doha if they toe the line throughout your stay at the restaurant.
5. Keep your children busy and preoccupied.
Giving your kids plenty of things to do when dining out is the best way to ensure they behave and have an enjoyable time in a restaurant.
Keep in mind that even if your children agree to your rules or instructions, since they are young, you can’t expect them to sit still and do nothing for several minutes as you wait for the food.
To prevent your children from getting bored, walking or running around, and whining, make sure you bring some quiet toys they can play with or books to read and give them one item at a time.
Aside from quiet toys and books, bring some paper, coloring books or pages, crayons or colored pencils, and small puzzles.
You can also let your children play with your tablet but make sure to lower the volume before giving it to them.
Also, tell them they can only play with puzzles and other educational games or apps so that they are still learning something new and getting some mental exercise.
And no matter how entertained they are by the device, don’t let them use it too long since you don’t want them to go beyond the recommended screen time.
When you follow these tips, you won’t have to worry about having a stressful time when you eat out with your family.
You can even look forward to making this a weekly family bonding activity in Doha.