I have a sign in my kitchen that reads, “My favorite thing to make for dinner is reservations.” Luckily I married a man who loves to cook but with work schedules, school pick up, and soccer practice, dinner prep is often the last commitment we want to make. Like anything post-kids, heading out to our favorite restaurant isn’t as easy as it sounds.
Now that my girls are older, 7 and 5, it’s much easier to keep them entertained. Pack their favorite hand held video games and we’re good to go. With two kids, however, the key is to have two of everything to lessen the bickering.
When it comes to dining out with the sippy-cup set, as Tom Petty said, the waiting is the hardest part. When my girls were toddlers I packed an extra sippy cup for them and small snacks, such as dry cereal or raisins, to keep them occupied while we waited to be seated. I also brought distractions like board books (the wipe-able, waterproof type are best just in case you spill food or drinks) and small toys that don’t double as party noisemakers (no sense in freaking out the nonparent patrons and getting evil stares as your kid plays “Old McDonald” on a kazoo.)
Chili’s Skillet Queso here we come!
Chili’s has a great new place called We Prep, You Play, featuring a Mommy’s Survival Guide with practical tips so busy parents can make dining out with kids a pleasurable break. Chili’s is one of our favorite restaurants. They offer several fantastic, healthy menu selections made with fresh cilantro and other seasonings with a kick, as well as traditional kid-friendly favorites like burgers and fries.
Do you need a break from cooking (who doesn’t)? Here’s a chance to win a $200 gift card to Chili’s! Visit DivineCaroline.com and chime into this conversation: “What’s the MOST fun you’ve ever had with your kids?” Just for commenting you’ll be entered to win one heck of a night out!
Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Chili’s. They provided my family with a gift card so we can enjoy dinner on them. I can’t wait to take a break from cooking and cleaning! I might even go crazy and order one of their fabulous margaritas.