Finger foods: Dining with a toddler

April 12, 2014

Dining with a baby, now almost toddler has been enlightening. I often like to say that having Coltrane actually saves us money, because if he weren’t here, chances are we would be eating out nearly every night like we used to. We cook a lot more at home now than we ever have before and it’s been better on the budget and our buns.

When Coltrane was about 4 or 5 months he became a challenge at restaurants. Where he would have previously just slept or snacked his way through dinner, he became increasingly harder to entertain and often overstimulated. Until he was about 9 months, we rarely if ever ate out. Nowadays we get out a little more often, and when we do we have our routine down to a science. It’s a tag team circus of sorts.

Here are a few tips…

1. Ditch the gargantuan stroller. Nobody like a stroller in a restaurant. Opt for wearing your little one in a carrier or getting a stroller that folds down very small. We have the Quinny Zapp and it is amazing how small it folds down. We usually just tuck it away at the entrance or under our table.

2. Order a bowl of fruit or steamed veggies when they ask for drink orders. This ensures you have finger food and entertainment for them asap. It’s always smart to have snacks in your bag I guess, but so often he would get bored with those. It helps if you’re familiar with baby led weaning as well. We did BLW and so finger foods worked great at a younger age.

3. Spoons are your friend. Watch them carefully of course, but don’t underestimate the entertainment a spoon can give.

It doesn’t work perfectly all the time, but it has allowed us to explore some of the great restaurants San Francisco has to offer. I started this “Finger Foods” photo series because I adore his chunky little fingers and wrists and hope never to forget them. It’s also incredible to watch a little human discover and enjoy so many different foods for the first time.

Bon Appétit!

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