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Eating Out with Kids: How to Choose the Right Restaurants


NEW SOUTH WALES, Australia January, 2013 – Managing family mealtimes can be quite a challenge for mums and dads, especially when dining out with kids, yet Australian author, mumpreneur and multi-task master Jo Turner says there are ways to make eating out with kids at a restaurant peaceful, educational and even fun with just a few simple steps.

Jo, like any other parents, has faced the same problems surrounding family mealtimes – lack of time and energy to cook yet another family meal, too much energy in children, cramped restaurants that are far from kid-friendly, kids’ embarrassing lack of table manners when eating out and more – so she asked experts for the solution. Jo asked experts ranging from paediatricians, nutritionists, manners experts, psychologists and even a senior lecturer in childhood education how to manage family mealtimes both when at home and eating out with kids.

Jo compiled the experts’ advice and recommendations in an easy-to-read practical guidebook for parents titled ‘Mealtimes without Mayhem’. In her book, Jo shares helpful information that promotes child friendly eating and fun family mealtimes with practical solutions to meet the social, health and educational needs of children - so important during family mealtimes.

In Jo Turner’s book ‘Mealtimes without Mayhem’ it is advised that, “When dining out with your children, it’s best to consider the venue and suitability before launching out in faith that all will go well. While you are perfectly within your rights to take your children out for dinner, and indeed you should, it’s best to stick to family-style restaurants and go early to avoid upsetting the ambience for other diners who may, for instance, be about to propose.”

Other ways to ensure eating out with kids is as smooth and easy as possible include choosing a restaurant which:

  • Has a cheerful and easy-to-clean décor that is inviting to children and can take spills and knocks
  • Has high chairs and booster seats so children can join parents at the table
  • Has appropriate spacing between tables for strollers/prams and so that the diners can have a conversation without speaking over others
  • Offers suitable entertainment including a playground, kid-friendly television or colouring books
  • Offers food choices that include meals chosen especially for children with kid-sized portions and prices

Good manners expert and author Anna Musson, featured in ‘Mealtimes without Mayhem’, says “When you’re at home let your kids know it’s okay to drink hot chocolate from the spoon, but when you’re out its important that you’re mindful that they learn the difference. I have a 16-year-old at home and she understands perfectly that I wouldn’t normally do some things if we had guests or if I was dining out.”

‘Mealtimes without Mayhem’ highlights the importance of family mealtimes to the wellbeing of all family members, but especially children. Establishing family mealtime routines can bring family members closer together and create ties that bind. Jo Turner urges families to eat together as a family, as parents can build a strong foundation with their children simply by connecting with them during family meals.

To learn more about managing family mealtimes and dining out with kids, grab a FREE copy of ‘Mealtimes without Mayhem’ at


 Eating out with kids
 Dining out with kids
 Managing family mealtimes
 Eating out as a family
 Dining out as a family

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