For some, the thought of dining out with kids at a restaurant is a daunting experience. For others, it’s avoided all together. We’ve all seen them – parents trying to dine with children who are screaming, throwing food and cannot seem to stay still – and we have no desire to be one of them. But dining out with children is not only achievable, it can also be beneficial for the family’s well-being. Here are 5 reasons why dining out with your children is a worthwhile experience for the entire family.
- Dining out promotes family unity. Believe it or not, dining out as a family can actually enhance quality family time. For some families, dining together at home can be a challenge. Between conflicting schedules, distractions from technology and all the other “goings on” at home, getting the family together and having them stay in one place during a meal, can be a daunting task. Dining out and being removed from familiar surroundings, can help to eliminate these distractions. Families can not help but sit, enjoy their meal and interact with one another ,in a way that is often times too difficult to do at home.
- Dining out makes children adventurous. Exposing ourselves to new cuisines and dining experiences, not only diversifies our palates, but also makes us more culinary literate. Helping and encouraging children to develop tastes for foods that they do not eat on a daily basis, helps them better appreciate different cuisines and cultures. Although it’s tempting to stick with something “safe” that we know children will eat, our ability to be adventurous in what and where we eat will naturally become contagious within our children.
- Dining out develops “citizen diners”. Dining out can also be a proving ground and serve as reinforcement for the manners that are instilled at home. Understanding why a table is set up in a certain way, how to properly use utensils and behave in a public setting, are all valuable skills that will serve them for a lifetime.
- Dining out fosters an appreciation for the Service Industry. A concept that is often overlooked is an appreciate for those in the service industry. Along with being a “Citizen Diner”, children can also develop respect and appreciation for those who serve others for a living. Teaching children how to respectfully order and receive their food and about the scores of individuals involved in producing their food, makes them wise beyond their years.
- Flexibility. From grabbing a cup of coffee, to enjoying a multi-course dinner, dining out with your children is one of those experiences that they will cherish for a lifetime. Having this carefree ability to plan something formal or to make a quick stop for a snack only serves to make the lives of parents just a little less stressful. For the children, the value of this sort of flexibility might be felt when they get older – but being a refined diner, well benefit them for years to come.