5 Tips for Dining Out With Your Kids in Abu Dhabi

5 Tips for Dining Out With Your Kids in Abu Dhabi

Dining out is one of the best activities you can do in Abu Dhabi with your family. But if you have younger children, your choices will often be limited to fast food chains and kid-themed restaurants.

By dining in such restaurants, you will be sure your kids will eat something. You won’t have to worry about keeping your children’s behavior in check every minute or so to avoid causing a disturbance inside the restaurant.

But even if your kids are young and are not used to eating at fancy establishments, you shouldn’t limit their dining out experiences to fast food and kid-themed restaurants.

You can have a stress-free and wonderful dinner with your family at one of the best steak restaurants in Abu Dhabi by following these tips:

  1. Call the restaurant in advance

Calling the restaurant in advance will allow you to do two things: ask if they welcome kids of any age and to make a reservation.

While talking to the staff, ask if they have a children’s menu or something on the regular menu that your kids can eat. Keep in mind that not all fancy restaurants embrace children, especially babies and toddlers. You will have an idea if the restaurant is worth going to if the staff can give you suitable choices for your kids.

If you feel comfortable with dining at a particular restaurant, take the time to request for a large corner table so that everyone won’t have to feel cramped in a small booth.

  1. Head to the restaurant early

A sleepy and hungry child can cause a lot of problems, especially in an unfamiliar place such as a new restaurant.

To have a more enjoyable time at the restaurant, eat dinner at around 5 p.m. The restaurant will be quieter at this time so you will be less likely to disturb other diners.The wait staff will be less frazzled, too; hence, they will be more accommodating as well.

Your child will also have just woken up from a nap and had his or her snack and, therefore, will be in a good mood. You will then have an easier time encouraging him or her to try a new dish.

  1. Don’t forget to bring your children’s “special” bags

Before leaving for the restaurant, make sure your kids’ bags (or a bag for all of them) have all the things you can give them when they start becoming bored or restless.

These should include:

  • Books
  • Crayons and coloring books
  • Several small toys

Pack a few snacks your kids love in the bags as well.

  1. Order something immediately for your kids

Patience is not something that younger children are known for. Once everyone has been seated, order something for your kids.

You can read to them items from the menu that they may like. In case they don’t like anything from the menu or they are not touching the food already on the table, give them a snack or two from the ones you packed.

While your kids are eating, you can take a longer time to peruse the menu and order something that you really want to try. Don’t forget to order a variety of dishes, including vegetarian dishes, so that your children can also try out these nutritious foods.

  1. Engage with your children

Although you will be sorely tempted to eat your steak in silence and give your kids the box of crayons and coloring books as soon as possible, don’t.

The restaurant is a great place to teach your kids about different types of food, how to eat healthily, practice table manners, etc. As soon your orders are served, tell your children what the ingredients are and how they taste. Encourage them to taste a veggie they have never seen before as well.

Keep in mind that the more conversation and food interaction that happens during mealtime, the better for your kids and your family as a whole. This means giving your kids their items for entertainment only when they are starting to get restless and look to be near their “boiling point”.

Throughout dinner, demonstrate good table manners and always be courteous, especially to the wait staff.

Make a show of how much you like the dishes as well, especially the ones that contain vegetables your kids don’t like.

Take every opportunity you can get to educate your children about food and dining etiquette when out at a restaurant. By doing so, your kids will learn more about behaving properly in restaurants and how to eat well.


Jenene Bronwin Batts is the Senior Marketing Coordinator at Tourism Development & Investment Company or TDIC. She oversees website maintenance, PR requests, marketing initiatives and all general guests’ enquiries for the company’s destinations, including KOI Restaurant & Lounge and Boa Steakhouse in Abu Dhabi.

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