Eating out isn’t what it used to be, you know, before parenthood, especially when your kids are likely to eat chicken fingers. . .  again. Or maybe worse, demand a full-sized meal that costs upwards of $20 only to take two bites. If you’re lucky like me and have more than one child, perhaps you get to deal with both—and other variations—of these scenarios. Not fun.

That said, we’re still big believers in taking kids out to restaurants. Dining out gives us the chance to teach our kids how to act in restaurants, exposes them to the inherently social nature of breaking bread, and if you play your cards right, can be an opportunity for them to try new foods—you know, the ones off of the kids’ menu—in a fun, relaxed atmosphere. And it doesn’t even have to cost a fortune.

Related: Off the Kids’ Menu: Pro tips about kids and food with Chef Kevin Sbraga.


Tips every parent should know for eating out with kids, skipping the kids menu, and not breaking the bank - all at once - at Cool Mom Eats | Fried Cauliflower at Zahav in Philadelphia

TIP: Look for veggies on the appetizer or sides menu like this Fried Cauliflower at Zahav in Philadelphia

With a long weekend coming up, back to school madness stretching us thin, and the holidays coming up faster than we think, we’re getting ready to eat out with our kids more frequently without stretching our budgets. I’ve shared a guest post with our friends at Reserve, the restaurant reservations and payment app that we can’t live without, with 6 tips for how to feed your kids off of a regular menu without breaking the bank.

Check them out—I promise they’re all practical, doable ideas that will help make eating out with your kids less stressful—so you can sit back, eat, and enjoy not having to do dishes.