Sunday Scripture: Not my Will

Because sometimes my plans just aren’t supposed to work out.  Have faith…
Sunday Scripture: Not my will, but Yours

Today’s Sunday Scripture photo is courtesy of Table for One Ministries…a site for Christian singles of all sorts!

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How to Survive Restaurants with Kids

I am no Julia Child, but I actually enjoy cooking.  Especially if I have a plan and a little time to prep.  But some nights, a home-cooked meal is just not in the cards. I have a few friends that avoid going out to dinner with their kids at all costs.  And we’ve all seen “those” families in restaurants that disrupt everyone else’s meal by allowing their kids to be noisy and out of control.  I try my very best to be somewhere in between.  I actually enjoy taking my kids out to eat.  But let me tell you, we started early on our “restaurant manners!”  So I thought I’d share some of my tips for going out to restaurants with kids.

Free Printable Activity Sheet for Kids in Restaurants - Palmettos and Pigtails

1. Start early.  I literally went out to eat with Jayna when she was three days old.  Obviously, it’s easy to take a newborn who sleeps the whole time to a restaurant.  But we continue to take her {and the rest of ’em} out on a regular basis.  We also eat as a family at home, and expect good manners there.  So we teach our kids from a young age how to act at the dinner table – regardless if it’s in your kitchen or in a restaurant.

Some of our Table Manners include:

  • praying before we eat,
  • putting {and keeping} away all electronic devices,
  • taking appropriate sized bites,
  • chewing with our mouths closed,
  • not talking with food in our mouths,
  • staying at the table for the entire meal,
  • using low voices and waiting our turn to talk,
  • keeping feet under the table and bums in the chair,
  • using napkins and silverware appropriately,
  • taking at least one “Thank You Bite” of everything that is served to us,
  • remaining seated until everyone is finished eating,
  • asking to be excused at the end of the meal,
  • taking our dishes to the sink

All of these rules are simultaneously taught to our kids {and modeled by the adults} from birth.  As far as I’m concerned, these same “rules” apply to restaurants as well.

2. Model “Table Manners” at home, consistently.  Like I said before, modeling and consistency is key.  We make sure that our phones are put up and the TV is off before meals, to model the “no technology” expectation…it won’t be a surprise when they are actually old enough to have their own phones!  But believe it or not, the hardest one for us to model is “no talking with food in your mouth.”  You’d think that would be a no brainer, but once I started correcting the girls on it, I noticed I was constantly doing it too {I’m just a little more discrete…}.

3. Practice at home first, and make your expectations clear.  I found a couple of little games on Pinterest that get the whole family in the spirit of “minding” their manners.  The first one is a game where the offenders get a popsicle stick each time they are “caught” having bad manners.  The winner is whoever has the least amount of popsicle sticks at the end of the meal.  The second one is along the same lines, but only has one “thing” to be handed out.  For example, a toy pig is given to the person who has bad manners, but then passed to someone else who is “caught.”  Whoever has the pig at the end of the game loses {or has to do the dishes!}.

4.  When you do venture out with the kids to a restaurant, set them up for success.  Choose a restaurant with food options that appeal to them.  A lot of those same restaurants have programs where kids eat free with a paying adult…so check what day it is on Out to Eat with Kids!  Be mindful of possible wait times if it is a popular place.  Go at dinnertime, or before your kids are starving.  Choose a place that is kid-friendly: moderate noise level, children’s menus, appetizers that can hold them over.  One of my kids’ favorite places to go is Logan’s.  It’s noisy in there, there are kids’ menus to occupy their wait time, buckets of peanuts on the table {and they are encouraged to throw their shells on the ground!}.

5.  Keep some small things in your purse or diaper bag to pass the time.  I collect kids’ meal toys from Chick-fila and other places that often have small books or interactive games.  Currently, I have a couple of “Doodle Books” from Chick-fila.  I also keep a Mad Libs Book, which is interactive for the whole family.  And because I have little ones, there is usually a couple of animals at the bottom of my bag too.  Above all else, make sure you have a couple of pens….you can always play tic-tac-toe or hangman on a napkin!

Activity Ideas for Kids in Restaurants - Palmettos and Pigtails

Recently, we’ve been to a couple of restaurants that didn’t have interactive kids’ menus.  Fail.  So I decided to kind of make my own to keep as back-up.  I just fold them up and stick them in the diaper bag.  Again…make sure you have pens!  Click here, or on the picture to download and print your own copies of it!

Free Printable Activity Sheet for Kids in Restaurants - Palmettos and Pigtails

Where are your favorite places to take your kids out to eat?

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As always, all opinions in the post are 100% my own.*

Sunday Scripture: Beauty


After spending the week with 6 of my favorite girls, today's Sunday Scripture is in honor of them.  A Bible verse that hopefully will resound in both of our girlie houses as they grow! Thanks to the Educated Owl over on Etsy for today's Sunday … [Continue reading...]

{From the Archives} Disney World Countdown Chain

Disney Countdown Chain from Palmettos and Pigtails

Well, we are at it again!  We are headed back to Disney at the end of the summer for another week of family fun.  Today, Jayna and I made our Disney World Countdown Chain for us to keep track of how many days left until our trip.  We made it just … [Continue reading...]

Overnight Oats Recipe

Overnight Oats Recipe

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Sunday Scripture: Retreat

Sunday Scripture: Retreat

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How a Las Vegas Vacation Made Me a Better Mom


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Apple Pie and Family {aka The Perfect Weekend}

Apple Pie and Family

* I was compensated and given the products mentioned in this post for free in exchange for a review on my blog.  As always, all opinions are 100% and my own!*  A few weekends ago, we were finally able to get my entire family together for a … [Continue reading...]

Sunday Scripture: Overwhelmed

Sunday Scripture courtesy of Fizz Finds

After a tough week of highly emotional and defiant little girls...I desperately needed this Sunday Scripture. Here's to a better week next week!  Thanks to Fizz Finds for this adorable scripture rock found on Etsy. Have a blessed week! … [Continue reading...]

My Favorite Summer Hacks

My Favorite Summer Hacks - Palmettos and Pigtails

Now that we are in the full swing of summer, I thought I'd give you a few {hopefully} new ideas for Summer Hacks. I know there are a ton out there, but these were new to me... and oh-so clever! Feel like making s'mores?  Don't have a fire … [Continue reading...]