I have a confession to make: I’m a little bummed that I have to share my ridiculously delicious custom-grind burger with havarti. But I’m not alone – my wife must also offer part of her part with a portion of her vegetarian polenta.
We’re at Pig & Pickle, and the reason we’re sacrificing parts of our meal is to feed Anneka. She’s barely a year old, but is absolutely delighted to gobble all the beef, cheese, root veggies and polenta we can put in front of her. At one point, she has her head tilted back and her arms flung wide as she chews with her eyes closed. (Her mom does almost the same thing when she gets tastes something particularly delicious.)
Before we actually had Anneka, the prospect of dining out with a baby was pretty daunting – mostly because of some of the food-flinging, tantrum-throwing behavior I’ve seen from other little people.
But taking Anneka to good restaurants – everything from Thai to barbecue – has erased that fear for me. Anneka is super at sitting in a high chair and eating along with us. She is willing to taste nearly anything, and she likes almost everything: She definitely prefers meat, so we have to trick her a bit by starting with vegetables. Otherwise, she’ll just home in on the meat!
When we take her to restaurants, she doesn’t cry, she’s patient and she doesn’t make a very big mess; she will pitch a few morsels overboard as she gets full, but it amounts to a few small bits that I can pick up before anyone even notices.
Sarah and I really enjoy quality food, so we’re really happy that Anneka is open to eating nearly anything, and that we can count on good behavior. I don’t take it for granted, though, and I’d like to prepare for a time when she might not be quite as good … it’s completely possible that she’ll start pushing her boundaries as she gets older, and mealtime might be an outlet.
So, for those of you who have challenges dining out with a baby, what are some problems you’ve had? What did you do to solve or at least work around dining out with your little person?