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Eating Out: Cups for Kids, Meals for Kids, Why Not Utensils for Kids??

5 Mar

Whenever we go out to eat, the girls have difficulty using the adult size utensils and throughout the meal one or more of their utensils usually ends up on the floor. I always wonder why kid-friendly restaurants have kids cups, kids meals but never any kids utensils. Over the weekend, I was looking through a One Step Ahead magazine and stumbled across this child size flatware set that would be perfect for restaurants to set for children who dine.  Unlike most utensils for kids which are bright-colored or have a character on them, this set is made of “durable, high-gloss stainless steel which inspire grown-up manners” (One Step Ahead).  I am going to have to invest in a set for when we play “Fancy Restaurant“, when we have friends over for a nice dinner, or to take with us when we go out to eat.  Kid-friendly restaurants should definitely consider investing this great utensil set.

Image from One Step Ahead

Disclaimer:  I did not receive compensation for this post. All opinions expressed are my own.

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Fancy Restaurant and socialsklz:)

10 Feb

Image from socialsklz.com

All dressed up and setting the table.

“Fancy restaurant” started last summer while we were visiting my brother-in-laws at the beach.  Maddie got upset that everyone went out and we stayed back because going out to eat with two toddlers is extremely difficult.  In order to cheer up Maddie, my husband told her they were going to play “Fancy Restaurant” and allowed her to stay up a little later.  Her eyes lit up.  The two of them set up a table with a towel as the table-cloth, he grabbed a pen and paper to take orders, filled a pitcher with water, threw a hand towel over his arm and set the table with plates and utensils.  Maddie sat down.  He left the room and then re-entered with “Hello, Welcome to Maddie’s Fancy Restaurant! May I take your order?  What would you like to eat this evening?  We have some specials you might like (he listed some  of her favorite snack foods)”.  When Maddie would get up or scream for something else she wanted he would remind her that she was being inappropriate by saying “Excuse me Ma’am, this is a fancy restaurant and we would appreciate it if you could stay at your table and use a lower voice”.  Maddie would quickly go back to her table.  Pela is still a little young to fully understand but she loves to play too.  I never thought about it being part of learning social skills or practicing before going to dinner at a restaurant.

Waiting for dinner.

We were playing “Fancy Restaurant” a couple of weeks ago and think about socialsklz:-) founder Faye Rogaski.  Faye spoke at a MomTrends event in November about teaching social skills to children.  I recently reached out to her because I wanted to get some tips on teaching diningsklz:-) to young children, especially since we have weddings and other special dinners coming up.  Today is my Dad’s birthday and we will be going out to dinner at a nice restaurant to celebrate.  We have been playing “Fancy Restaurant” and working on what Faye suggested to prepare for the night out.  See below for what Faye had to say about teaching diningsklz:-).

Mealtime etiquette can be a daunting endeavor for parents,particularly when eating out with others.
First and foremost, start your dining lessons in the comfort of your own home,without the pressure (on you or your child) of being out.

Plan for a “dinner party” or as Jennifer likes to call it at her home a “Fancy Restaurant” night. A dinner party or evening dining out requires preparation and doing so in advance sets you and your child(ren) up for success:

1/ teach your child how to invite people and put together invitations
2/ discuss a healthy well-balanced meal and the menu for the evening
3/ enjoy setting the table with a proper place setting at each seat and placecards
4/ go over mealtime do’s and don’ts (no need to use the word “behavior” kids cringe when they hear it)
Including where the napkin goes, how to sit, using utensils, talking without food in his/her mouth, excusing
Him/herself from the table, etc…
Before you do this part of the lesson put together a list of the most important things to you at the table.
And based on your child’s age, go over more or less specifics.
5/ explain what a “toast” is and show your child(ren) what a toast looks like and how we make eye contact when tapping glasses.
6/show children where utensils go when in resting position and in finished position.

What's wrong with this picture?

7/ discuss what happens during a dinner-conversation and enjoyment!
8/ demonstrate where the napkin goes at the end of the meal
9/ share with children what they should do if they don’t like a food on their plate.
10/ and finally share the importance of a thank you to the “host” or to the person paying for the meal

For assistance or mealtime etiquette queries, email Faye Rogaski, founder  socialsklz:-) tools to thrive in the modern worldfaye@socialsklz.com. socialsklz:-) offers modern day social interaction and communication skills workshops throughout NYC (Upper East/West, Columbus Circle, Tribeca, Brooklyn) that include diningsklz:-) lessons.

Time for a "fancy" dessert!

The Super Cute SuPper Suit!

25 Jan

Maddie’s godmother recently got engaged and asked her to be a flower girl in her wedding.  Maddie was a flower girl once before and the biggest problem was keeping her dress clean, especially when it was time to eat dinner and cake. I tried using a bib but it was easily pulled off, not to mention it had a duck on it and didn’t really go with the formal attire.  I came across the SuPper Suit on twitter and immediately thought it would be perfect for keeping her flower girl dress clean this time around.

ABOUT

(click the link above for the SuPper Suit Story)

The SuPper Suit is not your typical bib.  It is a smock type bib that covers the front upper half.  To put it on, the arms go in first and there is a Velcro closure in the back, making it hard for the child to pull off.  It is light weight, waterproof, and has a pocket for dropped food.   It includes a travel pouch for easy, on the go storage in your purse, pocket, or snack bag, even when dirty. You can order the SuPper Suit in two adorable styles, a “little black dress” for girls and a “tuxedo” for boys.  These styles are perfect for any occasion, keeping the messiest of eaters clean and saving their sleeves from ketchup stains. Their fancy and stylish look makes them especially great for special occasions like weddings, holidays, birthdays, a special meal out or for everyday use.  The super cute SuPper Suit retails for $15.00 and fits children up to 37 pounds.  The “little black dress” and “tuxedo” can be purchased on their website or on Etsy.  While you are shopping or surfing the web, like the SuPper Suit on Facebook!

IN ACTION

I received two “little black dress” SuPper Suits for review and I keep referring to them as the Super Suit. Although it is a little short on Maddie, it has saved many shirts and dresses for both girls.  The SuPper Suit is not only wonderful for food but it is also perfect for art projects as well as dress up and role-playing.  The girls love to play “fancy restaurant” and they have used their “little black dresses” along with a skirt when they play.  It is very easy to clean, all you need is a damp sponge and mild soap.  It took a little extra muscle to get off when Pela smeared the tomato soup and pasta into it.  We LOVE our SuPper Suit and highly recommend it, especially for little ones just beginning to eat.  It is the new favorite out of the many bibs we own.

Imagine what her shirt underneath could have looked like without The Supper Suit...

Out to dinner to celebrate being a flower, look what could have happened to the sleeve of the beautiful dress underneath.

Great for art!

Saving the PJ's from a sweet treat after bath time!

Not just for meal time... perfect for dress-up too!

Some more pretend play and sisterly "love".

Keep checking back for a Giveaway in the next couple of days!

Disclaimer: I did not receive compensation for this post.  I received two “little black dress” SuPper Suits for review.  All opinions expressed are my own.  

Wordless Wednesday: We LOVE Shake Shack!

18 Jan

The girl’s love making special trips to Shake Shack!  They even have a special dance they do when they go!  Yummy!

Click on the Shake Shack Logo to find your closest location. Don't worry D.C. friends and family there is one near you too!