Those first couple of months, we would time our outings so the girls would nap in their car seats. Around nine months, they started eating Cheerios, which served as “entertainment” while Mommy and Daddy enjoyed a quick bite to eat. After the girls turned a year old, they graduated to sitting in their stroller, and I augmented their Cheerios snack with cubed cheese. They were usually content to sit for 45 minutes or so.
When I started feeding the girls “big people food” after their first birthday…and they balked at even a mashed banana…I feared it would be a looooooong time before the girls would be able to eat out with us. I set their 18-month birthday as a goal for them to enjoy a meal at our favorite Mexican restaurant.
Although the first couple of weeks of “big people food” were a rough go, the girls have grown to enjoy a wide variety of food at home. And I began to share little bites of my restaurant food with them now and again, in between snacks of Cheerios and cubed cheese.
About a month ago, I decided to give the girls a try at eating off the menu in a restaurant. I had in my bag a back-up plan…cubed cheese, whole wheat bread, two avocados, and diced fresh strawberries…in case they balked at the new experience. Fortunately, I didn’t have to break out my stash.
The girls’ first restaurant meal was at our favorite Mexican dive, a full six weeks ahead of my original goal! They seemed to inhale a chicken quesadilla, rice, and black beans. I was so proud!
Since their inaugural quesadilla, they’ve eaten a cheeseburger, wood-grilled veggies, and fresh fruit at a restaurant downtown; and a grilled chicken breast and steamed broccoli at another of our hang-outs.
These meals haven’t exactly been relaxing…I am constantly reaching and wiping and encouraging…but it’s still so nice to have a break from eating in. And it’s so neat to feel like a “little family” out for a nice lunch, as opposed to a married couple trying to sneak in a quick bite while juggling a couple of kids.
For now, I’ve vowed not to let the girls eat out more than once a week. And I am very careful to follow the restaurant meal with a few “strict” meals at home, most often encompassing brussel sprouts. I don’t want the girlies to get any ideas about demanding restaurant fare on a more regular basis.
At some point this probably means I’ll have to curb my eating out, as well. I don’t know how much longer they’ll sit while I eat, knowing they, too, could be having a treat more delectable than Cheerios.
I've been meaning to write this post for a while. It just so happens to fit in with the Multiples & More Question of the Week!