Welcome to Cafe Parents!
Just in case you are all bored of seeing where our Little Munch family end up eating out each week, I thought I would introduce you to some parents from all around Sydney (and beyond) who love to eat out with their brood.
First up we have the lovely Lilit from the very popular site Makeup and Macaroons. If you are useless with makeup (like I am), you need to read this site! Lilit road tests all the myriad of makeup products on the market for you - with a bit of fashion, child rearing and eating out thrown in for good measure.
1. Tell us a little about yourself Lilit.
I'm a mum to a 4yr old boy and a 1yr old girl, and by the time you read this I would have returned part time to my job as a project manager. We live in Sydney's North West and have always loved traveling and dining out. As you'd know both aren't necessarily easy with kids, however slowly slowly we've introduced our kids to the delights of both travel and eating out, to the point where every few weeks our 4yr old will tell us he needs a holiday and wants to stay in a hotel and have outside-breakfast.
2. Do you have a favourite neighbourhood gem that is kid friendly?
For breakfast we love The Big Treehouse Cafe at Rydalmere. Bar Angolo at Top Ryde City is a favourite all rounder, they do amazing pizzas and I can never go past their freshly piped ricotta cannoli. We also really love Dos Senoritas in Gladesville for authentic Mexican, but we haven't been there since my daughter was born so I think it's time for a visit! I think they have kids-eat-free nights, so if you haven't been there yet I highly recommend it.
3. The witching hour & dinner time - do you have any tricks for surviving this period, especially when dining out?
I think the witching hour/s get easier as the kids get older, or perhaps we learn how to navigate it better. At home we usually reserve the 5-7pm window solely for the kids, e.g. getting them fed, bathed, books, bedtime. It's just too difficult to cram our own dinner prep and eating in that window, so the husband and I eat our dinner after the kids are asleep. Since my son is getting older now, if he's awake late then he'll sit with us at the dinner table and have a snack to keep us company. If dining out, we tend to do early-ish dinner so the kids aren't too hungry and tired. The best trick to surviving dinners out with the kids is research research research, as in, make sure you choose your venue correctly and that it's kid friendly, also have toys or other distractions with you. I'm always using the Little Munch guides to choose a kid friendly eatery and so far I haven't been disappointed!
4. What would we find in your handbag (besides lipstick) ?
If my 1yr old daughter is with me I usually just carry her large nappy bag, so it's crammed full of the kids' necessities. My own handbag generally has the usual suspects, wallet, phone, keys, some makeup, and in this occasion 2 x racing cars, doll's shoes, and a half eaten packet of gingerbread babies.
5. What is your biggest parental fail when dining out with your kids?
I'm sure there's too many to mention, but for now I'll say that we've been known to take an iPad with us to restaurants to keep the kids entertained. Some people are against the use of technology and screen time, but we've found if we ban something they'll want it more, so we let them have it in moderation and they don't ask for it often. Actually that's a lie, if we let my son he'd sit there all day watching those damn egg opening videos on YouTube all day long!
Thank you so much Lilit! Obviously Little Munch needs to check out Bar Angolo & Dos Senoritas very soon. And as for the Ipad when dining out - I'm so guilty of that too (or should I say I was until the boys broke the damn thing!). To find out more about Lilit and her fabulous website and Instagram account, check out the links below: