Have you been eating at restaurants much? There is so much to think about, especially as a mom. There is nothing more important than keeping your kids safe and healthy! Sometimes, it can feel overwhelming to keep up with all the things you need to watch out for.
There is a healthy balance to be found between worrying and enjoying life. This was especially true when my kid were toddlers, I could not imagine what it would be like in this environment.
Especially in these uncertain times following 5 Restaurant Tips for Keeping Your Kids Safe is so important. When I eat out with my family, I want to relax, enjoy the ambiance, and eat yummy food! But there are a few things I always do to enjoy peace of mind for myself and my family when I go out to eat.
5 Restaurant Tips for Keeping Your Kids Safe
Bring your own wet wipes & hand sanitizer
Most restaurants have stepped up their sanitation game during the COVID-19 pandemic, but you can never be too safe. Studies show that high-chairs are hot spots for germs, viruses, and bacteria.
Now that most dining is patio seating, you can add dust and dirt to that list. Pack some wipes, and before you buckle your kiddos in, give everything a quick rub down. The extra energy now will save you time dealing with a sick kid later!
2. Ask about allergies.
If your family has allergies, always ask. While restaurants are supposed to disclose ingredients on the menu, they often leave things out. Often, I’ve found that when I ask about something specific like, “does this item contain citrus?” the server says something like “I don’t think so!” Even if it feels like you’re being annoying, ask them nicely to go double check and ask the Chef before ordering. It’s better to be safe than sorry!
3. Ask about kitchen standards.
While the FDA and OSHA are supposed to watch out for consumers, there are many things that slip through the cracks. The US doesn’t have as strict of requirements for restaurants as other parts of the world, and one of the only ways to find out if your food is safe is to ask direct questions. It may seem over the top, but your health is on the line.
For example: Studies show that charring meat can lead to high levels of cancer-causing chemicals known as HCAs and PAHs. If you order meat, request that anything grilled not to be charred. Another way food can contain HCAs and PAHs is if it is fried in oil that hasn’t been filtered properly.
Countries in Europe have regulations on how often oil should be changed because they have found connections between Acrylamide and degraded oil. The US has no rules on this! Essentially, little particles containing carcinogens might be attaching to your child’s tater tots.
When you order fried items, ask the server to find out when the last time the fryer oil was changed, or what type of filtration system they use. If they aren’t sure, skip the fried goodies and order something else!
4. Pay attention to sugar content.
Without nutrition facts, it’s easy to lose track of sugar content. Usually, nutrition data won’t be listed on the menu, but if you ask, at most places they will tell you! Recently, we went out to breakfast as a family, and my kids wanted smoothies to drink along with their french toast.
A strawberry banana smoothie didn’t sound too unhealthy to me, but I wanted to check just in case. When I asked if the smoothie was made with fresh berries, the server told me it was actually a powdered mix…with 65 grams of sugar per serving!
5. Ask for contactless pay
Whether you’re handing over your card or cash to the server or paying yourself at checkout, ask if contactless payment options are available from your phone so there’s minimal touching. It is becoming popular and most places now.
Overall, you want to enjoy your time out, while taking charge of your own family’s health. Don’t let anyone make you feel high maintenance for asking questions. As a Mom, it’s your responsibility!