Disposable placemats. You might not be eco-friendly, but how do I love thee.
Since BabyBoy and BabyGirl were six months old, we have taken them to restaurants with us, popped them in highchairs and let them practice eating at the table. It’s often been productive of amazed stares from other patrons, but it has worked out well for us as if we both held a baby on our laps neither of us would ever eat. However, putting babies / young toddlers at a table with plates and bowls is generally a recipe for tableware + food on the floor. And while that might be ok at home, in public it’s something I’d rather avoid.
Enter the disposable placemat! A plastic mat that is adhesive-backed so it can be stuck to a restaurant table. We give it a wipe down with a dettol wipe and voila! a clean surface to place food on, with no need for plates and bowls (or even cutlery if your kids are eating with their hands). This is, without a doubt, an eating-out essential. Personally, I love these mats, as they have adhesive on all four sides so are difficult for determined little hands to pull off.
Never again will you have to shudder at the clatter of a restaurant bowl hitting the floor to the accompaniment of looks that say ‘I knew that was about to happen…’