Hudson Valley Parent

HVP March 2020

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18 Hudson Valley Parent n March 2020 family-friendly places she turns to for snacks and meals. "We love going to Adams, not only because they have children's grocery carts but also for the food," she said. "Our go-to is the cupcakes. When it's warm enough we sit out- side the store and have a nice time with all the sugary goodies." By ERICA HIGGS F ace it, eating out with young children who might not be able to communicate their needs and wants can be stressful. It can turn what should be a celebration for a special occasion, a fun week- day night or a spur-of-the moment weekend trip to a restaurant into a big headache. However, with some simple tips and tricks, the stressors of eating out with young ones can be a distant memory. When heading to a restaurant with her family, Courtney Mas of Beacon, brings a special placemat. "Pack a silicone placemat," she said. "Then you don't have to worry about your children eating off the table. Also, any spills or crumbs are caught so (there's) no need to apologize to your waiter at the end of dinner. Try not to be too hard on yourself, either. Almost every parent has had the screaming kid in the restaurant." Carol Trinchinato also is from Beacon and uses foods her kids like as a tactic for stress-free eating out with her children. "I bribe my children with food," she said. "I always go to a place where I will be able to find some- thing they like and they will also enjoy a meal." Trinchinato's 1-year-old can com- plicate the process because of her young age, but now, the mom said, her little one is getting the hang of eating by herself and keeping busy. "(It's) always great if I have extra help, however, when I'm by my- self, food always does the job," said Trinchinato. In fact, Trinchinato has a list of Trinchinato also likes the Big Mouth Cafe in Beacon. "It's nice and my 4-year-old and her friends have a great time drink- ing a delicious hot chocolate in this chilly weather," she said. Iris Haddock uses family-time activities to make dining out a fun experience, like having chats with the kids and doing pencil-and-paper and phone games. "I'm a mom of four school-aged children ages 15, 13, 10, and 5," she said. "When we go out for dinner, we usually go during off-peak hours. While waiting for the food to ar- rive, we let each kid have a turn at talking about how their day was at school and then play Tic-Tac-Toe, Hangman, color, or solve word puz- zles like CodyCross on the phone." Another tip is BYOC - bring ring Eating out with kids Take stress out of family dining and have fun Melting ice cream leaves its messy mark on the unhappy face of Erica Higg's daughter, Abby. "Try not to be too hard on yourself, either. Almost every parent has had the screaming kid in the restaurant." COURTNEY MAS, PARENT

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