5 Tips on How to “do lunch” with your BLW baby!

A few mother’s, I have spoken to about BLW, have admitted the reason they didn’t go for it was because of the challenge of BLW in a restaurant. I am the first to admit that having a BLW baby means that they aren’t going to sit nicely in their stroller whilst you enjoy your meal in a restaurant (which seems to be the norm in France). Nor are they going to be content with being spoon fed something whilst you eat your lunch if no highchair is available. If you are as passionate about BLW as I am you will want to be able to enjoy going out for lunch with your baby!

BLW in restaurants
BiP impatiently waiting for her seafood lunch in a restaurant in the South of France snacking on dried fruit and a rice cracker

Here are my tips on how to successfully “do lunch” with your BLW baby!

  1. Take  ”clean” foods with you, now is not the time to put leftover spaghetti and sauce in a tupperware: sliced apples, pears, bananas, rice crackers, melted cheese on toast, chicken strips, green beans, dried fruit etc … don’t forget a small bottle of water or a sippy cup. BiP’s current favourite is a bottle of water with a straw. Easy!
  2. Plan ahead, if you are going out for lunch make sure you have enough time to get to your table and order before you baby gets hungry. It’s no good waiting for your baby to be hungry and then heading to the restaurant unless you like dealing with a hungry grumpy baby! This is when you snacks come in handy! If possible, call ahead and see if they have a highchair.
  3. Lunch in Avignon

    BiP on my knee enjoying roast duck and polenta in a restaurant in Avignon, France

    Be prepared for the restaurant not to have a highchair. In France, very few restaurants have a highchair as most babies are spoon fed seperately from the family meal until 2 years old +. My favourite accessory is something called a “Sack n Seat” it’s a cloth seat that goes over most restaurant chairs and holds your baby in place to enjoy their meal.  However, it is not perfect, your baby will be too short to be able to reach the table so I put my diaper bag with the changing pad under the seat to raise BiP up. Don’t forget your bib! If worst comes to worst, put your baby on your knee and let them share what’s on your plate. Just make sure you put plenty of napkins under your baby so you don’t end up covered in food.

  4. Take plenty of wipes. Most highchairs I have encountered are old and dirty so wipes are a must have to clean it up. You will also need wipes to clean up the mess afterwards as most the highchairs I have found are best suited for older babies so BiP usually ends up covered in food!
  5. Relax! Enjoy your lunch, don’t worry too much about the mess, for the first time in a while you don’t have to clean the floor or the chair! Leave a generous tip if it makes you feel better.

There are my tips on how to do lunch with your BLW baby! What are yours?

Ameena @ MummyinProvence (10 Posts)

Ameena @ MummyinProvence lives in the South of France with her April 2010 baby BiP who was exclusively breastfed until she was 6 months old. Their diet is gluten-free, usually lactose-free and focuses on fresh meat, vegetables and fruit all farmed locally.

13 Responses to 5 Tips on How to “do lunch” with your BLW baby!
  1. Deborah Gilbert
    April 4, 2011 | 1:05 pm

    Great post. We have found toast is a good food to order for Capri when we are out because she loves it. I have found putting a spit up blanket on my lap works nicely to catch all the food she drops when there is no high chair.

  2. Jess
    April 4, 2011 | 4:20 pm

    We love eating out! We’re pretty bad about it, actually. We used to order him a side of veggies or something similar, but now we just give him a bit of what we are eating.

    • Ameena @ MummyinProvence
      April 5, 2011 | 11:06 am

      I find most restaurants are pretty good at giving you a meal without salt or sauce on the side if you ask for it. When I tell them BiP is going to be sharing my meal with me I usually get a weird look but it’s ok!

  3. Janine @ Alternative Housewife
    April 4, 2011 | 5:56 pm

    Eating out is really hard for us because Sebastian just doesn’t have a great grip for most foods. At home he eats on the floor on a blanket most often, as otherwise he drops food onto the floor. At home that’s not so bad but even I (totally NOT a germaphobe) am not feeding my baby food from a restaurant floor!

    • Ameena @ MummyinProvence
      April 5, 2011 | 11:07 am

      His grip WILL get better. It will get easier. The main thing, I feel, is to let them have the experience of dining out – BiP loves it and is usually better behaved in a restaurant or, now it’s warmer, eating in her “garden” highchair on the terrace/deck.

  4. Whitney
    April 6, 2011 | 7:42 am

    Love all of these tips! Last night I was discussing with friends about babies screaming in restaurants (and parents not taking them out so everyone else can enjoy their meal). It got me thinking about how with BLW, the baby is happily occupied while eating so the worry of screaming baby isn’t an issue!

  5. Emily @ Joyful Abode
    April 6, 2011 | 11:07 pm

    Love this! Good tips. But even without following the tips, it can be fun for you and baby… today I:
    1. Didn’t take any food with me.
    2. Didn’t plan ahead (and she WAS hungry – but I typically nurse her while we wait for the food to come, so she’s “good to go” when it arrives.)
    3. Didn’t have any sort of high chair apparatus and the restaurant didn’t have one either. She just sat up on the booth beside me. I kept a close eye on her to make sure she didn’t topple off.
    4. Had zero wipes. Had a bib in my purse but forgot I had it.
    5. RELAX is the most important. :) Since I didn’t have 1-4, we wouldn’t have been able to have lunch together without #5. And know what? Anneliese LOVED her shrimp. She cried a little when it was time to go and I had to pry it from her fingers.

    • Ameena @ MummyinProvence
      April 7, 2011 | 1:27 pm

      You are so right that the key thing is to RELAX even if you are just going with the flow!

      You are a BLW pro so you can wing it … I hope my post helps first timers realise that it is possible to eat out with a BLW baby!

  6. Emma@HiggsandKisses
    April 7, 2011 | 2:57 am

    Hubby and I tried a picnic yesterday – baby step towards eating out. It was cute, but not necessarily a massive success. I think because we’re such BLW beginners, the Higglet needs to concentrate completely on what she’s doing. She’s too interested in the world around her to focus on food if there’s anything else going on. I think it’ll be a while before we go public!

    • Ameena @ MummyinProvence
      April 7, 2011 | 1:28 pm

      Even at 11m a picnic is adventurous for BiP – admittedly it was easier at 6m when she just sat still – now she wants to crawl and climb on everything so it’s a disaster! BUT she is good as gold in a restaurant! Try it!

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