DIY Restaurant Survival Bag – How to Survive a Restaurant with Little kids


This is my new favourite discovery.  The restaurant survival bag is a life saver!  I have it packed ready to go, then if we decide we want to go out to a restaurant to eat all I have to do is grab it and we are all set.

We love eating out!  When my husband and I dated we went out to dinner once a week and it was amazing.  Now, not so much.  We try, but it just is not the same experience with kids as it was before.  We can still have some amazing meals, but not always.  We went out to two restaurants with disastrous results.  Both involving carrying screaming children from the restaurant.  I vowed to turn this around and be as prepared as is humanly possible.

I got this bag, which is actually a travel toiletries bag from Thirty-One and it works great.  Has it’s own handles and pockets inside and out.  I love how it even has the wet pocket spot so I can put a water cup in it or bring home wet clothes in it without worrying about it leaking everywhere.

DIY Restaurant Survival Kit

Here are the contents of my restaurant survival bag:



  • Summer infant eating mat
  • Puffs
  • Sippy cup
  • Baby spoon
  • Little portable toy that rolls on the table
  • Sophie and other teething toys and things to play with
  • Bib



  • Raisins
  • Sticker activity book
  • Play dough
  • Flash cards
  • Crayons
To enjoy a meal out at a restaurant with littles try making this Restaurant Survival Bag and… Click To Tweet

Not listed but also great to have in the bag:

  • Baby wipes to help clean sticky hands and faces.
  • Extra shirts to change into after for the littles.
  • Ziplock bags and/or little containers to bring home leftovers.

Of course you need an awesome handy bag that is easy to grab and bring to restaurants, I also use these two: Hanging Travelers Case or even a Zipper Pouch.

You will notice I have snacks on both lists, it may seem weird since you are at a restaurant,  but if the food is late it helps to stave off the hangry outburst and also keeps them occupied longer.

To save time, I also look at the menu on my phone on the way there and when the server comes for our drink order, I just order everything right away so it doesn’t take as long.   We also try to choose restaurants that have snacks on the table (like chips at Lone Star) and go early before the kids get really hungry and the restaurant fills up so things take longer.   I don’t put Po in his highchair until the last minute as I know his tolerance for sitting in it will be sort so I try to save his patience for when the food comes.


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A mom of two trying to stay sane while running a household, working part-time from home and looking after her baby, toddler and husband.


    • avatar
      Hil says:

      Thanks Celeste! We are also vegetarian so looking at the menu ensure we have food to eat! Most kids menu’s are not vegetarian friendly.

  1. avatar
    Brooke says:

    It’s so funny and true that eating out with kids requires a strategy and game plan! How convenient that you have your eat-out bag all ready for whenever. We don’t eat out much as a family, but did learn very early on how critical it is to be prepared! 😀 And checking out the menu ahead of time to order immediately is so smart! What a great idea.
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  2. avatar
    Heather says:

    This is SUCH a great idea. I am going to make one today…we love to eat out, but I’ve never thought of having a special bag for our little one. That would make it a little special for her! 🙂

    • avatar
      Hil says:

      I totally agree. But honestly, I can see why people do it, so desperate to go out for a meal, not cook and feel like a human again out in public, it can be hard when the kids are not cooperating and that may seem the only option to keep the peace for the rest of the meal. But that’s why I try to come prepare so that does not need to happen!

  3. avatar
    Susan says:

    I used to have a restaurant toy bag when my children were young. It was a life saver and the kids always looked forward to playing with those special restaurant toys. Congrats, you’re featured this week on the #ThisIsHowWeRoll Link Party on Organized 31.

  4. avatar
    Jamie says:

    I was going through my purse the other day and almost started crying. I always carried a little clutch with crayons, etc. for our son. Now that he’s older, I never seem to take them out anymore! I love your idea, too – great for all parents!

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