Now that restrictions are slowly easing up and dining in is permitted for fully vaccinated individuals, we can start going to our favourite restaurants again or to explore new cafes. Initially, we were hesitant to bring our two young kids out, as they are not vaccinated. However, I figured we couldn’t keep them locked up at home forever!
Besides, it’s been many months since they had a meal out at a restaurant, so we decided to bite the bullet one weekend. Well, let me just tell you, they were so happy to eat their favourite food in their favourite restaurant again, they gobbled it up in record time and had the biggest smiles throughout the meal.
Though it may seem daunting at first, here are some tips for nervous parents on how to ease your worries when bringing young kids out during the pandemic.
1. Research and plan ahead
As I felt safer bringing the kids to open air places, I only chose restaurants which offer al fresco/outdoor dining. There are quite a few restaurants in KL and PJ which have outdoor seating. I also made sure I called beforehand to reserve a table, as these tables now get snapped up quite fast. Of course sometimes when it’s not possible to dine outdoors, I always ensure that the restaurant we head to has proper socially distanced tables and good ventilation.
Another tip is to dine at off-peak hours, to avoid the crowd. We normally arrive when the restaurant is just open, so it is still quiet.
2. Prep the kids beforehand
Every time before we head out, I always tell the kids that the virus is still out there and that we still need to remain vigilant. I remind them to always keep their mask on when not eating. I find having a face mask chain super handy (and the kids love wearing their ‘necklace’). As my kids are still young, they do get a bit restless while waiting for the food to arrive. To prevent them from walking around or touching things in the restaurant, I normally pack some activity books or story books to keep them occupied.
3. Sanitise, sanitise, sanitise!
Besides having a good mask, having a good hand sanitiser is equally as important. I always ensure I have a bottle in my bag and every time before the food arrives, I make sure everyone sanitises their hands properly. Same thing goes when we leave the restaurant. When we get home, I always make sure the kids wash their hands thoroughly with soap.
4. Lastly, just enjoy every moment!
One thing the lockdown has taught us, is never take our freedom for granted. The kids have been so happy to be able to dine out – there’s just something different about eating your favourite food at the restaurant, compared to taking away and having it at home. So as long as you follow the SOPs and choose proper restaurants which make you feel comfortable, enjoy every moment of it!
Our top tips to take the kids
Our favourite places to take the kids are Out of Africa, Rakuzen at Desa ParkCity for Japanese cuisine, Fuego (for a fancier meal out with the kids and to enjoy the beautiful KL skyline at night), Chica Bonita in Publika for Mexican cuisine, Dim Dou Duck at Desa ParkCity for Chinese cuisine (good socially distanced tables indoors) and WIP at Bangsar Shopping Centre for Western/Asian cuisine. All these places have nice outdoor areas for dining. Have fun and selamat makan!