Dinner for Three: The art of eating out with an infant, toddler or preschooler

All NYC kids should be raised restaurant-ready, but it doesn't happen automatically. My blogger friend, and Izzy's Mom, chronicles her quest to raise her son as a gourmand on her site, Izzy Eats and has been generous enough to share some of her tips for how to eat out at restaurants with kids and enjoy it at every stage of the game. Along the way she recommends some of her favorite restaurants that she's enjoyed with her son. Thanks, Izzy's Mom!

My son, Izzy and I, have been dining out together since he was born. Eating in restaurants was an important part of my life and I wasn’t about to give that up when I became a mother. Instead I wanted to include my son in the pleasures of the table, especially since New York City is a restaurant paradise. Now at age four, dining out is second nature to him. At home or in restaurants, eating with him is a true delight. He is a polite and interested eater which I attribute to his regular exposure to restaurant culture early on. And so, based on my experience I offer the following so that you too can dine out successfully.

Giveaway: $50 Gift Certificate to Warm Biscuit Bedding Company

I'm not much of a soft-y, but there's something about vintage kid stuff that just makes me weak in the knees. I'm not talking about like 1970s hipster let's-put-Atari-decals-on-the-walls vintage. I mean like Dick and Jane 1950s vintage. The innocence and the optimism just thrills me.

And, let's face it, there's nothing more optimistic than having a baby–or decorating a nursery, for that matter. Filling your child's room with beautiful, wholesome toys and artwork is a wish that your and your children's lives will be just as perfect and serene as the room.

If there's any place to stock up on vintage optimism, it's The Warm Biscuit Bedding Company. They sell all kinds of furniture, decorations and of course bedding for lovely kids' rooms, but I have to say my heart lies in their classic toys. And they sell pages and pages of them.

You can really get lost in this site for a long time just checking out all the wonderful things that they have.

OpenHouseNewYork Weekend Guide for Kids

If you're planning on staying in the city for the long Columbus Day Weekend, then you've picked a good time to stay home. Besides the Apple Festivals we wrote about yesterday there's another special free festival this weekend with all kinds of unique activities for kids. The openhousenewyork weekend is America's largest architect and design event, opening 350 doors to off-the-beaten-track locations throughout New York City. And OHNY Kids has special programs designed just for children. You'll find programs that teach kids about sustainable living, discover places you've never heard of, go places rarely open to the public, see artist studios in action and participate in fun activities at one of the many historic sites around NYC. We've picked out some of the highlights for you, but you can see the whole Open House New York program guide online.

Free Swap for Kids Halloween Costumes

I want to thank everyone who has already taken the Mommy Poppins Reader Survey. I'm getting all kinds of great feedback and over the next couple of months we'll be starting to institute lots of them. There's going to be a lot of fun and exciting changes and I'm really looking forward to it.

In fact, one piece of feedback lead to this idea already: One of the things that people were interested in was classifieds. Seeing as it's October now and Halloween is on it's way, I thought we'd start out with a Halloween Costume Swap Board.

It will be a fun, easy way to get rid of old costumes or discover new ones. I'm hoping this will be really fun and lots of people will participate. The Mommy Poppins Halloween Costume Swap will be a great way for this community to come together and find great costumes for our kids this Halloween.

September Wrap-Up:Hot Posts and Reader Survey Giveaway

I can't believe Mommy Poppins is coming up on its first birthday. And, like the overbearing mother that I am, I'm already thinking about all the things I can change to make my baby even better than it is.

Toward the end of the year we're planning a complete overhaul of this site with a new design (see a sneak peak of the new look in this image) and improved features. And you can help shape the improvements we'll be making by giving us some input.

Make your voice heard by taking the Mommy Poppins reader survey. Tell us what you love, what you don't, what you'd like to see more or less of. What are your ideas for the site? We want to hear them all. We want to hear as much of your brutally honest feedback as we can get so we can make this site more of what you want it to be.

For more info and September Hot Posts

Eat pie and watch an elephant paint in Dumbo this weekend

This weekend there are two events happening in Dumbo, Brooklyn that will make a great day out with kids.

First is the 4th Annual Bubby's Pie Social where you can taste pies made by community members. It is expected that hundreds of homemade pies will be available. Kids can enter their own pies too. If you or your kids would like to make a pie register on line. The money raised from this event goes to benefit area public schools. So eat your heart out. It's for a good cause.

When you've had your fill of pie, wander a few blocks over to the 11th Annual Dumbo Art Under the Bridge Festival where you'll find, among other really unusual and artistic activities for kids, a painting elephant.

If you haven't had enough fun and excitement by then you could always tromp over to Brooklyn Heights to check out what's for sale at the St Ann's Rummage Sale.

Five Food Hacks: Getting kids to eat vegetables and love it

You don't have to try to fool your kids into eating food that's good for them. You just have to slightly more clever than they are. That's where these five handy food hacks come in. Just little tricks that will help you get more vegetable matter into those little mouths.

101 Easy 10 Minute Recipes for Family Meals

Way back in June the New York Times published what may have been the least helpful guide to making family meals I have ever read. It was something to the effect that mom should spend her weekends organizing and shopping and cooking meatloaves and roasts and other boring, but noncontroversial food. The real kicker was that even with this so called plan, the author recommended eating out towards the end of the week cause you deserve a break.

Nobody needs help figuring out how to spend their weekend cooking or how to order take-out. We need ideas that keep us from having to do that. Good thing I'm a very busy person because by the time I got around to calling to cancel my subscription it was the next week and they had the most glorious article entitled 101 Simple Meals in 10 Minutes or Less. Now that's my idea of a family meal plan - beautiful, easy, delicious and healthy meals you can whip up when you walk in the door and feel like the SuperMom or Dad that you are.

Now, I know there are many kids out there who are not going to eat half the recipes in this article, but there are certainly enough recipes in the other half to give you a nice variety, especially if a little creative recipe tweaking were to go on. But just for kicks let's see how many of our own simple 10 minute recipes we can come up with that are truly kid friendly.*

So here we go. The Mommy Poppins Kid-Approved Simple Dinners 10 Minute Recipe List:

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