To a child who’s never eaten at one before, Chinese restaurants can be the ultimate novelty experience in trying new food. They can also be unfamiliar and chaotic environments that can stress a youngster out due to the flurry of new activity happening simultaneously. Then there’s a selection of food that is dramatically different from anything they have ever tasted, which is the
real challenge in getting children to enjoy their first visit.
While the experience may turn out to be far from smooth sailing, here are three creative tips to try so that you and your kids can enjoy the best dim sum Houston has to offer:
1. Turn the Unfamiliar Into a Fun Learning Experience
Everything in a Chinese restaurant will be unfamiliar to your kids, but this is something that you can use to your advantage to make it into a highly engaging and educational one. The first point of fascination that many children will have is with chopsticks. They will most likely wonder what it’s for and, once it’s explained to them, exactly how they’re used for eating. Be sure to make the
learning experience fun rather than frustrating. You can do this by placing rubber bands at the end of the chopsticks to make them easier to use!
Fortune cookies will also surely entertain children. Mystifying the cookie and the fortune it holds within can build up their fascination. To kill time before the food arrives, you can even play guessing games as to what their fortunes will be. In doing so, children can let their imaginations run wild, and you can let the anticipation build for when they get to open their very own cookies.
When they finally break it open, you can continue playing a game of make-believe and explore the meaning behind the cryptic fortune. There are also lucky numbers included, so you can try guessing that those numbers could possibly mean with your kids.
2. Order Food That is Yummy and Easy to Eat
Though you may be used to a selection of hot and spicy dishes, don’t forget to include kid-friendly items from the menu in your order. Try noodles and dim sum in Ocean Palace for Chinese dishes that are delicious, fun, easy to eat, and full of variety. Choosing food with familiar flavors is the key to introducing kids to more foreign tastes and, eventually, spices.
At the same time, keep track of your kids’ favorites and get similar equivalents on the restaurant’s menu. If your kids love noodles, getting an order of Lo Mein might make them more open to trying new food. Egg rolls and dumplings are also popular choices among children, especially since they get to dip them in sauces!
3. Learning Proper Chinese Dining Etiquette
Teaching your kids the proper dining etiquette may be challenging if you are not familiar with them yourself. In such cases, it will be a great learning experience for both of you, and your children will grow up learning how to respect different cultures, especially during mealtimes.
Here are a few good pointers to remember:
● Chopsticks are not forks and should not be used to spear food, only to pick it up.
● Do not use a bowl of rice as a stand for your chopsticks since this resembles burning
incense for the dead. This is considered bad manners.
● Do not use chopsticks as drumsticks.
● Avoid taking home leftovers as this will give the impression that your family did not enjoy the food and is still hungry.
Regular visits to different Chinese restaurants will allow your children to grow accustomed to the proper etiquette expected. They will also become more adventurous with trying new flavors!
Taking your kids to a restaurant with a cuisine they’ve never tried before can be a little nerve-wracking, especially if they’re picky eaters. The environment can also be stressful, especially if it’s full of different sights, sounds, and smells that they are not used to. However, with a little bit of patience, creativity, and thoughtfulness, you can teach your kids how to enjoy Chinese food the right way.
The best Chinese food in Houston should have a proven track record for providing authentic, dependable dishes each time. Ocean Palace Restaurant serves some of the best Chinese seafood and rolling carts of every dim sum imaginable. View our menu to order online or book a reservation today!