You've all those days when you just can't cope with the idea of cooking a meal after a long day at work. Where you might have headed out to your favourite restaurant for a mid-week snack, once you have had kids it can seem easier just to reach for the takeaway menu or head on through the drive through.

However if you want to get your kids to start getting used to restaurant etiquette and eating out, these restaurants can be just as easier and fun as takeaway.

Sushi train

The sushi train is a great starting option for kids. Kids love the salty and distinct tastes of sushi, and are often entranced by the movement of the sushi train. The atmosphere is casual so there aren't any worries about the kids jumping around, and there is always more food coming by so there is no need to wait for your food to arrive and risk hunger related meltdowns. The small portion sizes let kids eat as much or as little as they like. Many sushi trains also run mid-week specials making this a competitively priced option.

Pizza parlour

If your kids are used to takeaway pizza, a pizza parlour is a good option as it has a familiar food. Kids are often intrigued by the sight of the wood fired pizza ovens so try and find a place where the kids can see the pizzas getting prepared and placed in the oven for cooking. Pizza also lends itself to shared eating where the kids can choose to have a single slice, or a half a pizza depending on how hungry they are feeling. 

The local pub

While the pub may not immediately spring to mind for a family meal, many local pubs have scrubbed up their eating options and offer attractive and family-friendly bistro settings. The ambience is still very casual, and again many pubs have mid-week specials for kids' meals as they often have less adult clientele on those nights.

The meals tend to be quite basic (and often deep fried), but usually have a favourite option or two. The meal quality can vary from pub to pub, so it's worth heading online to check the menu options before you head in.

Starting to take your children to restaurants early on lets them practise necessary restaurant skills like controlling their volume and self control. Check out these or other local options.