Jessica Biel Talks Dining Out with Kids: ‘You’re Full of Anxiety’

03/02/2016 at 09:30 AM ET

Jessica Biel wants to eliminate the stress that comes with dining out for new parents — a feeling she’s all too familiar with.

The actress told E! News at the opening of her new, family-friendly restaurant Au Fudge hosted by Amazon Family on Tuesday that taking son Silas Randall, 10 months, out to eat instills fear.

“Since he’s so little still and I’m still kind of learning how I do it in a very smooth and like elegant way, it’s terrifying,” said the new mom, who shares Silas with husband Justin Timberlake.

She continued, “You get to a place, you want to make sure the diners around you are not being bothered, you’re full of anxiety, you’re trying to go as fast as you can — you don’t enjoy it at all.”

Jessica Biel Au Fudge Opening
Mike Windle/Getty

That’s why when it came to her own eatery, Biel said she wanted to “erase” those feelings from “a mom, a dad, a family, a nanny, grandparents bringing their grandkids here.”

The West Hollywood restaurant, which opens Thursday, has a dedicated space for its youngest diners and on-site au pairs.

“We just want you to feel stress-free about it and know that they’re playing with things that are safe, that we don’t use chemicals here, that there’s not just a bunch of plastic everywhere and we’ve really tried to think very thoughtfully about your family because it’s our family, too,” Biel said.

Biel previously told PEOPLE that she wanted “to have a place where I want to bring my kids, or I want to bring my girlfriends.”

She shared a similar sentiment with Extra‘s Terri Seymour, saying, “I think it really was my friends who had kids they couldn’t go anywhere that they loved. It was either the kids were happy or they were happy and I couldn’t really join them anywhere because they were at a ball pit or they were at a place that the food options were pizza or fries and that was sort of it, so that’s where the idea came from.”

“We all started talking about it and it was clear, this was what was missing,” Biel explained.

Her own experiences with Silas — who she said is “doing great” — have also colored the sort of foods she included on the Au Fudge menu.

The actress told PEOPLE last fall, “I have some good ideas about the foods that I want to put in my body and my family’s body. The menu is not just kiddie food!”

— Lindsay Kimble

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Showing 15 comments

Francine on

I like that they have on site su pairs, but I would think most parents wouldn’t trust their kids with unknown adults outside of a teacher.

Ammy on

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Joanna on

If your leaving your kid with an au-pair why don’t you just hire a sitter and leave the child at home?

LC on

I’d like to visit the restaurant – sounds like an interesting idea. She is so right about eating wth a kid being anxiety ridden. My daughter is now 3 and I am still anxious eating out with her – wanting to make sure she’s fed/happy, as well as not bothering other customers with possible fuss. I rarely enjoy my food so we rarely go out to eat. Lol

Amy on

@joanna

Why pay for a babysitter when the restaurant offers someone to monitor them for free. It’s just a separate room with a monitor for your kids to play in after they’re done eating and you’re not

Anonymous on

I never had a problem, once. If you are a good parent you have well behaved children.

Katy on

LC, I feel the same way! I consider myself a good parent, along with my husband, but a toddler is a toddler … they get antsy very fast, and it’s sometimes a struggle to make sure they’re occupied and enjoying their food, and not fussing and bothering anyone! We still go out, but we go to noisier places that are obviously more kid friendly. Jessica’s restaurant sounds cool!

sally on

Great idea!!! Best restaurant we ever found- having a 2 year old who would not sit still- was a play area, filled with toys and the tables surrounded it- along with small tables with paper and crayons. We could go and have a meal, while our two year old played! It was heaven and he had a great time too! We need MORE family friendly restaurants for parents of young kids. And make the bathrooms nice with a few changing areas- rocking chair for breastfeeding mothers….all sorts of ideas come to mind!

Charisse on

Truthfully, I don’t know why parents have anxiety when dining with their children. Our daughter dined with us, since she was an infant. If she got fussy, I would remove myself from the dining room. Now at 4 years old, we still take her everywhere with us. We never order off the kids menu – our daughter shares our plates. We always pack things to entertain her too. However, great concept by Jessica – I hope it does well!

Angela on

Yes good for her to open a restaurant that is kids friendly and you feel free, not stressful dining restaurant.

Cortney on

Can we get the details on her dress? I love it!

Claire on

Good for her!
I think the concept works – especially for moms that have a littler one that won’t sit for long. Please don’t subject everyone else to their tantrums. They might’ve paid a sitter for the privilege. Let them play and you can get them/nurse them later on. It’s great if you’re not at your own town and can’t hire a sitter.
I definitely say to keep trying to have dinners with good manners, though. Practice formal dining at home. We were able to do 4 star places by the time mine were 5 – complete with multiple pieces of silverware and all while wearing a tux. We also enjoy crushing and it’s nice to have formal dinners as a family. Our kids leat absolutely anything (oysters, ceviche, any veggie, anything except Jello, oddly enough) so it can be done!

ONZ on

She looks fantastic on her dress.

Anonymous on

I think this concept is a very good idea! I don’t have children, but I have a niece and nephew, so I see how they can get. Kids, especially under the age of 5, are very unpredictable. I would have a hard time enjoying a dining experience if I had a small child with me. I always said if I ever had a night out, I would hire a babysitter, but this is a great alternative. It gives the parents a chance to enjoy their meal in peace and allow them a break for an hour.

Sara on

This is a very good idea. Parents who have small kids can have peace of mind to bring their kids for dinner in the restaurant and don’t have to worry about any embarrassment or any disruption to nearby dinners.

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