What will Kids Eat Abroad?
What will kids eat if they’re not eating anything new?
Going for a family vacation and you’re a little bit worried about travel food for kids? What will kids eat abroad if they don’t like experimenting with food?
If you have toddlers or preschoolers you are probably familiar with all kinds of weird eating habits. Most kids are conservatives when it comes to food. They strongly prefer familiar food, usually they make similar choices and are against of any kind of experiments. Therefore, it might get tricky to make them eat anything healthy if you’re travelling to places with totally different cuisine. Here are 8 suggestions that might help you not to worry too much and still have healthy eating kids while travelling.
1. Take some travel food for kids with you
It’s an elementary suggestion familiar to all mums out there. Whenever you go out with small children it’s good to have some bites in your purse. It will keep kids occupied and avoid bad mood caused by being hungry.
If you travel with kids to a long haul destination you might find out there is nothing there to eat that they usually eat at home. If you go to Asia for instance the foods are more likely to be spicy. Even the most common meals might have different taste than kids are used to.
So there’s a suggestion – take something with you. A package of outmeal is always a good idea. Outmeal won’t go off while travelling around. Neither does it need to be in a fridge but you will always have a safe choice of travel food for kids that you know they’ll eat.
If your kid loves some other cereal take those of course. Also smaller snacks are a good idea to take with you – some crispbread, healthy cookies, nuts and dried fruits, packaged smoothies etc.
2. Don’t count on local grocery stores
You might think that you can buy everything everywhere but don’t count on it. I’m usually packing light when I travel and have hoped that everything that I need is possible to buy at destination. Looking for food for kids in different countries has been a challenge, though.
There might not be as common things as outmeal available in many stores even in US. The canned foods that the toddlers are eating are also a challenge to find sometimes. I have been wandering between the aisles of grocery stores in Sri Lanka thinking whether rice pudding with sugar is really everything the local babies are eating. Perhaps their mums are mostly cooking themselves so you have to do the same or take all travel food for kids with you.
3. Take more food with you if you travel with baby
Until the baby is mainly eating milk you’ll be fine. But if you travel with a toddler who has outgrown milk and still not eating everything that the rest of the family does you will have to think in advance. Are you going to prepare his travel food yourself or will you have some easier options. Taking canned baby food with you, for instance.
Be aware that you can carry liquids in your hand luggage if you travel with baby. The bottles or packages may be bigger than 100 ml that is allowed to take with you to the airplane in other occasions. Neither will you have to place the liquids into a mini grip bag.
The airport security might ask about the liquids and require you to taste them to be sure that what’s inside is safe, though. But that’s something I have never had to do. So, take your baby’s favourite bottle and some baby foods to be sure you will have good quality food with you that he loves.
4. Prefer accommodation with kitchen corner
Kids are kids. They are not hungry if you’re at the restaurant ordering for everybody. Yet they might be hungry as bears 10 minutes later.
Children are more likely to eat healthy in places that are familiar and safe to them. If you choose accommodation prefer places with kitchenette. That way you can prepare some easy travel food for kids if they get hungry 6 AM in the morning or whenever.
You can always go camping and cook outside as well, of course.
5. Fruits and smoothies are always a good idea
If you travel to exotic countries the food might be ….hmm, also exotic. You will probably enjoy all the new tastes from national cuisine but will the kids?
What is great is that you will always have a great selection of fresh fruits at exotic destinations. Explore local grocery markets with kids and take them to pick their own favourites.
Smoothies are also a good idea travelling or not. Fresh juices are basically fresh made smoothies in many warm countries.
Therefore, go ahead pick your favourite fruits and enjoy healthy and tasteful smoothies with kids. You may also hide some green veggies like spinach leaves or avocado that they wouldn’t eat otherwise inside a smoothie if it’s possible to agree on that with restaurant personnel. Or you can make your own smoothies at hotel’s kitchen corner.
6. Prepare your kids
Preparation is the best key for travelling with happy children. Talk about the positive sides of different cultures and cuisines. Encourage them to taste new things and let them know in advance that travel food is different from the one they are used to at home.
Most kids will take things more easily if they are forewarned.
7. Allow similar choices
There are some foods that all children love. Meatballs, french fries, pasta, pizza are always there at kids menus. Not the healthiest choices but all right to eat for a while.
If your kid has something he will definitely like you may allow him to make similar choices during your trip. You’ll be happy to see he is eating anything else than ice cream at the beach.
8. Don’t stress out, it’s only temporary
Well, I don’t like to see kids eating same things from day to day. Neither do I enjoy watching them to eat only pasta with ketchup or macarony with cheese or fries, pizzas and other fast foods. Healthy vegetables and proteins are hard to find at kids menus. And even if you order something healthy you will probably end up eating it yourself.
So, I’ve decided I can deal with it if I remind myself that travel food is only temporary and kids will (hopefully) go back to their usual eating habits after vacation.