Traveling with picky eaters can be hard but definitely not impossible. There is a lot of nervousness around traveling with little children, add to that picky eating and you have a task on your hand. Don’t worry, in this post, I will take you through some of the considerations you can make to accommodate your picky eater and some food ideas that are great as a backup on days when nothing works.
Tips for traveling with picky eaters
Pick accommodation with a kitchen.
If you can, go for service apartments. You can be in charge of the kitchen and carry staples your child enjoys.
Dry staples that can be carried are:
Baby food mixes
Instant porridge mixes
When you get to the location you can shop for other ingredients from the local grocery store to make your toddler’s meals.
Quick meals to rely on while on holiday are :
Oatmeal porridge with a fruit of choice.
Whole grain pasta cooked the way your picky eater likes.
Related reading: What to feed a picky toddler?
Carry your child’s favorite snacks
It’s best to carry your child’s favorite snacks on the trip as a backup in case they don’t eat much at restaurants or on the plane. Having a known safe food keeps the child in a good mood and even motivates them to try other foods on offer.
It’s also a good idea to make batches of snacks like energy balls and breakfast bars for the holiday. These are energy-dense snack options when you are on the go with your toddler and most picky eaters enjoy snacks such as energy balls.
Research the menu of restaurants ahead of time
Before you head out for the day, give a quick google search for local restaurants and their menus. This way you can decide on places you know your picky eater will enjoy.
Restaurants that are offering an experience like building your own plate, making a pizza with the chef, etc. may actually work for picky eaters. Being involved in the process encourages the child to actually try the food.
Breakfast buffet to your rescue
When staying at a hotel, use the breakfast buffet to your advantage. Most buffets around the world will carry some staples for your picky eater to enjoy.
It can be a great way to bulk up on calories at the beginning of the day and even pack a customized sandwich or a favorite fruit for a snack later.
Stick to foods your child will like
Don’t pressurize your child to eat new foods he/she may not like when on holiday, instead when the option is available stick to the foods your child likes and will eat. There are already a lot of new experiences happening all at once for a child on holiday, adding new foods into that mix can feel overwhelming.
Ask for adjustments to suit your child’s preference
When you research restaurants, read reviews and look for kid-friendly places that allow a certain amount of adjustment to recipes. A few food adjustments can go a long way in helping your toddler feel comfortable at the table.
Some family-friendly restaurants will even make you a simple sandwich the way your child will like it. So don’t be afraid to ask.
New foods in a foreign country can be an intimidating experience for most toddlers not just picky eaters, so when you know that a certain adjustment to a recipe will help ask for it.
Most importantly, do not stress about your child’s diet when on vacation. Expect there to be ups and downs in appetite and food intake. Once you are back home you can re-establish healthy eating habits through consistent routines. It takes a while for the child to adjust but they do. Until then enjoy your holidays and let your picky eater see you enjoy eating out and choosing healthy whole foods while on vacation.
Hope these tips on traveling with picky eaters help you plan your vacation. If you have any doubts do drop in a comment below.