Traveling Kids and New Foods:Tips on getting the kids to try new things
Traveling kids and New Foods
Foodies love travel and exploring countries through foods. Even those of us who don’t think of ourselves as ‘foodies’ can appreciate trying some new things when we travel. Kids don’t always feel the same way. Kids and new foods don’t always get along.
Grown ups know you don’t have to get too far away from your regular foods to try something new. For example, ice-cream at home isn’t that far from gelato in Italy. Waffles in Belgium have new yummy stuff on top like chocolate and whipped cream but aren’t really that different from the ones at home. French fries are similar the world over.We love to try all the local fair! In Spain – paella, churros, and sangria. In Morocco we were trying the mint tea (tastes like warm Spearmint gum) and lentil soup.
But what about the kids? Some kids don’t like their food to ‘touch’ so they sure won’t go for something like paella or gnocchi!
Traveling Kids and New Foods: Eat mostly familiar
My philosophy on vacation food is to try new things if something looks interesting, but in general we allow the kids to eat as familiar as possible. So, that means lots of pasta (no sauce for chickadee #1), bread, pizza, gelato, and french fries. They love continental breakfasts of sweets and breads. Even in Morocco sweet stuff was reasonably familiar. There are lots of places around the world who will happily make adjustments for children. Just ask.
Traveling Kids and New Foods: Eat to get full
The goal for meal time is for everyone to leave with a full belly. Hungry travelers are cranky. Let the kids eat pasta and bread to get full and have them take a little nibble off of your plate to introduce them to new foods. The less pressure and stress, the more open they are likely to be for trying new things anyway.
A kids diet high in pasta and bread might not sound like the healthiest idea, but don’t you splurge a little on vacation? An extra glass of wine? Do you have dessert while on vacation when you don’t usually?
Traveling Kids and New Foods: Eat healthy at home
I feed them as healthy as possible at home (like putting money in the health bank) and when on vacation I give them a multiple vitamin each day and let the chips fall as they may (like making a withdrawal from the health bank) . Considering we spend a lot more time at home than on vacation I figure it all turns out OK in the end.
If you feel better, bring kids’ vitamins with you. These and fiber chewies can help everyone stay healthy and happy while traveling.
Traveling Kids and New Foods: Eating to Avoid food borne illnesses
An added benefit is that eating pasta and bread is a great way to avoid food borne illnesses, too. Heaven knows that is wonderful for everyone!
2 – Avoid raw fruits and vegetables that have been washed in local water.
3 – Eat hot food – hot. Be wary of street food at off times and food that has been sitting out like on buffets.
4 – Fruits you have to peel are the safest – like bananas.
5 – Avoid ice cubes!
6 – Eat cold foods – cold. Ice cream that has been sitting out is a breeding ground for bacteria.
Traveling Kids and new Foods: Traveler’s Diarrhea
Sometimes the worst happens and someone in the traveling party gets sick. How do you cope?
“There are a number of myths surrounding traveler’s diarrhea: The good bacteria in your gut is enough to overcome any bad bacteria. (Wrong.) Imodium will only lengthen your illness. (Wrong again.) In fact, “there is no food on the planet that will protect against an onslaught of toxic bacteria,” says Dr. Phyllis Kozarsky, an expert on traveler’s health at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in this New York Times article. Instead, an early dose of antibiotics is strongly recommended. Trying to “wait it out” just means you give the bacteria more time to thrive, making you that much sicker. Antibiotics are “often miraculous cures, because 80 percent to 90 percent of traveler’s diarrhea cases are caused by bacteria,” says Dr. Kozarsky.”
Every parent knows that illness seems to happen on a long weekend or holiday or in the middle of the night! Be sure to have enough meds in your own first aid kit to tide you over until you can find local medical help. See tips for what to pack in your first aid kit here.
Traveling Kids and New Foods: Eating and Enjoying Meals with Kids
Meal times can be a big part of holidays. Often meal times in other countries take longer than they do at home. For example, French meals can take hours! Happy kiddos make the meal time more pleasant for everyone. Be prepared – get all the tips you need here for a peaceful mealtime!
Interested kids are happy! Use my ebooks, written for kids, with information and activities on specific destinations to keep kids engaged! Perfect waiting on the food to arrive at dinner. Check out these titles: Spain, London, Nassau, Canada, Austin, Prado, Vatican City, France, New York City, Louvre, Galleria Borghese, Rome.
Happy travels and yummy adventures!
Natalie, The Educational Tourist