Traveling with Picky Eaters
Traveling with little ones has its challenges. One among them is getting them to try and eat different foods! Both little kids and even teens can get stuck in a food rut and not want to be all too adventurous. However, there are subtle ways to at least try to get them excited about different dishes.
Hype it up!
When I want to get my toddler, or even the big kids, to try something new I do my best to talk it up in advance. “Guess what we’re gonna try tonight? Ramen noodles!” However, when your enthusiasm as a parent is not enough, as it often is not, YouTube is great, especially when it comes to older kids. Our 13 year old started looking up food in Japan and found so many videos with people tasting different types of meals and desserts. After this, she was so interested in trying new things. For the little ones, books or tv shows with their favorite characters trying new foods are great. Check out my Little James’ Big Adventures series if you have a child between 4 and 9. Little James and Susie are always trying new foods from every country they visit!
Compare it to something familiar.
For example, pasta carbonara can be called spaghetti mac and cheese. Get creative and think about the most appealing way to describe it. When I was writing my Little James book where Little James and Susie travel to Tanzania, they try a dish called Chips Mayai which we refer to in the book as a French Fry Omelet. My kids immediately said, “That’s a great idea! We should make that!”.
Get them involved!
Getting kids involved in the kitchen is so wonderful for many reasons. It’s bonding, it’s creative, and it’s a memory you create with them. It also gets them excited to eat something they may not have otherwise been open to. No joke, my 2 year old ate a bowl of raw shredded beets a couple of times just because I had her at the counter doing it with me. I was shocked and so happy!
I hope you enjoyed these tips for traveling with picky eaters, and hopefully these suggestions keep them from screaming for chicken fingers and mac and cheese! Yet, when all else fails (because sometimes the kids win!) pack some pasta or their favorite snack so you can at least enjoy your food and evening without the stress and worry of them being hungry.