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Five tips for feeding picky eaters on holiday

A holiday is supposed to be a fun, stress-free experience. But, when you’re travelling with a picky eater, there can be challenges. Spending time abroad with a young child can feel particularly tricky, especially if they’re not quite at the stage of being able to verbally express their feelings when it comes to food.

Ultimately, we all want our children to eat well, no matter where we are. To ensure they do so, it’s important to do a little prep work beforehand. Coming up, we share our top tips that may help your child to be a little more receptive to new flavours on holiday.

Find family-friendly restaurants for picky eaters

It’s pretty easy to find restaurants that’ll appeal to your kids at a family-friendly holiday destination with lots of amenities. However, it can be tougher if you’re hoping to escape to somewhere a little more off the beaten path.

So long as you research ahead of time, you should be able to locate some excellent restaurants that’ll cater to the entire family’s needs in a less touristy location. In fact, you may want to choose your destination based on the culinary experiences you can have there – just make sure that they’re restaurants you would also love to sample, as well as having options for your child.

If a restaurant doesn't have a kids’ menu, don’t worry – you can always have a chat with the staff prior to booking, to ensure they’re able to accommodate your picky eater’s needs.

Pancakes get fun at Red Beanbag. Pic courtesy Anna, IBU Member
Red Beanbag kids meals- from Anna IBU Member

Stock up on snacks

We often don’t know where we’ll end up or how our plans will change with each day on holiday. So, it’s impossible to be completely sure that there will be food available for your child as and when they need it. To avoid any stress, it’s best to always carry a few snacks with you that you know they’ll be happy to eat – particularly if you’re expecting to spend a good portion of each day out and about exploring.

Depending on your destination and whether you have to catch a plane or not, you may be able to bring snacks from home in your luggage. If not, familiarise yourself with local supermarkets at your destination – this way, you can stock up on a few ingredients to make simple snacks that the little ones can enjoy throughout the day.

Embrace fun foods

Although you don’t want to put pressure on children to eat foods that they refuse, being away on holiday does present a wonderful opportunity to encourage them to be a bit more daring. Of course, you always want to offer your child healthy snacks in the first instance – but even if they only accept the less healthy treats, it’ll likely pay off in the long run as they’ll still be experiencing new flavours.

This is all about making food exploration on holiday work for your family. By showing your child that trying new flavours can be an enjoyable, exciting experience, they may become more inclined to be a little more adventurous with their choices back at home.

IBU Chocolate making workshop, to expose our children to a variety of food and tastes
IBU Chocolate making workshop, to expose our children to a variety of food and tastes

Talk to your child

It’s important to prepare your child for what to expect while they’re away. For picky eaters, spending time away from home can be particularly stressful, so you’ll want to help them to feel relaxed and excited about the upcoming holiday prior to jetting off.

You may want to show your child pictures of the local foods in a positive and enthusiastic way, or speak to them about great restaurants that they might get to experience. It’s important that you demonstrate your own excitement for the holiday, to help to reduce any discomfort or worry that they may be experiencing.

Try not to worry

Exploring new flavours on holiday is plenty of fun, but there will be lots more enjoyable experiences to be had on your trip. So, rather than worrying too much about food, it may work in your favour to focus on some of the other elements of your holiday. A laid-back approach will likely help your child to feel relaxed and more open to new experiences. You may be pleasantly surprised to find that the nature of being on a relaxing holiday is enough to inspire your child to get creative with their food choices.

IBU pizza making workshop, to expose our children to a variety of food and tastes
IBU pizza making workshop, to expose our children to a variety of food and tastes

Parents on holiday with a fussy eater, enjoy the holidays. We hope these tips help you and we hope you relax and enjoy the time. After all, you can get their eating back on track after the holidays easily, so do learn to let go some of the rules too! You deserve a holiday, just as much as anyone else!


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