Are you gearing up for an unforgettable family vacation? The excitement of exploring new places and making cherished memories as a family! However, we all know that holiday eating with kids can sometimes be challenging. Worry not! In this blog, we’ve curated 10 top tips by a children’s dietitian to guarantee stress-free and delightful dining experiences during your holiday travels. Get ready to embark on a culinary adventure with your little ones!
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1. Plan Ahead:
Before you hit the road, research family-friendly restaurants and local markets at your destination. Knowing where to go will save you time and ensure you have suitable options for the whole family. Use travel apps and forums to discover hidden culinary gems loved by locals.
2. Pack Smart Snacks:
Keep hunger at bay during long journeys or sightseeing adventures by packing a variety of healthy and easy-to-carry snacks. Fruit slices, granola bars, trail mix, and cheese sticks are perfect on-the-go options that kids will love.
3. Embrace Local Flavours:
Make mealtime an exciting exploration of new tastes and cuisines. Encourage your kids to try local dishes, and turn it into a fun game. Create a “food passport” and let them stamp it with every new taste they experience!
4. Timing is Key:
Stick to your kids’ regular mealtime routines as much as possible. Hungry and overtired kids might be harder to please during meals. Also, consider local mealtime customs, as dining hours might vary in different regions.
5. Involve Them:
Empower your little ones by involving them in meal decisions. Offer them healthy choices and let them decide what to eat. When kids feel included, they become more enthusiastic about mealtime.
6. Hydration Matters:
Keep your kids well-hydrated throughout the day, especially in warm climates. Carry water bottles or sippy cups to avoid any dehydration-related crankiness. Add slices of fruits for a refreshing twist!
7. Patience & Flexibility:
Patience is key during travel dining. Be flexible with mealtime expectations, as kids might be more interested in exploring than sitting still for a long meal. Embrace spontaneity and enjoy the journey!
8. Go Picnicking:
Organise a family picnic with finger foods and treats. Find picturesque spots like parks, beaches, or scenic viewpoints, and let the kids run around while enjoying a stress-free meal amidst beautiful surroundings.
9. Special Treats:
Surprise your kids with occasional treats or desserts during the holiday. Whether it’s an ice cream cone or a local delicacy, a little indulgence can make their vacation extra special and create lasting memories.
10. Be a Role Model:
Lead by example and show your kids the joy of trying new foods and maintaining healthy eating habits. When kids see their parents enjoying a diverse range of foods, they are more likely to follow suit.
At Nutrition4kidsNI, we’re here to make your family holidays even more memorable! Need personalised help with kids’ eating and nutrition? Book a 1:1 consultation with Dr Kirsty an expert children’s dietitian today! Let’s make holiday eating a stress-free and enjoyable part of your travels. Click here to get started!
By Dr Kirsty Porter