Feeding a toddler while traveling abroad can present some challenges, but with proper planning and flexibility, you can ensure that your child has nutritious meals during your trip. Here are my tips to help you navigate feeding your toddler while traveling:
1. Pack familiar snacks and food: Bring a supply of your toddler's favourite snacks that are easy to pack and travel with, such as crackers, dried fruit, or cereal bars. Keep fresh snacks safe in a cooler bag with a cold pack. Remember you can never have enough snacks!
2. Research local food options: Before you travel, research the local cuisine and find out if there are any child-friendly dishes available. Look for restaurants or cafes that offer a variety of options, including familiar foods like pasta, rice, or grilled chicken, which are generally well-received by toddlers. However, do try your toddler out with new local foods to develop their palate.
3. Choose accommodations with kitchen facilities: If possible, consider staying in accommodations that have kitchen facilities, such as an apartment or a hotel room with a kitchenette. This will allow you to prepare meals or at least warm up food for your toddler, providing more control over their diet. Hotel buffets can also help and you can stock up on lunchtime options here by using your warmed up food flask.
4. Utilize local grocery stores or markets: Visit local grocery stores or markets to stock up on fresh fruits, vegetables, yogurt, or other toddler-friendly foods. You can also purchase items like bread, cheese, and deli meats to make simple meals or sandwiches for your child.
5. Be prepared for dietary restrictions or allergies: If your child has specific dietary restrictions or allergies, learn how to communicate these needs in the local language or have written translations or cards that explain their dietary requirements. This will help you navigate food choices and communicate your child's needs to restaurant staff or food vendors.
6. Maintain regular meal and snack times: Try to stick to your toddler's regular meal and snack times as much as possible, even while traveling. This consistency can help provide a sense of routine and familiarity for your child. Carry your child’s meal in our food flask and fresh snacks in our cooler bag with an ice pack.
7. Consider food safety and hygiene: Pay attention to food safety and hygiene standards in the destination you're visiting. Opt for cooked or peeled fruits and vegetables, avoid tap water unless it's safe for drinking, and ensure that the food you serve to your child is properly cooked and prepared. Use our ThermoSpoon to check the temperature of your baby’s food before you offer. It should be below 40 degrees Celsius.
8. Adapt to local customs and meal times: Embrace the local culture and be open to trying local dishes. However, be mindful that meal times and eating habits may differ in different countries. Plan accordingly and adjust your toddler's schedule to accommodate local customs while ensuring they get their required meals and nutrition. Again having snacks on hand if you are pushing the meal time out to 8pm rather than the usual 6pm.
9. Stay hydrated: Remember to keep your toddler well-hydrated during your travels. Carry a water bottle and offer fluids frequently, especially in warm climates or during activities that may cause them to perspire more.
10. Stay flexible and be patient: Traveling can be unpredictable, and your toddler's eating habits may change or fluctuate during the trip. Be patient and flexible, offering a variety of food options and allowing your child to try new things at their own pace. Remember that it's normal for toddlers to be more selective with their food choices at times.
By being prepared, researching your destination, and maintaining some familiar routines, you can navigate feeding your toddler while traveling abroad and ensure they have a balanced and enjoyable dining experience throughout your trip.
Check out our "Out and About Travel Advice" page for more Advice on travelling with a child
At Mummy Cooks, we have a wealth of advice on feeding your family. We cover everything from meal prep and slow cooker recipes to moving baby on to family foods and preparing food safely. So whether you're looking for quick and easy meal ideas or want to learn more about healthy eating, we've got you covered - Feeding the Family Advice page