Traveling with a toddler can be a challenging experience, particularly when it comes to maintaining a healthy diet. If you think your little one is picky at home, just wait until you see what they will and won’t eat on vacation! When traveling abroad, it can be even more difficult to find healthy meals that your toddler will enjoy, or even eat! However, with a little bit of planning and effort, you can ensure that your little one is eating well while exploring new places.
So before you find your European cruise deal or start packing for a beach resort getaway, take a look at the guide below. It’s a round-up of some of the best ways to provide your toddler with healthy meals while traveling abroad, and will help them and (crucially!) you enjoy your vacation to the utmost!
The best and easiest way to ensure your toddler has healthy things they like to eat while on vacation is to bring your own snacks. This ensures that you’ve always got a few go-to, familiar bites to hand, in the event of a minor (or major) food-based meltdown. Packaged snacks like granola bars, trail mix, and fruit roll-ups are convenient and easy to transport, while fresh fruit and chopped vegetables are great for maximizing the ‘healthy eating’ aspect. Bringing a variety of snacks will keep your toddler satisfied and happy while on the go.
Research Local Restaurants
One of the key aspects of vacation planning is research before you go, and this applies double when it comes to getting your kids to eat. Before you travel, do some research on local restaurants at your destination, and keep an eye out for restaurants that offer healthy menu options for kids.
Plenty of tourist restaurants will have a kids’ menu, which often includes healthier choices like grilled chicken or fish, vegetables, and fruits. Look for restaurants that use fresh, local ingredients, and avoid fast-food chains if you can!
Ask for Modifications
Don’t be shy about asking for specific modifications to meals on the menu. It is always good to encourage your toddlers to try new things, particularly when traveling, but standard menu items might include something that you know is a no-go, either health-wise or because your little one just won’t go near it!
Ask for sauces or dressings on the side to give your kid a chance to decide if they like them, and it goes without saying that you should always let your waiter know if your toddler has any allergies.
Stick to Regular Meal Times
While traveling, it’s important to stick to regular meal times as much as possible. Keeping a consistent schedule will help your toddler adjust to the new time zone and reduce the likelihood of meltdowns. Pack snacks for in-between meals, but try to maintain a regular schedule for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Make Use of Grocery Stores
If you’re staying in a hotel or rental property, make use of nearby grocery stores. You can purchase healthy snacks and meals to prepare in your room, and keep your little one happy throughout the day. This is a great way to save money and ensure your toddler is getting nutritious meals. Look for fresh fruits and vegetables, whole-grain bread, and lean protein sources like chicken or fish.
Traveling with a toddler can be a challenging experience, but with the right preparation, you can ensure that your little one is eating healthy while exploring new places. By following these tips, you can enjoy your travels and keep your toddler healthy and happy.