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Helping Your Child Eat While Away from Home

The whole family is happy and excited about getting away from home for a few days or weeks of vacation together. You have packed everything you could possibly need and you stuff your car with suitcases, toys and goodies for the road or airplane.

But traveling usually involves different or unusual foods that will be placed before your kids, either in restaurants or at your in-laws table. Some children love to discover and try new food items. They will devour anything put in front of them. But most are hesitant about new foods, and some are in downright refusal mode.


Without prior planning you may find yourself with a tearful child and a very embarrassing situation. Here are a few suggestions to prevent the mealtime meltdown:


•    Favorite Foods – Try to pack some favorite foods or snacks that you know your child will never refuse. If flying, you will need to purchase them at your destination because food may not be allowed on the airplane.


•    Talk – Before leaving on your trip talk to your children about the possibility of new food choices and set a rule that works for your family. Will you require them to try 1 bite or give them permission to just say “No thank you.”


•    Menu Madness – A large menu can cause children to feel very overwhelmed at choosing their own meal. Even some adults get panicky in the menu-choice moment. The parent could give the child 2 items to choose from; “Do you want the burger or the pizza?” This will relieve the child of the big job and still allow them to have a say in the meal choice.


•    Provide Vitamins – A fun and busy vacation can be stressful and exhausting for everyone in the family. Be sure to pack extra supplements to help parents and kids alike to keep their energy up and healthy.


Relax Food Rules – You may want to consider backing off on the strict meal rules you have at home. Kids are extremely versatile as far as their healthy body needs go. If they do not eat their vegetables for 2 nights, they will be okay.