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Food Tips for Traveling with Children

June 18, 2012 Le Cordon Bleu Atlanta 0 Comments

Food Tips for Traveling with Children

Family road trips or flights across the country can create a lot of great memories. They can also be very stressful without the right planning and preparation, especially when it comes to traveling with and feeding children. Adults may be up to sampling the local cuisine and eating at odd times, but chances are that the children will ask for chicken nuggets and mac & cheese, even at that fine trendy French restaurant you’ve wanted to go to.   They will also be hungry “right now”.

Making your own meals and snacks for travel doesn’t require a culinary school education or extra expendable income for special foods. A little planning and is all that’s necessary.

Tips for Feeding Children While Traveling

To help you meet their menu expectations and your nutrition requirements you should plan meals and snacks according to these three phases of travel:

  • Packing and Preparation
  • On the Road/In Flight
  • When You Arrive

The following will help make traveling a lot easier.

Packing and Preparation

  • Bring plenty of water.
  • If you have a new restaurant in mind, call ahead to see if they have a children’s menu.
  • Introduce foods from new countries well before the trip. Getting a child used to new cuisine is easier to do before getting to the destination.
  • Bring easy to handle, non-messy snacks for travel, including fruits, sandwiches, granola bars, pretzels, bagels, rice cakes, and other handheld foods.
  • Anticipate your meal and snack needs (for the whole family) and add a little extra for delays, detours, or side trips.

On the Road/In Flight

  • Interrupt schedules as little as possible. Plan your stops to coincide with mealtimes at home, even if travelling by air. A bag full of sandwiches and snacks will save a lot of tears and complaints.
  • High protein snacks are better than high fat or high carbohydrate snacks. Nuts, low-sugar protein drinks, hard-boiled eggs, and some dry cereals are all high protein and keep energy levels up without the crashes that follow high carb meals.

When You Arrive

  • Doing your own meal preparation can spare a lot of fighting about restaurant menus. Many hotels have kitchenettes and/or full kitchens that can make mealtime easier. It will probably save you a lot of money as well.
  • If travelling to foreign countries, avoid drinking the tap water. Even properly treated water may have unfamiliar organisms that can cause digestive distress. Consider hot teas, bottled water, and other prepared drinks. Even drinking soft drinks for a few days is better than an avoidable stomach ailment.
  • Even though you are vacation, you should still try to keep meals balanced and nutritional. Cranky kids on vacation are often created by a bad diet. Don’t let them skip the veggies just because you’re in vacation for a week.
  • A child’s constitution is not as strong as yours. You may not feel the effects of new foods and spices, but a child may. Limit the consumption of exotic foods unfamiliar to young eaters when possible. They don’t have to eat chicken nuggets, but the escargot may be a little much.

Above all, plan. Planning meals and menu is critical for happy and enjoyable vacations with children.

This article is presented by Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Atlanta. Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Atlanta offers culinary arts and pâtisserie and baking training programs in the Atlanta, Georgia area. To learn more about the class offerings, please visit Chefs.edu/Atlanta for more information.

Find disclosures on graduation rates, student financial obligations and more at www.chefs.edu/disclosures.  Le Cordon Bleu® and the Le Cordon Bleu logo are registered trademarks of Career Education Corporation. Le Cordon Bleu cannot guarantee employment or salary. Credits earned are unlikely to transfer.

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