It’s that time of year again. The weather is warm, the kids are out of school, and you just planned your two-week vacation with the family. Maybe it’s up to Maine, maybe it’s down to Florida, but you’re on vacation and that’s all that matters. Traveling with children also means there’s going to be times when the menu doesn’t satisfy their wants. So what do you do? We developed a list of tricks for your next trip in order to travel with a picky eater successfully:
1) Every Family Member Tries Something New for One Meal
Imagine going out to dinner and every member in your family tries something new they never had before. Sounds pretty crazy, huh? This will give motivation for your child to eat if he or she is a picky eater. Your child will see that everyone is “scared” of eating something new (or at least looks like they are) and he or she will be part of this “team”. Dedicate a few meals during your vacation as experiments and see what happens. If any member of the family likes their new meal, then they found themselves a new dish for the future! If not, well, at least they tried it! You never know if you don’t try!
2) Have the Children Be Part of the Plan
If you’re planning to go out to eat, create some restaurant options first and then have the children select where they want to go out of those options. If you know that those restaurants have specific food that you would like them to try then that’s even better. When you arrive at the restaurant, they won’t be in a grumpy mood because they chose where the family ended up. It seemed like they had the power all along 🙂
3) Play a Game or Give Out Rewards
Before your vacation begins, set out the rules for a game about trying new foods. For instance, every time someone tries a new food, they receive a point. If they try the new food and like it, they receive two points. A certain amount of points equals out to a prize at the end of the trip. Depending on the rules you want to set it, it could be anywhere from the child selecting the place you eat your last meal for the vacation or buying them that new toy they begged Santa to bring them. Any type of rewards will definitely help their motivation!
4) Pack Healthy Snacks
The long road trips won’t be as long if your children aren’t hungry. This is also your time to pack the foods you actually want them to eat. If they’re hungry in the car and you have another 50 miles to go, but the only option to eat is an apple, then most likely they will eat the apple.
You pick 50% of their meal and they pick 50% of their meal. For instance, if you want your child to eat an apple, but he or she wants to eat goldfish crackers, then you can either pack both, or simply switch off snacks. In this case, they can eat the goldfish crackers this time around but next time they want a snack, they have to eat the apple.
Those are some of our tricks that has helped us with picky eaters during summer vacations. Try these out and let us know what happened! Also, if you have any suggestions please let us know as well!