How do I feed my picky eater while away from home and normal routines? Pre-School Travel

Tips from moms and experts alike on how to feed a picky eater while traveling.

Stick to Your Normal Schedule

If you have a picky eater, you might need to pack a bit more extensively. However, in most cases, local stores should have the foods your toddler prefers. Make sure you have them handy when come lunch and dinner times, as well as during travel. Sticking to the routine will help give your child a sense of normalcy during travel. If your toddler is used to eating at specific times, try to stick to the schedule, even if that means a quick pit stop while on the road. You will...

If you have a picky eater, you might need to pack a bit more extensively. However, in most cases, local stores should have the foods your toddler prefers. Make sure you have them handy when come lunch and dinner times, as well as during travel. Sticking to the routine will help give your child a sense of normalcy during travel. If your toddler is used to eating at specific times, try to stick to the schedule, even if that means a quick pit stop while on the road. You will notice that your child is a lot calmer and sleeps better when his routine is respected. - Laura, Family Travel Blogger at Frugal for Luxury, @frugalforluxury

expert solution

Encourage New Foods, But Be Reasonable

Try your best to encourage new foods but if that won’t work try to make it as easy as possible for you both. Pack what you will need that you know he/she likes.

expert solution

Remember This is Only Short Term

Release the expectation for the travel. Refocus on what you want the night to be. Enjoying company while your kid pokes at fries and requests ice cream or battling over bites in an over-stimulated situation. Understand this is a short term release of routine and explain that to your child. “Typically at home we have to eat the greens, but on vacation it’s free for all. Just remember when we get home, it’s back to greens!” Power struggles can ramp up during transition because it’s stressful;...

Release the expectation for the travel. Refocus on what you want the night to be. Enjoying company while your kid pokes at fries and requests ice cream or battling over bites in an over-stimulated situation. Understand this is a short term release of routine and explain that to your child. “Typically at home we have to eat the greens, but on vacation it’s free for all. Just remember when we get home, it’s back to greens!” Power struggles can ramp up during transition because it’s stressful; children are often shuffled around without much say in the day so give them a bit of power and watch the good times roll. - MegAnne Ford, Certified Parent Coach at Be Kind Coaching, @bekindcoaching


expert solution

Pack Dependable Non-Perishables

I ALWAYS pack semi-healthy, fairly wholesome snacks such as goldfish, instant oatmeal, cereal bars, and apple sauce packets to help with everyone's sanity. These are nonperishable and are worth the extra space in the luggage. - Lakita Leonard, Travel Agent at Fun Travels by Lakita

I ALWAYS pack semi-healthy, fairly wholesome snacks such as goldfish, instant oatmeal, cereal bars, and apple sauce packets to help with everyone's sanity. These are nonperishable and are worth the extra space in the luggage. - Lakita Leonard, Travel Agent at Fun Travels by Lakita

expert solution

Don't Sacrifice Your Personal Experience

If they want to live off of white rice and plain pasta, that's fine by me. I'll eat all the delicious food!

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Find Foods That Are Comparable to At-Home Favorites

Take some of the picky eater’s favorite foods with you, but also do some research to know what similar types of foods you'll be able to buy at your destination. And let go of the expectation that every meal will be a well rounded one.

expert solution

The advice on CafeMom aims to educate, inform, and provide a range of solutions to the issues moms care about. It is not a substitute for consultation with a medical professional or treatment for a specific condition. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem without consulting a qualified professional. Please contact your health-care provider with questions and concerns.