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~ Fun Summer Ideas For You And Your Family ~

How to make sure fussy kids eat well on vacation

You arrive at your resort, anticipating a fun-filled day by the pool with your family, and then at dinner your child won’t eat anything apart from bread and ketchup. Fussy eaters on vacation are always problematic, but there are ways of working around those who are content with chips – and nothing else!

Firstly, and this is a big ask – don’t give in. British parents at the end of their tether, and fearing a foreign food backlash, have been known to be weakened by their child’s tantrums. Rather than go abroad, they vacation at one of Britain’s many holiday parks. This is a selfless thing to do, but we don’t recommend it! The most important thing you can do is never let your child’s food issues dictate your travel plans. It’ll only pave the way for more difficulties later on, and kids who get everything they want normally turn out to be spoiled, impatient brats.

Secondly, lead by example. Your child learns by watching you and your partner, and if you can make foreign food seem exciting and fun, you have a fighting chance at getting your little darling to try a small piece of fish/radish/hummus. If you or your partner don’t like foreign dishes, your vacation is the time to push that to one side, and enjoy what your location has to offer. If only one parent is trying the local menu, this gives mixed messages to your child.

Communicate as well as you possibly can before your vacation. Sitting down with your child and discussing their food fears is the best way to get to the bottom of them. You might find that they’re a bit concerned about texture, or the temperature of some foods – these are all clues as to how you can help your child overcome their eating habits.

Never, ever threaten your child with punishment before the vacation has even started. Aggressive statements like, “You’d better eat the food when we get there, or else!” will only frighten your child, and reinforce their fears about food. On the other hand, praise for trying new foods will work wonders. If your child relents, and eats what’s on offer at dinner, make sure that you let them know that you are grateful for them making mealtimes easy, and that their behaviour is very much appreciated.

When dealing with older children, another way to try to resolve food issues is not to address them at all. If you’re at a buffet, or a place with meze-style food, don’t start off the meal by shooting worried looks at your child or reminding them that it’s OK to try new things. Just let them choose whatever they like, and you may be surprised to see them wander back to the table with a plateful of normally-hated foods. Just don’t comment on their food throughout the meal and let them enjoy it in their own time.

Barter. If your child agrees to try a new food every night, offer to try something new every day. This could be something as silly as jumping in the pool without getting used to the temperature, or trying out a paragliding trip. Basically, it’s all about showing them you’re a bit scared of some aspects of modern life as well, and you’re willing to swap experiences!

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