Traveling abroad for two weeks means that the majority of our meals will be eaten either in restaurants, on the train, or on the go. Because of this, I wanted to make sure I was fully prepared for feeding Theo while we were out. He’s a great eater and fortunately enjoys trying new flavors, but he also has a very big appetite and gets hangry if he goes for too long in between meals. We also spent a lot of time sight-seeing which meant he was in his stroller, so I knew it wasn’t fair to then expect him to sit in a restaurant for an hour or more. I came up with a few tips for what I did to make sure that feeding Theo while we travel was easy and he was happy. At the end of this post I have included some examples of what Theo ate while we were in Paris and England. He had peas for the first time on this trip and loved them, so you’ll notice peas make a frequent appearance on his plate. Also, I always try and make sure he has a source of protein, fat, and carb at each meal. These are macronutrients and they all play a very important role in the growth and development of babies and toddlers. His meals aren’t always perfect and we don’t always make the healthiest choice, but we try our best.
We stopped to enjoy croissants and a latte and Theo chose to catch up on some zzz’s. Not going to lie, the guy at the table next to us gave us the weirdest look… maybe naps at the table are considered inappropriate in Paris haha.
Theo loved sitting outside and people watching during our meals in Paris.
Stretching his legs before sitting down for lunch.
Enjoying a pb and j and a cup of tea in England. Side note- I thought I was going to pass out from heat stroke in this tea shop, it was absolutely sweltering. We had to go outside shortly after this picture was taken to get some fresh air because it was so hot inside.
Enjoying a roast dinner at my Aunt and Uncle’s house. The pea obsession was still strong and I’m not going to lie, I was sitting next to him crossing my fingers that he wouldn’t drop too much food on the carpet haha.
Tips and Tricks
- Bring snacks! We had a few long train rides (an hour or more) so I made sure to bring some of Theo’s favorite snacks to keep him occupied. We also often ended up eating meals later than normal, so I always made sure to have something to give Theo to hold him over.
- Make sure that you have some familiar options for them. If you are going to be eating curry for dinner and you haven’t exposed your child to that flavor of food, be sure to bring a few foods that you know they will eat, because I don’t think it’s fair to expect them to fill up on completely new flavors of food.
- If you know you are going to be gone all day and eating out for every meal, make two of the meals quick so that your child doesn’t have to sit in a high chair for an hour on three separate occasions in one day. On the days that we were sight seeing Theo spent a lot of time in his stroller, so we grabbed food to go and took it to the park to sit and eat. This allowed him run around and get some energy out before and after his meal, so that he would be ready to go back in the stroller for more sight-seeing. The very first picture in this post is Theo eating breakfast on a bench in front of the Eiffel tower.
- A lot of the restaurants and pubs in England had either an indoor or outdoor play area. I thought that was so cool because then while we were waiting for our food Theo could run around and get some energy out. I wish more places in Phoenix offered this, I think it’s such a great feature for families with young kids.
- Be prepared to “go with the flow”. There were a few times where we sat down for a meal and Theo was just not interested in sitting still and playing with the toys that I brought him. This tended to happen on days that he hadn’t gotten to run around much so we just took turns taking him outside and walking around and brought him back in when our food was served.
- Almost every restaurant in England asked me if I’d like cutlery for Theo, and they brought a cute tiny little cutlery set. It was nice because then I didn’t have to bring our own fork or spoon for him which meant one less thing for me to clean up.
- Don’t forget the bib. Babies and toddlers are messy eaters and unless you want your kid running around with mashed avocado all over their shirt for the rest of the day, bring a bib! I love the brand BapronBaby for bibs and it’s the only brand I use for Theo. They tie behind the back so that your little one can’t pull them off, they are 100% waterproof and stain resistant which make them super easy to clean, and they can be rolled up in a little ball for easy storage in your diaper bag.
Scrambled eggs with sautéed mushrooms and zucchini
Coconut yogurt with cinnamon and blueberries
Blueberry muffin, banana, Nak’d bar
Chicken sausage, pancakes, avocado
Peanut butter and jam sandwich
Fish and chips with peas, freeze dried broccoli
Tapas- meat and cheese board, sweet potato fries, pate, olives, avocado (This was the first time Theo had pate he loved it)
Tuna salad with sweet potato fries, freeze-dried okra
Gnocchi with broccoli and asparagus
Roast beef with mashed potatoes and peas
Veggie curry with garlic naan
Fish and chips with peas
Beans, chips, peas
Cauliflower cheese, roasted broccoli and carrots, peas, roasted potatoes (My Aunt made a roast dinner and this is what he ate at her house)
Nak’d bars- these are like the Lara bars that we have here in the US. They are made with real ingredients that you can pronounce and were a great way to get some extra protein to keep Theo going on days that we were going to be eating a late lunch/dinner.
Applesauce squeeze pouches- I’m not sure if I’ve ever given him pouches at home to be honest, I think having fresh fruit on hand is easier because if I give him a pouch then I have to hold it for him as well or he will squeeze too hard and get the applesauce all over the place. However, these pouches are so convenient to travel with when you know you have a long day ahead of you. They are easy to just throw in your diaper bag and you don’t have to worry about sticky hands like you do with fresh fruit.
Freeze-dried fruit and veggies- I buy these at home too, Trader Joe’s has a great selection. I just think they are such a convenient snack for when you are out, and Theo loves them. Our favorites are the freeze-dried strawberries and the broccoli.
Avocado- I almost always had an avocado in my bag. It’s Theo’s favorite food so it’s great to have on hand for a healthy snack or as an addition to his meal in a restaurant if he didn’t seem overly interested in the rest of the food on his plate.
Fruit- I usually had some sort of berries packed in a tupperware, or a banana or an orange.