I think eating whilst travelling is one of my hardest obstacles whilst travelling. I say ‘one of’ as there are a few hard things but I choose to tell you about this one as I think it’s something a lot of people will find hard. I constantly feel guilty about what I’m allowing my children to eat. I feel that it’s my responsibility to ensure that healthy stuff is going into their bodies rather than junk. The shops are riddled with junk food.
It’s easy to travel with carbohydrates. They’re in a packet, they have little mess and they keep well for a longer time then fresh foods. But, carbohydrates aren’t good for our bodies especially white carbs. I have one child who loves breads and croissants and one that’s not so fazed by them at all but she loves sugary things and ice creams where as the other one is ok not to have them. My children couldn’t be more opposite, especially when it comes to food. Caleb will only eat the white of an egg, Lil’s will only eat the yellow. Lil’s loves avocado, Caleb wont touch it.
So what have I fed them in Germany – In a country where bread and sausages is a staple diet for them?
As much as we could, we got apartments where I could do my own cooking. I tried to cook bacon, eggs and have avocado for breakfast on most mornings and if not then we had a smoothie. I actually travelled with my hand blender. The children didn’t love these smoothies as they were a bit runny from not having any frozen fruits in them so I didn’t do this too often.
Lil’s hasn’t eaten well at all. She’s got 8 teeth in the last 4 months so it’s understandable that she hasn’t been interested in food. She can however, pack away a whole avocado in one sitting, which I encourage, so I’ve insured I’ve had avocados with us the whole time as if she doesn’t want anything else, I resort to it.
We’ve had a few pasta dishes. They love pasta, spaghetti or lasagna. These are also pretty easy to make when you don’t have loads of ingredients. I know, it’s carbs, but I try limit the amount of carbs in a day or I try to get whole wheat carbs.
Both children don’t really eat lunches. They snack from the moment they get into the car until dinner. Snacks include, tea biscuits, dried fruit, nuts, seeds, fruit bars (without added sugars), fruit, crackers, rice cakes, pretzels, cheese, salami, pop corn, cut vegetables and yoghurt.
On a Saturday they can choose their own junk food. It’s normally an ice cream or a chocolate kinder egg. This is all they really know of junk food; they haven’t been introduced to anything else yet. Lil’s would probably choose and ice cream over a chocolate but Caleb would choose chocolate over an ice cream. He doesn’t eat loads of chocolate either, he’s really good at stopping eating when he’s had enough. I don’t want them to never have junk food as I’m afraid that when they do they will go crazy because they’ve never had it. I guess it’s all about balance right?
With dinners I always try to include vegetables or salad or both. I know the things they’re guaranteed to eat so I try stick to those and mix and match. I do try get them to taste other veg that we’re eating, it’s ok if they don’t like it but I like them to at least take it.
We have had loads of sausage in Germany as that’s one of their staple foods and my children love it. I know, not the healthiest! Lil’s is not a particular lover of meat but she will eat sausage. Also, it was easy to buy if we were out and about as there are so many vendors everywhere selling them.
Dinners are usually a meat and veg and salad if not a pasta. I find it easier to cook for the children rather than get food out as the restaurants usually don’t have food they will eat and also, I end up feeling guilty that I’ve fed them rubbish again.
Drinks, I limit the amount of fruit juice they can have. They can have 100 percent fruit juice once in the day. The rest of the day, they drink cold or hot rooibos tea, water or fizzy water. They’re normally pretty happy with this.
In trying to teach Caleb about healthy foods I told him that something would give him a sore tummy if he ate too much of it. He wanted to know why and I said that it doesn’t make you poo nicely. Well now, every time he eats something, and no matter where we are, he will ask if the food makes him poo nicely. Thankfully most people don’t understand here but it is quite a funny thing he does.
I’ll end off with this, we are responsible for our children’s health. It’s easy to feed them junk and not to say no to them when they want something but ultimately it’s not benefitting them in anyway. I have loads of tantrums when in the shops because ‘it’s not Saturday’ so they can’t have a treat but I’m constantly reminding myself that it’s for their own good. Think carefully about what you are feeding your children. I know we think we’re being nice or treating them by feeding them something unhealthy but we aren’t. We’re actually just poisoning their little bodies. As you can see, I don’t get it right all of the time, especially when we are travelling but as long as I’m trying, that’s all that counts and building a healthy relationship with food is important for my children for the rest of their lives.