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Exotic travel with fussy children?

(24 Posts)
Nnaomi Tue 06-Nov-12 12:02:08

I've got 2 boys aged 7 & 10 who are fussy eaters. It's not generally a problem till we go on holiday - not only does it need to be familiar food, but they can be put off by something unexpected. For example, we were at Jamie's Italian in Bath - my son usually devours anything macaroni cheese-like, but he wouldn't touch it as it had breadcrumbs on it!

It breaks my heart to write this as I love food and dream of taking them round the world. I know from experience that they'll be grumpy and hungry if I leave them (my husband is similar and would genuinely rather be hungry than eat something he doesn't like!).

So, we've generally avoided the problem by travelling self-catering in France or Italy. But I'd like a more exotic holiday next year. Friends were raving about their trip to Sri Lanka and it sounded fantastic, but I can't bear the thought of trailing round to find the only 'Italian' restaurant in town...

We're limited to vegetarian food and don't like the thought of buffets (which rules out all-inclusives, Club Med etc) as we like proper restaurants.

So, any suggestions of somewhere interesting to visit with a different culture, decent accomodation, sports facilities and access to non-threatening food!

Many thanks, Naomi

sailorsgal Tue 06-Nov-12 13:17:28

USA, maybe Hawaii which would give you some culture but a safety net for your fussy kids. Four Seasons Hotel would be ideal.

givemeaclue Tue 06-Nov-12 13:32:34

I wouldn't rule out somewhere with a more buffet style as it may be ideal for fussy dc as they can choose what they want . Buffets in good hotels normally feel like restaurants. Home hotels will also have fresh cooking like a grill where you order steaks etc cooked as your dc like them.

What about south Africa?

sailorsgal Tue 06-Nov-12 13:37:50

I hate buffets too but we had one this year and the choice and quality of food was very good and even my very fussy 6 year old didn't go hungry.

HollyMadison Tue 06-Nov-12 14:16:44

Singapore? Good climate. Loads to do for kids that age especially active things - waterparks, beaches, zoo. Many many choices of food of every cuisine. Easy to get around and English is an official language.

homebythesea Tue 06-Nov-12 19:31:31

Buffet means you can taste a bit and not mind wasting it if its not nice- def the way to go with fussy ones

But really would it kill them to eat bread and chips for a week (or whatever). The benefits of going somewhere "exotic" for them and for you surely outweigh the food issues? They will not starve!!!!!!

sashh Wed 07-Nov-12 05:29:40

Until you said vegetarian I was going to suggest McDonalds. My friend with food ishoos stayed alive in Japan because of Maccy D's.

IME any tourist place will do chips and bread of some sort. Maybe have an agreement that they will accompany you to a restraunt and if there is nothing they like when you get back to the hotel they can get room service.

One point, my brother was the fussiest eater ever as a child. He had ham sandwiches while the rest of us had roast because he didn't like potatoes. But as soon as we got to France he would just pick something off the menu that he had no idea what it was and would always eat it.

sashh Wed 07-Nov-12 05:31:54

Just a thought - what about a cruise?

Or Australia / New Zealand with a few days in Asia either end.

ripsishere Wed 07-Nov-12 06:41:37

Asia will always have rice. I guarantee it. It may be a different sort to that they are used to, but it will be similar.

deXavia Wed 07-Nov-12 06:49:44

I would say self catering in France to Sri Lanka is possibly too big a leap! I would go one way or another - self catering villa in Asia (there are many and often stunning) or hotel style in Europe to get them use to eating out more. Work your way up to the street markets of the Far East and their unidentifiable body parts grin
(We live in Asia and I've got to kids who will practically anything as long as a potatoe has not touched it in any way - and that includes chips!)
Also agree with others don't knock buffets esp with fussy eaters - they may not be haut cuisine but they are low stress. And you can alternate between them and more local so you know that no one will starve.

Brycie Wed 07-Nov-12 06:54:53

Thailand. Rice rice rice.

Brycie Wed 07-Nov-12 06:55:20

Yes and don't forget macdonalds everywherel

Brycie Wed 07-Nov-12 07:41:39

Except mcd's is different in diff countries.

helpyourself Wed 07-Nov-12 08:25:04

Have the holiday you want. They won't starve, in fact it might force them to get over their pickiness. It sounds as if it really irritates you, as it would me.
Buffets could be a good option- they could try a bit and always have the option of rice or chips. But I suspect you're all trapped in this and a 2x daily chance to go through the 'won't try it, what's this' script won't be fun.

Nnaomi Thu 08-Nov-12 09:52:17

Thanks guys for all your suggestions. I'll start looking at the travel guides again...

Sounds like a buffet might be worth a try, and it will give the boys a chance to have a go at some new flavours. Although having slogged over a new recipe for dinner yesterday to be greeted with "not again, thanks" from my husband, I think it's something I'm stuck with!

helpyourself Thu 08-Nov-12 13:44:57

I think you need a chat with your DH about his attitude to food, and particularly what he says in front of your sons.

givemeaclue Thu 08-Nov-12 13:54:57

What did dh mean ? Does he cook?

Nnaomi Thu 08-Nov-12 14:22:41

No, he's fine with the sons, just when I ask him whether he liked it, he tells me exactly why he doesn't! He enjoys cooking but works long hours so I'm on dinner duty during the week.

helpyourself Thu 08-Nov-12 14:27:30

It sounds to me, as a very amateur psychologist, that your family are pushing your buttons when it comes to food. Look at the language you use about food- you love it, you slog over recipes, and they reject it.

It's hard with young children, because you can't detatch completely from what they eat, but you certainly can work in being less emotionally invested.

fedupwithdeployment Thu 08-Nov-12 14:29:37

I told my son (8) that if he started eating Thai food we might (ha ha) go to Thailand or Sri Lanka. He loves watching Simon Reeve's Indian Ocean programme and fancies going to an exotic beach holiday....we always go to France too! Both DSs revolted by the idea of escargots!! We have been to (and enjoyed) the local curry house...chicken tikka masala went down very well with both DS (younger one is 5) but French AP found it too spicy!!

Agree with helpyourself re your DH....sounds like he might be the source of some of the issues.

CalamityJones Thu 08-Nov-12 14:35:17

Thailand. Absolutely. Completely geared up to cater to people who don't fancy furren muck (or fussy children) whether you stay at a 5* hotel or a beach hut with a cafe attached. I'm taking my toddler there in spring; no concerns about food at all.

SoldeInvierno Tue 13-Nov-12 13:34:11

I feel your pain. We are vegetarians and both DH and DS are fussy eaters. A few years ago, we spent 15 days in Japan in which DH ate rice and more rice for 2 weeks. But you know what? he survived. I am taking DS (9yo) to Nepal next summer and I know it will be difficult, but at the end of the day, 2 weeks of badly eating won't harm him permanently. I wouldn't have done it when he was a baby, but by now, I am sure he'll be fine

RillaBlythe Tue 13-Nov-12 13:37:57

solde don't know what direction your dc fussiness takes, but we found it fine feeding dd in Nepal, I had been worried previously.

SoldeInvierno Tue 13-Nov-12 13:44:00

Thanks, Rilla. That's good to know.

He likes most vegetables, so I think it will be veggie Momos all the way, if we don't find anything better. He doesn't like spices or things with lots of sauce (like curries), or things that are very eggy or very milky (like milkshakes or quiches), amongst others.

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