||SAMANTHA KEMP-JACKSON, Chic Savvy Mama
So you’ve finally taken the leap and booked that much-deserved family vacation.
Sure, there’s some trepidation about whether the little ones will easily adapt to the inevitable culture shock of a far-flung locale. After all, the climate, culture and language will be different, among other things — namely, food.
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We parents know the drill: you cook, they fuss. Regardless of what you make, it’s just not up to snuff. Perhaps it’s the sauce, perhaps it’s the texture, or maybe it’s just the colour. Regardless, little Janie or Johnny won’t eat it. You find yourself making alternate arrangements and sometimes a whole other meal altogether.
This scenario won’t cut it when you’re in a different country.
As much as you’d like to facilitate your kids’ requests for more palatable fare, it’s just not always feasible. In some places it’s hard enough to get Western food at all, let alone macaroni and cheese or whatever else your children might request.
This being the case, it’s a good idea to prime your kids about the food situation before you get on the plane for your getaway. Here are five simple tips to get kids prepared for a new and exciting palate when heading out on a jaunt:
Teach your kids about how and why certain foods are eaten in particular parts of the world — and make it exciting. Putting food within the context of a country’s climate, history and cultural traditions will help entice your kids to try out a new dish.
As soon as you know you will be traveling with the kids, get them used to the idea of eating different foods. Take them to a grocery store or market that specializes in food from other parts of the world. Engaging your kids in the process is the first step in their acceptance of new tastes.
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Do you frequent the same types of “safe” family restaurants? Do you purchase the same groceries for the family week in and week out? If so, now’s the time to step away from your regular routine. Peruse recipe books from different parts of the world, and next time you go grocery shopping, choose two or three items that can contribute to a different cultural eating experience. By the time you board the plane with your kids, they’ll be used to trying something new — and less likely to balk at the prospect.
Offer your kids the opportunity to invite a friend or two over for one of your culturally inspired meals, in order to get them excited about the prospect. Better yet, if you have friends from different cultural backgrounds, invite them over and perhaps ask them to bring a dish that reflects their background. It’s always more fun when others are involved.
Spice it up
If you’re used to using certain spices and flavours in your home-cooked meals, try mixing it up with a new spice or seasoning on a regular basis. By the time you reach your destination, your kids will look at new foods as something exciting and interesting, rather than something to be shunned.
Samantha Kemp-Jackson is a mother of four, with three under the age of eight, including identical twin toddlers. She blogs about her experiences of being a frazzled mom of many at Multiple Mayhem Mamma.
Date Added: October 28, 2011 | Comments (0)
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