One of the tough things about traveling with young children (especially picky eaters) can be mealtime. It is stressful to eat every meal out, unfamiliar foods can be challenging, and long restaurant meals can eat into the time you'd like to spend seeing the sights (not to mention the fact that you want to spend some of that precious good behavior in a museum).
Advance Planning Helps
Before you go, try to choose a few restaurants close to the attractions you will be visiting so that you don't waste valuable time looking for something suitable. We look for restaurants that are relatively quick, interesting for the kids, and likely to have something that they will eat. When we can, we try to dine outdoors or in a space where there is something interesting for the kids to watch. Since we are foodies and want to have authentic food experiences, we tend to dine in local places rather than chains.
We also find it helpful to “practice” by eating some typical foods at home before we go. I try to pick one or two recipes that are common in the place we're visiting that also seem kid friendly. For example, before we went to Spain, I made Paella at home
Also, check out TastingMenu.com’s helpful tips for dining out with toddlers
Note that high chairs are not available in many European countries (England being a notable exception), so you may want your stroller or baby backpack to double as a high-chair.
We like to have breakfast in the hotel room. It gets us off to a quicker start and gets the kids fed before they get crabby. To avoid high room service costs, pick up pastry or a box of cereal and milk the night before and ask the hotel to provide plates and silverware. Oatmeal packets also work well as many hotel rooms have coffee makers you can use to heat water.
Many hotels have a coffee shop nearby. This is often a quick and inexpensive place for breakfast
Lunch and Dinner with Kids
Here are some great ideas for lunch and dinner on your family vacation that are quick and will satisfy everyone.
Occasionally your child might have snack time in the stroller while you have a walking tour (obviously most meals and snacks should be family time, but part of the balance is making time for the things you enjoy)