For most parents, meal times at home are a challenge enough, and the thought of getting all your little imps fed in a foreign country, with a language barrier, where the term high chair is subjective, half the menu consists of items you may never have recognized as food before, and on a budget may cause nightmares and terror.
Caveat: One of the absolute best decisions we made with our twins, as opposed to our first son, was to feed them what we eat. They never had baby food. Not a drop. They eat what we eat, just cut up smaller. Though sometimes we season their food or sauce it differently as babies tend to not like things like suicide wings or spicy Thai curry. This has made it tremendously easier to take them anywhere and get them fed.
Pastry and Coffee
Breakfast is by far the easiest meal of the day for every member of our family while we are traveling. At home I usually have oatmeal, non-fat Greek yogurt, and fruit for breakfast, but this is not the time to worry about diets, calories, or clean eating. It is a time to get some fuel in your belly and get moving. Our standard breakfast in Europe is a pastry and coffee/juice/water on the way to our first activity of the day. Whether it’s a croissant, pain au chocolat, doughnut, danish, or odd looking European things stuffed with cream or chocolate or fruit goo, they are all there for your pleasure. No matter where you head in Europe you will surely find a café or bakery to hit up for a quick morning bite to eat and you will see that the locals are doing the same as you on their morning commute. Pastries are great for babies because you can easily tear them up and feed them to a baby in a baby carrier. Older kids will love it because they know it’s not good for them and thus a guilty pleasure. For the parents, live it up a bit, you are on holiday and will easily burn it off over the course of walking around all day.
If you are staying in a hotel with breakfast you may get some meat, cheese, fruit, and yogurt to go with your croissants, but in Europe you will not normally find the full North American style breakfast. Hotel breakfast is usually overpriced but if it is included in the rate it can be a great deal. In this case it is more of a hidden cost, but if you were happy with the room rate and it came with breakfast, it is a little bonus. In this circumstance, after we finish our breakfast, we usually make some little croissant sandwiches and grab a piece of fruit and pack them in our day bag before we head out. You might think it poor form, but everyone does it and thus somewhat expected.
If you must have a full hot breakfast, you will probably have to head to a restaurant specializing in serving tourists. It will be expensive and take up a big portion of your morning. They are available if it interests you, but we prefer mobility and quickness in the morning because it is cooler and attractions are less crowded early. We suggest you take advantage of this and skip the long, heavy breakfast.
If you are staying in an rental apartment/house, like we prefer to, you can easily make a small (or large) breakfast in the apartment before heading out. This option means you can still sit down with the kids and have breakfast in private without the formality and service time of a restaurant. This is another excellent option for feeding kids, but keep in mind, that apartment probably won’t have a baby proof kitchen or a high chair. One apartment we stayed in had a combination microwave-hot plate, resting on a small table about a metre (3 feet) off the ground, which could easily be turned on by a toddler. While in an apartment, we usually keep fruit on hand for a quick snack and maybe some bread to make toast if we are growing tired of doughnuts etc. Staying in an apartment with a kitchen also allows you to prepare lunches and snacks for the day ahead, but we tend to just pick up snacks as we go along.
Seriously though, who grows tired of doughnuts and croissants?
As always, please feel free to share your thoughts or tips in the comment section below.
In the future I will speak about snacking, lunch, and dinner with babies and kids as well. So if you found this article helpful, subscribe and also join us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Pintrest to ensure you don’t miss more helpful articles on traveling with kids and babies.