The Fussy Eaters Guide to Food Abroad
The thought of foreign cuisine can fill your heart with dread if you or your children are particularly fussy eaters. Unfamiliar dishes and new surroundings can become overwhelming for some, but this shouldn’t have to put a damper on your holiday.
Variety is the spice of life
The choice of food available will obviously vary dramatically depending on the country you are in, and while your appetite shouldn’t hold you back from seeing everything the world has to offer, you may wish to consider a destination based on the food available.
For example, if you have a very low tolerance for spicy food, you may wish to be careful when travelling through India as different regions will vary in spices used, with the South generally producing hotter food than the north.
If your children are reluctant to try a particular dish, do not pressure them as this can put them off for good. Most places will offer some form of western dish, while it is a shame to travel half way around the world to eat the same food you would back at home, it may be a way to ease them into trying something new.
If your children are struggling to adapt to the local cuisine then be patient and adapt their meals so they are more familiar to what they are used too. Introducing small changes in meals while keeping some familiar favourites will help bridge that gap for them.
Be careful not to give them something which is overloaded with flavour or spice as the shock may make them close up to trying new things.
Depending on the age of your children you may want to motivate them into trying new things with making meal times fun, allow them to choose their own dishes (with your expert guidance) or vote on which restaurant to visit as a family. This will keep things exciting and hopefully distract them from the anxiety of trying new things.
For some, the fear of trying new food simply stems from the fear of getting sick while abroad. Tales of sickness from eating “local” food have attributed to this general fear.
The truth is, when travelling to certain countries (specifically in Asia) you are much more likely to get sick whilst eating the local attempt of westernised cuisine than actually indulging in the local food. With the exception of the local water (which should be substituted for bottled water).
Local food is usually much fresher and better prepared than any western dish you may be tempted to order.
The best general advice is to look for the places where the locals are eating and follow suit. This will generally give you a good indication of the best places to eat.
Many countries are famous for their national dishes and where better to try an authentic dish, than the country it originated from.
Often the foreign dishes we have available in the UK are a far cry from the true representation of the dish. An open mind and an empty stomach are the best companions you can have when travelling anywhere if you are looking for a new tasty experience.
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