EER148: Trying New Foods – Tips for Picky Eaters & Their Families

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Trying new foods while traveling is difficult for some adults. It can be even more difficult for kids — especially if they’re already picky eaters. Today’s episode is all about tips for picky eaters, and the families who travel with them. Do you travel with picky eaters? How do you handle it? Read on, listen in, and add your insight in the comments.

_salad & avocado _Wanderlust and Wet Wipes EER148: Trying New Foods - Tips for Picky Eaters & their Families

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Trying New Foods While Traveling

There are loads of tips for picky eaters on the web — both for adults and children. For me, food is an essential part of the joy and discovery of travel. For some people, however, trying new foods is an assault on normality. This can be especially challenging when traveling with children. Many kids are extremely picky eaters. That’s why it can be a challenge to keep your kid fed, happy, and healthy while traveling. Especially if they’re unwilling to try new foods.

Today I talk with Emma Morrel, a mom of two who has had to deal with some picky eaters in her family. She decided to write about it on her blog after a trip to Italy with two other families. It was then that she discovered that they couldn’t find a single meal that all six children with them would eat.

“I knew I couldn’t be the only parent with this problem,” she explained, “so I asked my readers about it.” The results are here.

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  • 02:26 Intro
  • 04:21 Life in Doha, Qatar
  • 07:45 Why write about trying new foods?
  • 09:53 The really picky stage
  • 12:03 Bali food games
  • 20:04 Compromises
  • 22:57 Carbs & breakfast
  • 24:44 Packing food & snacks

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_Wanderlust and Wet Wipes EER148: Trying New Foods - Tips for Picky Eaters & their Families

  • Names: Emma Morrel
  • Hold passports from: The UK
  • Type of travel: Living abroad & short-term travel


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Tips for Picky Eaters and their Families

In this episode of Epic Education Radio, Emma and I discuss tips for picky eaters and different ways of keeping kids well fed while on the road.

Emma and I come from different perspectives: she lives in Doha with two kids under seven. We presently live in Mexico (with kids raised in Japan, Malaysia, and Spain) who are now 15 and 12 at the time of writing. We both have our own ways of getting our kids to try new foods, but this discussion is just the tip of the iceberg.

There are loads of ways to get picky eaters to try new foods. We only discuss some of them. What are yours?

Games & Wordplay: Trying New Foods

_satay EER148: Trying New Foods - Tips for Picky Eaters & their Families

Emma talks about the time they went to Bali with kids. For dinner was satay: skewers of chicken grilled over charcoal and dipped in a peanut sauce. Emma didn’t tell the kids it was satay. She called them “chicken lollipops.” And it worked.

She also recalled a Charlie & Lola book where Charlie called mashed potatoes “fluffy clouds.” Sometimes changing the name is all it takes to picky eaters to try new foods. I mentioned that when EER guest Karen Beddow was in Rwanda, everything her kids was served was “chicken curry.” Why? Because the kids like chicken curry.

Carbs, Choices, & Compromises: Tips for Picky Eaters

Other tips for picky eaters that we discuss dealt with breakfast, autonomy, and dealmaking. For example, she and I both agreed that a carb-filled breakfast is often a bad choice — even if the child is trying new foods. Carbs tend to burn right through a child, and they’re hungry again quickly.

We also talked about giving picky eaters a choice at dinner — even if the choice is between two things they don’t like. Giving a choice gives children a sense of autonomy that can be reassuring when they’re in a new place.

Compromises are also required when trying new foods. Not every meal on the road will be a balanced one. There will be places without vegetables on the menu, and there will times when all the food might be new and foreign to the child. When this happens, make a deal. Offer rewards of what they like at a later time.

Pack Your Own: Tips for Picky Eaters

Another great tip for traveling with picky eaters is to always carry some food of your own. Emma talks about cereal bars and other snacks to keep “hangry” kids satiated. I talk about carrying a collapsible insulated bag and all the treats we pack it with.

Everyone should be trying new foods while traveling, but one of the best tips for picky eaters that I can suggest this: have a backup.

Do You Have Tips for Picky Eaters?

Do your kids like trying new foods while traveling? Do you? What are your tips for picky eaters and getting them to try new foods? Tell us in the comments!


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Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. This means, at no extra cost to you,  we might receive a small commission if you make a purchase or book using those links. My opinions are my own and I only recommend places/services that I believe will genuinely help your travel.


  1. Making a game out of it feels like it would work Jason. Also baby-stepping. Pun intended 😉 1 bite, 1 nibble at a time, kids can enjoy new foods or at least open up to new possibilities. I saw this – and see this – with my niece. A little nudge does the trick.