Children can be selective when it comes to their food. However, when you travel, part of the complete experience is tasting and sampling the local cuisine. So you want your children to try the offerings. Additionally, if mealtime comes at an airport, often your choices are restaurant chains that might not always offer what the kids want to eat, or offer what you want them to have.
Try loosening up your approach to food when you are on the vacation. Do not insist on complete clean plates, full regular meals, and stay away from food battles if possible. You do not want to spoil a trip to a nice restaurant because of your obsession with the children eating all the peas, or not making what you consider to be wise nutritional choices.
Before the trip, decide on what food rules matter the most to you and what you are willing to be flexible about. Then let that list guide you from there. Do keep in mind that if a child does not want to eat a food item, they can make your life miserable if you hold your ground on the consumption of the meal. Try these guidelines for the trip: be flexible, make the food experience fun, and be willing to surrender the battle.
All rules tend to loosen up a bit when on vacation. You are trying to visit a locale in the most relaxed state of mind. So, being flexible just makes sense. If the child just wants to order a small appetizer or even wants to nibble off of your plate, let them. It will not hurt you nor will hurt them. In the end, no damage has been done to your child and your flexibility has help foster a relaxed and pleasant mood.
Trying new food can be fun. Do not make a big deal about the new food. Order the food and go about eating it. You can state how yummy it is, and then just eat. Most kids will follow what you do, if you are not inclined to make a big production about it. If they hate the food, try to remind them that loudly proclaiming his or her dislike might be considered bad for etiquette in some countries.
Be willing to lose the food battle. By losing you may ultimately win the war. If all your child eats in a day of vacationing is an ice cream cone or a salted pretzel, the world will not come crashing down. Just remember that tomorrow is a new day, and the child will be so hungry he or she will probably eat everything in sight. Just remember to make sure the entire family gets fluids as you go sightseeing and walking around the vacation destination.