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Eating out with young children

We are traveling with our soon to be 5 year old to Portugal in October. This will be our first time there, but not our first time in Europe (pre-kiddo we've gone to France, Spain, Italy, Bosnia, Austria, the UK, etc.) and we love to eat local. Our kid is a different story. She is great dinner company (well-behaved), but she's so picky, I can't imagine what I'll feed her. She eats buttered noodles, bread, plain steamed broccoli, and raw carrots. She won't even eat pizza or hamburgers. How tough is to go out and have a place serve her something really bland. Can we just bring her a PB&J and let her have that with milk? Or is that just terrible form?

Posted by
11380 posts

Maybe have the PB&J in your purse in case the place cannot other wise suit her and just order a milk. If questioned explain she has 'special' dietary requirements and leave it at that.

Posted by
5697 posts

Plain buttered noodles sounds good -- ask your hotel to write it for you in Portugese. Maybe find some bread and fruits and/or vegetables in a local market that she would eat raw, and feed her before you go out to a restaurant ?? (Good time for the PB&J)

Posted by
2768 posts

Generally restaurants aren’t bothered if a child is fed food from the parents. A pb&j from your purse is fine assuming the adults are eating restaurant food. Order your child water or juice (or milk if they have it) to drink and enjoy. Many places will make plain food for you but depending on language barrier you may have a tough time explaining it.

My son is gluten free and when he was little he couldn’t find anything he liked in foreign restaurants. Now he will happily eat grilled meats etc but when he was 3-4-5-6 we had to feed him special gluten free food in the apartment (pasta, pizza, sandwiches...) then have him sit with us and just drink juice and maybe nibble on a piece of cheese. No one ever questioned it.

I’ve spent a lot of time in Spain and it’s very accepting of kids and flexible. I think Portugal is similar. We had more trouble in France.

Posted by
23425 posts

If you signed with another name, we would think you are describing our granddaughter. Go to the local market and buy the carrots, plain bread is not an problem an issue, (our gd only eats raisin bread) and I would think that steamed broccoli should be fairly common. Most restaurants understand 5 years olds. They are the same everywhere. Good luck.

Posted by
2712 posts

I don’t think you will have a problem. One thing we noticed is how delicious the potatoes were in Portugal. Maybe she would try those and branch out a bit? Of course, there is the pastry, which is delicious!