Travelling with 3 children aged between 8months and 7 years old isn’t always easy when it comes to food. So here are some tips we picked up along the way:
Baby food: Julian had checked before we left, reading ingredient lists in Spanish and all Chedraui, Walmart and most farmacies sell a brand of food jars called Gerber, the flavour varieties are limited but Alex is perfectly happy eating them. It’s basically, chicken, ham or beef with pasta or rice and vegetables with no additives. They also have sugar-free porridge (gröt) but it is vanilla flavoured. If you are on an anti-Nestlé crusade, then it’s a struggle. Fruitpuré in squeezybags you can find many varieties of, most of them without sugar, but not all.
Fruit: All fruit was devoured by Alex, and everywhere makes fresh juice, also easy for a baby or small child. First few weeks, we tested all the aguas frescas (fruit and water) to find our favourites – Mango, watermelon (sandía) and limonada. We would often just order a jarra (1 litre jug for all of us during dinner)
Typical local fruit we’ve enjoyed are pineapples, papaya and many varieties of mango. The tiny bananas are a favourite of all 3 children, much more child-friendly size and so much sweeter.
Going to the local fruit market is a great way of seeing which fruit is seasonal and also it’s such a fun atmosphere for the kids, so different to our clinical supermarkets. Bring or buy a knife on your trip and then you can enjoy fruit wherever you go.
Drinking cold coconut water straight from a cocnut is a fun experience for ths kids.
Eating out with kids:
Breakfast: Our hotel in Valladolid included breakfast and we discovered that combining on the same fork fresh pineapple with longaniza (a smoked sausage made with achiote from Valladolid) is totally delicious. Maybe not typical of Mexico, but try it!
Lunch: One simple local favourite is tosta de carne asada which our 2 older kids would share for lunch, it’s a sandwich in a crispy roll with barbecued meat inside, almost everywhere makes it and it’s really delicious! Empanadas also went down well as everyone could choose their favourite filling.
Dinner: Our kids are not so fussy and love to try new things, but even they want hamburgers quite often and it is easy to find everywhere. Other popular dishes for the kids are breaded fish and chicken as well as tacos.
Snacks: Most restaurants give complimentary tortilla chips (made from fried tortilla bread to taste of corn) complemented by chilly sauces, lime slices. So we usually order Guacamole which Andrea, Julian and Alex would eat with with the chips while the other 2 just have plain chips.
We’ll do a separate post about our favourite dishes.
Cooking at home:
- Breakfast: at the local fruit market, you find big packs of Granola. Everyone in family eats this with plain yoghurt and choice of fresh fruit. Perfect breakfast for the whole family!
- Lunch: we made sandwiches and guacamole we brought to the beach. Not super exciting but easy to bring in foil and tuppawear and the avocados here are just SOOO good! Guacamole: ripe avocados, tomatoes, lots of lime, white onion (much milder than in Europe), salt a touch of chilli.
- Dinner: Arracheras with pineapple & tomato salsa. Every supermarket in the refrigerated meat section has packets of arracheras meat, already marinated. Simply fry it. In a bowl mix pineapple, tomatoes, white onion, lots of lime juice. Serve with potatoes or pasta, kids eat the meat with ketchup, parents with the salsa and Julian’s favourite Valentina hot sauce!
Top Tips: about half the places we’ve been to have baby chairs (usually good to give them a quick rubdown with a disinfecting wet wipe, the other don’t so we borrowed from friends something called a sackn’seat (Thanks Carina, it has been so useful!) It means Alex can sit on any chair with a back. Bringing wetwipes to everymeal is a must, especially when eating tacos as kids do get very messy. Bring hand gel with you as a lot of food is eaten with hands.