Tips for Feeding a Growing Boy whilst Traveling

©Exploramum and Explorason – filling empty tummies

Tips for Feeding a Growing Boy whilst Traveling

“OK!”, so my friend Jakki says to me “and exactly how are you going to feed this growing son of yours while you are traveling on a tight budget?”  What tips for feeding a growing boy whilst traveling do you have?

Very good question Jakki, and worth a thought before I go. Thus today’s article.

I am sure if you ask me after we have been on the road for 6 months, this will not be such a tricky question. What is tricky, is that we will have limited oven and stove facilities, and sometimes no refrigeration, and probably definitely no freezer. I will also have to figure out how to work with luxury travel experts while on this single parent travel since family travel entails a lot.

So here we go.

©Exploramum and Explorason – eating in our trailer/caravan

Breakfast – is easy.

Fresh fruit, cereals, long life milk etc are usually readily available.

Snacks – again, easy.
Fruit, packets of crisps, nuts and dried fruit, cookies & biscuits, chopped up veggies like mushrooms, carrots etc, and even dried cereals can make good munching food and can be prepared in the morning and place in zip-lock bags for the day.

We also have reusable plastic cereal bowls with lids that will be handy for carrying snacks.


Water of course
We use the roll-up drink bottles from ‘buy_worldwide’ on eBay, or House and Garden. We have orange ones we will fill with juice, blue for water, black for milk etc.
Buying a large container of long life juice is much cheaper, and will last us days,
but can be poured into smaller bottles easily for daytime use.

Lunch – reasonably easy and my son can make in the morning for us.

It will usually be sandwiches and fruit.
We will be buying bread and I have a tiny chopping board and a sharp long knife that has a blade long enough to slice a loaf. Most countries have cheap bakeries, and bread rolls in places like Mexico can be 5 – 20 cents.

We will be taking Vegemite in a tube too. Margarine and butter may not last long without refrigeration, so that could be an issue.

Mind you if it is a salad sandwich then you can use mayonnaise or avocado as a spread instead of butter.

Dinner – Now that’s the tricky one!

Salads will have to be the go some nights.
In most places, you can have power, but few have stoves.
An immersion water heater can be the go.
I bought this great one and had fabulous service from

It can boil the water and will be my best friend in the morning when I need to kickstart the day with coffee.

Then I also found this great invention.
I can boil the vegetables and cook on this.

It is a folding stove!
Thanks, guys – another great eBay bargain!
Anyway back to the folding stove top.
You just buy the Butane bottle once you get there and screw it on the top.
You will need also to get a cheap cooking pan.

I recommend one that can fry, or be deep enough to boil, so a quality base is required.
Or buy a frying pan and small saucepan or billy, but then you have to carry more stuff.
Again we will only buy this when we get there as it is usually cheap enough at the market, or you might even borrow one.

 Dinner ideas I have if we use the stove
So that means we can make a lot for dinner.
Buy local rice and veggies – I use a bit of white wine in mine.
Great with local root vegetables in it.
Pasta Pronto
Boil up some pasta, and add whatever you have in the tomato or veggie line once drained.
Try to get yourself some cheese, but not always available in remote areas.
Dried cheese in a shaker can be a good substitute.
No need to use purified water boiling over 4 minutes so I am told
Again – local rice and vegetables
and don’t forget the oil or a sauce to stir through
If you only have one pan, cook the vegetables first, fish out of the water, then boil the rice in the same water.  If you want vegetables well done that is – also aids for germ prevention to give a 4 minute boil first or use your purified water if only giving a quick boil.
Boiled Vegetables
Whatever is available at the markets
Often sweet potato and other root vegetables can make a good mash too.
Great when you have limited water and save water to use for soup after.
Packet or Can
Make sure water is boiled or purified.
French Toast
An egg, milk and some bread – easy
Chicken or Pork Cups

1 tablespoon oil
1 brown onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, chopped – optional
500g extra lean pork mince or chicken
mushrooms, thinly sliced – about 4 – 6
1 carrot, peeled and finely sliced
1 zucchini, finely sliced
2 tablespoons Hoisin sauce or local sauce
lettuce leaves if you can get them

Cook all over a low flame like a stir-fry except for the lettuce leaves
Serve in the lettuce leaf – you can roll up and eat with your fingers
Dinner ideas with the camp-fire
Hot Potatoes – no Wiggle style!
If we have a campfire it is easy to put potatoes in the ashes – yum.
You can choose to wrap in foil or just bury in the ashes.
Here are some of my filling suggestions depending on where you are:
baked beans, butter, grated cheese, sour cream, mushrooms, tin corn just to name a few

Toast – So is making toast on a stick and you can make your own grill.

Damper or Twisties – I am sure there are stacks of camp recipes too.
My sister BJ has sent me her damper recipe – thanks BJ.  You just make it and wrap on a stick.
Then take it off the stick, and fill with butter and Vegemite, or your favorite filling.
‎1 cup self-rising flour
A pinch of salt
1 teaspoon of sugar (optional)
A big blob of butter (approx 1 tablespoon)
1 cup milk (Longlife is fine)
Honey, jam and/or vegemite
Large clean sticks (one for each person)

(This is enough for about two people, so double the amounts as needed.)

Rub the butter into the flour until it’s all crumbly.
Mix all ingredients together and knead into dough.
Roll out into long ‘snakes’, one for each person.
Twist around the end of your stick – don’t make it too thick or the inside won’t cook.

Try to ‘join the snake parts’ so no gaps, or when cooked the filling will run out.
Hold out the stick so that the damper is in the fire (like toasting a marshmallow).
When it’s done, pull the damper off the stick and fill the center left by the stick with butter, jam, honey, Vegemite or whatever you like.
I also like grated cheese in mine with Vegemite!
Eat hot!
Banana Boats
Peel back the banana in one spot and cut a narrow slice out of the banana.
Stuff the banana with chocolate pieces or marshmallows, or anything else you favor, then, pull the banana skin back over the banana and wrap in foil.
Place in the campfire for about 5-10 minutes.
Note: Once cooked remove from the fire and the foil before eating.
Apple Crumble
Place a piece of foil flat and spray or wipe with oil or butter if you have any.
Place a chopped up apple and rolled oats inside.
Add a dash of peanut butter and fill,
then wrap the foil up and cook in the fire for approximately half an hour.

Long Life Dinners

I have found a heap of long life dinners
These are protective sealed pouches and are usually OK to take abroad.
Try to keep in the packaging that is printed where possible.
You need to declare at customs.
Keep all your food in one section and make sure it is sealed and labeled, and declare it.
If they want to take it – OK.
I haven’t had a problem yet.
There are some great dried soups, and Happy Camper meals you can buy.
I found a long life Thai Green Curry at Rite-Price that is quite yummy.
I shan’t bother taking the packs of rice as rice is for sale everywhere.
Local Food Vendors
Please remember that local food vendors are there to enjoy.
Encourage your child to eat new foods and as well as local foods.
We usually try to eat more at a cafe, but as long as it is cooked you can take the chance.
Yes, there will be Bali-belly and gastritis.  We all get them.
But if you trust your judgment and if it looks OK then try it out.
I prefer vegetarian cooking for roadside stalls over meats.
Remember if the water is not drinkable, then a salad washed in water can make you ill.
We have eater purifying tablets with us which we can use for our own cooking and food preparation.
Fruits and Vegetables are eaten raw
Wash or wipe all your fruit and vegetables or peel them, especially if you are buying off the side of the road, or a market stall.
Salt and Pepper Set
Take a set of mini camping Salt and Pepper Shakers
Fill them up when you pay for good accommodation or visiting friends.
Trust me – bland food needs a little spicing up!
Refer to ‘Packing to go’ section of my blog for ideas on utensils to pack.
Some of these are also handy for the backpack.
Ice cream and treat foods
Your child is used to having Western foods.
We found ice creams on a stick pretty cheap in most village stores.
You need to make these a treat when you go to town as you can’t bring them home.
When you are out, don’t be afraid to have a treat.
A milkshake by the sea – as per our top picture, a curry in an Indian dinner – whatever you both enjoy.

©Exploramum and Explorason – picnic

Memories are made at meal-times
Mealtime is a great time to bond with your child.
My son’s goal is to get to the Eiffel Tower, and I most certainly know we will be packing a French-style picnic with Brie Cheese and Baguettes and other goodies that we can share on the grass, with the awesome tower structure looming over our heads – well near enough with a good camera angle!
Where you eat can make a boring meal into a life-long memory.
A campfire under the stars eating a hot spud, sharing a sandwich next to a cascading waterfall, fish and chips on the beach – simple foods and great memories.

If you have any great camping or travel recipes I would love to add them to my blog.
Please email them to me.
The frequency of eating meals
Children need to eat every three hours and so here is one of my Tips for Feeding a Growing Boy whilst Traveling.
Food and Drink are more important than toys – be prepared.
Have your child be in charge of laying out the snacks and lunch he’s you will take for the day.
Check it and make sure there is enough.
Remote waterfalls do not have vending machines!

Overpack your day backpack – you will be surprised, and glad you did.

My 7-year-old does have hollow legs – Thanks Jakki for reminding me!
Last night when he got home from school he ate:
4 full-size pies (he says I tell you they were BIG)
2 mugs of flavored milk
2 custards with cream
All by 4:30 p.m.
He eats more than me already!
I definitely need to be prepared!!
Questions and Comments
  • Does the thought of traveling with your growing child overwhelm you in terms of what to eat to maintain good health while on the trip?
  • What tips and dining advice would you share with us?
  • Kindly leave your comments below.

What about you – what food tips and dining advice would you share with us?

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