If you have a picky eater in the family, you know that going away can be a bit of a challenge. It takes years to find a restaurant that the whole family could enjoy, so leaving your child's go-to spots behind can be slightly nerve wracking. What will they eat when you are out adventuring? Exotic countries have been known for having relatively unique dishes - like fried bugs - and you know that if your child gets wind of this they would rather starve.
But you don't want this to stop you from experiencing other cultures, especially a country like Vanuatu. Fortunately, most of the restaurants and resorts are very kid friendly, and offer options for picky eaters from a variety of your favourite nationalities including, French, Indian and Chinese.
However, if you're headed out to the markets, this country has just as many foods that will satisfy all appetites, as it will satisfy more curious palates. A lot of the locals grow or catch their own food and sell it right to the markets.
Fruit is nature's candy, and Vanuatu is full of it! And it's only the sweet stuff, so you know your kids can't complain! We're talking papaya, pineapples and mangoes, all plucked right from the trees. Eat them as is, or mix them up into a fruit salad sprinkled with sugar on top, it's the ultimate island treat.
This is Vanuatu's national dish, and it's not too terribly exotic in flavour for your young ones. It's a pudding-like dish that is made from starchy vegetables like yams and bananas and mixed with sweet coconut cream. Then, your favourite meats, like chicken, beef or pork are added and wrapped with the leaves from the lap lap. Your kids are going to love it! To be fair though, the second you douse anything in coconut milk, you're going to have an instant hit with just about anyone.
There are lots of different kinds of meats, but we're here to pay special tribute to the beef. Most everyone likes beef, especially when it's made into a yummy burger! The beef here is all local so you can trust that it is nice and fresh. Plus, the locals have a special way of cooking their meats, so you'll get a familiar taste blended with the local spices. The most authentic way to cook here is via hot stones or boiling.
The fresh seafood
Okay, we get it, fish and seafood in general aren't what picky eaters go for. But, we highly recommend you encourage them to try the seafood because it's as fresh as you can get in Vanuatu. And fresh seafood, as you likely know, is much different than the stuff you buy in the freezer section at the grocery store. At the top of the list of seafood you need to try is the local coconut crab. Like we said earlier, you can't go wrong mixing anything with coconut cream, and this dish is no exception.
The cool part about Vanuatu chefs is that many of them were professionally trained at the hospitality school, a place which opens up to you too! If you want to learn how to cook some of these dishes, you can do so. It's a unique activity that the kids can join in on as well - and kids are never too young to start learning how to cook delicious, healthy and exotic meals.
Who knows, maybe after this trip your kids will be a little less picky and encourage more adventurous eating choices!
- Posted in Vanuatu