Many of us looking for cheap holidays tend to stick close to home: Portugal, France, Greece, etc. Spain is another cheap and cheerful option that’s popular with families, but what if you’ve got very little ones? International travel with young children can be intimidating for many parents, but planning a holiday in Spain is far less troublesome than you’d imagine, especially when it comes to eating out.
Spain is a great place for children. The culture here is all-inclusive, which means kids are welcome just about everywhere; it’s not uncommon to see children out with their families well into the night. When eating out, you won’t see many children’s menus but you’ll find that most establishments are happy to dish up special requests for the kids and serve it with a smile. In good weather, it’s wise to look for restaurants or cafes with outdoor seating so that children can play while they wait for their meal.
Lunch and dinner are eaten quite late in Spain, which can often pose difficulties for children who are used to eating on a schedule. Most Spanish restaurants close for several hours between lunch and dinner, but you can find some that stay open all afternoon. Many of these serve tapas during the down time, and this can be a perfect way to keep little tummies full whilst encouraging your kids to try new foods.
Spanish food runs the gamut of tastes, from tame and familiar to exotic and heavily spiced. If your children are anxious about sampling some of the more unusual local delicacies on your Spain holidays, start slowly. Some excellent and widely available options that are great for children include Tortilla Espanola (a simple omelette), Paella (the national dish of Spain, made with rice and seafood or chicken), croquette (minced veg or meat that’s been breaded and deep fried), and patatas bravas (crispy potatoes served with a spicy dipping sauce).
Worried you’ll blow your holiday budget on food your kids won’t eat? That’s the beauty of tapas. Tapas are snacks or starters arranged on small plates and meant for sharing. They can be cold dishes, like a serving of mixed olives and cheeses, or more complex hot dishes such as chopitos, which are battered and fried baby squid. You can find tapas bars and street vendors all over Spain and the cuisine sits at the heart of both native Spanish culture and Spain holidays alike. You can find tapas bars and street vendors all over Spain. Because the servings are small, this is a fantastic way to help your kids explore foreign cuisine and expand their horizons without breaking the bank on your cheap holidays.
Once you’ve sampled a few different tapas dishes, you can engage your family in thepopular Spanish practice of tapeando, flitting from one tapas bar to another. It’s great fun for the kids and an easy way to encourage adventurous eating habits. Create a scavenger hunt for dishes with particular ingredients or issue a challenge (and reward!) for the family member who is brave enough to sample the most extreme cuisine.