People often get very hungry when they’re travelling. But what do the best provisions for train travel actually look like? The most important questions and answers:
Mineral water and unsweetened herbal or fruit teas are the perfect drink for trips, ideally in a stainless-steel flask. These are free of pollutants, sustainable and much lighter and more robust than glass. One-year-olds should consume about 600 ml of fluids a day, two to three-year olds should have 700 ml, and children between four and six years of age should have about 800 ml.
Wholemeal sandwiches and small pieces of carrots, peppers and cucumbers are a great addition to a lunch box. We recommend you choose cold meats which taste good and stay appetising to look at an extended period of time, even without needing to be refrigerated. This means hard cheeses instead of soft, and salami instead of liverwurst. Grapes are practical for travelling. Other fruit that does not need to be peeled is also a good snack to take along. And if it has to be sweets, gummy bears keep well even in warmer temperatures and in jam-packed rucksacks. Don’t worry too much about the right nutrition when travelling, it’s not that bad. One-year-olds need 120 grammes of fruit and vegetables a day, children up to six years of age about 200 grammes. It is enough if a travelling child eats the equivalent of an apple in one day.
Cut carrots, kohlrabi, cucumber or peppers into small sticks or strips; a small study at the University of Dortmund has shown that children eat twice as much fruit and vegetables when it is offered to them in bite-sized pieces. In case you need to reach deeper into the bag of tricks: skewer apple pieces (lemon juice prevents them from going brown), grapes, cheese and other foods onto toothpicks. You can also create playful food art; a salami sandwich can be turned into an Angry Bird sandwich if you decorate it with pieces of cucumber, cheese and a triangle made of yellow pepper. A handful of grapes skewered diagonally, with two olive rings create the Very Hungry Caterpillar. If the snack wasn’t entirely finished off on the train, you then have something left over for break time in a beer garden; after all, in Bavaria you’re allowed to bring your own food to beer gardens.
Cravings for sweets rarely stem from genuine hunger, but rather, boredom. The perfect, crumb-free travel snacks are dried fruit, nuts, cereal bars or cereal balls. They can be eaten even on smaller hiking tours or leisurely walks, and provide a boost of energy for the rest of the way. Our tip for keeping bored children occupied: sugar snap peas that they have to open themselves.
A small bout of hunger often makes an appearance on the train journey back. It’s worthwhile taking a typically regional snack along for the journey back: Nürnberger Rostbratwürste (Nuremberg roast sausages), for example, also taste good cold. Or perhaps sweet and crispy Schneeballen (cakes whose name means snow balls) from Rothenburg ob der Tauber? A Munich buttered pretzel or Bergkäse cheese from the Allgäu? Big and little gourmets are guaranteed to find something for the way back. Tip: many regional trains have family seats with a table.