We don't have family in town, so when the rare chance comes around for my husband and I go away (without kids), there is a bit of prep required to prime our parents.
They don't know some of the simple, daily idiosyncrasies of what and how our kids eat the way grandparents and in-laws living nearby may know. Additionally, so much can change between their visits that they are always needing an update on what and when the girls are (or aren't) eating.
Since this is a process I have gone through a few times now, I decided to share some of the resources I always put out for our parents (or really extended caregiver). They are helpful to keep on hand, including a few extras of the first two printables so all you have to do is update when you fill in each time you leave town.
The following are items that every parent needs to add to their "Out of Town Feeding Tool Kit".
Each of the following forms are included in the free download toolkit.
Fill in the blanks for when your kid(s) will eat a meal, have milk/a bottle, are offered a snack, as well as all the other essentials of the day like nap times, outings, and bedtime routines.
What to Offer Cheat Sheet
I don't know a caregiver in the world who wouldn't want a cheat sheet for what to offer your kids. Take the guesswork out of it and fill in this list with your go tos for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snack time. For our family, we fill in majority "love it" and "like it" foods for each category to keep it simple and straight-forward for whomever is caring for our kids.
Family Food Rules
Things are going to be done differently while you're away and that's okay. Accepting that reality is important. However depending on who is helping with your kids, you may be able to go over some quick ground rules that your family tries to maintain around food/feeding. This list is NOT a set of rules to enforce on those who are your hired help (especially if they're doing it for free!). Instead, this is a simple printable to keep posted up on the fridge whether you are in town or not. If you have already been establishing these family food rules with your kids, your littles will come to expect some of these whether they're reinforced when you're away or not. Giving your caretakers these basics to how you usually handle food and feeding can eliminate some of the anxiety they may have about, "Oh geez, what would their mom want me to do about _________." Gauge how this would go over with your particular caretaker, and consider posting it for your (and/or their) reference.
Ready Made Options
This checklist includes some of our favorite recipes to prep ahead and leave ready to serve. NEVER have I gotten to making all of these, but if I can make even one from each category, it is a big help towards leaving healthy staples on hand for breakfast, lunch, dinner, snack time, and dessert. I also try to have a lot of fresh fruit and veggies on hand and ready to serve. For our one year old, I will often cook some veggies too for safer, easy finger food options.
How to Pack a Lunchbox
If your family uses a #loveitlikeitlearningit approach or a bento box like ours, your parents/in-laws/other caregiver may be a bit confused how to compile a healthy lunch. Share with them this printable, highlighting which items your kid loves, likes, and is still learning. Better yet, have your child(ren) help pack their own lunch boxes while you are away using this printable as a guide! Don't leave your kids and their caretakers to their own devices when needing to dash out the door each morning. Include this printable with all the other basics they may need to know about packing their lunch bag, water bottle, ice pack, etc.