Do you want to travel with your family but are worried about what everyone will eat? How can you make sure your kids get balanced meals when they’re not coming our of your kitchen?
According to Lisa Millar, founder of Smart Cookie Natural Nutrition, your diet doesn’t go on a vacation just because you do. As a mom to two active boys herself, Millar strives to find ways to keep everyone fueled even while they’re out having fun.
Millar’s top 5 tips to keep your family fed well while on vacation:
- Sip water all day, everywhere you go. This number one tip is a MUST-DO. Bring a water bottle with you if you are travelling by car, or pack an empty one in your suitcase and fill it when you pass through security in an airport. Always take it with you while you are out for the day to combat dehydration and jetlag. This is especially important to remember in hot climates and for young children who may not show signs of dehydration until it’s too late.
- No excuses- eat your fruits and veg. You are on vacation, but that doesn’t mean that you can or should go overboard and completely ignore anything that resembles a vegetable or a fruit. That goes for children too! Children’s meals in restaurants may not be the best for incorporating veg, but they’re getting better. And don’t forget, you can always order a side salad or steamed/ roasted veg. for them instead of fries
- Look for ready-made in grocery stores. You can find just about anything in grocery stores these days, including a lot of pre-made healthy options. Salads, yogurt and granola, trail mix, sandwiches, power bars, etc. This is a great way to pick up healthy snacks while on the go
- Plan ahead. This tip is important for those who have food allergies or who follow specific diets. Speaking as a mom of a child with food allergies, restaurants today are very accommodating if you do your research. Many today are actually nut-free, you just have to track them down. Before you head out on vacation, do your research and know where you plan to eat. When I can, I speak with the chef ahead of time to make sure there are safe options for my son.
- Pack your own. If all else fails bring your own healthy snacks such as protein bars, trail mix, real fruit leathers, pre-sliced veggie sticks, or dried fruit. Or arrange to get a hotel room with a mini fridge and stock it with items from tip #3
No matter the destination, everyone tends to feel better when their body is fueled with the right foods. Having a yummy treat here and there is totally acceptable. Nutrition only becomes an issue when parents see vacations as a break from all the normal rules. Try to create a balance with your family meals. If you have a junky lunch, opt for a healthier dinner. You’ll end up with way more energy to enjoy all the offerings of your trip.