Guest post by “Wife of a Grocer” Candra Reynolds
5 Tips for Feeding Your Kids Healthy on Vacation
Okay, so you are on vacation and it’s mealtime; you’re not sure what food choices you’ll face and you strive to feed your family healthy meals *insert stress here*
The first thing you need to do is try to relax.
I know it’s easier said than done and usually thoughts of trying to relax get people more riled up. But, remember, iIf you are on a resort or on a road trip, guess what? There’s a good chance that you will be eating in a restaurant for one, if not all of your meals, which means someone else is doing the cooking! (Cheer!)
As parents we all need breaks from our typical duties, so don’t fret about the food when you’re on a vacation. Try to remind yourself that you are doing the best you
can at home (which deserves accolades in and of itself in my opinion – this is Angie) and this is your time to turn a blind eye to the not so good food.
Everything in moderation is a known phrase for a reason.
I recently went to St. Lucia with my family and it felt almost impossible at times to get decent food into my kids. Now don’t mistake what I’m saying for poor food offerings; there was a lot of amazing food at the resort. But, there were so many unhealthy opportunities (along with the healthy ones) that it really came down to guiding my kids to the best (or balanced) choices.
Here’s what I learned: I have three girls, two are nine and one is eight so they are at the age where I feel I should be encouraging them to make their own choices. I did this as much as possible (with a little fruit and veg negotiation) and guess what? Eventually it worked.
Eventually, my girls got stomach aches ( after too much indulging) and we had some chats about making the right food choices to help them feel better. In fact, for an entire day, one daughter ate only fruits and veggies because her
tummy was sore. She came to this choice on her own after indulging too much the day before.
So how can you insert some food balance in your vacation so that you don’t end up with kids suffering stomach aches or a sugar rush?
Here are my 5 tips to help you get through your vacation:
Encourage them to drink water whenever you can. It sounds like the easiest tip, but it’s also the easiest to forget. If there is a swim up bar, use it to your advantage and encourage ordering a water first before something else.
2. Prepare your kids for the food adventure.
Talk to them about all the fun food that will be on your adventure. Let’s face it, food can make or break a vacation. Prepare them for the good choices, the
fun choices and try to encourage as much balance as possible.
3. Negotiate with vegetables and fruits.
I know, I know, you probably do this everyday. I told my girls they can have dessert at every meal and/or ice cream at the café, but that I would like to see fruits and veggies at every meal as well.
Make sure you know when food is available at your hotel or resort before you book the trip. Whether you are in a resort or on a road trip, you need to plan for the journey/travel days as well. This is where my husband would roll his eyes. On our trip in St. Lucia, I learned this the hard way. The timing for buffets and restaurants are different at every resort, so don’t get caught after a two hour swim without any snack options as you will find your self in the gift shop agreeing to chips and candy.
5. Relax and don’t stress your on vacation.
You can always get back to your regular routine when you’re at home. Spending a week, in a carefree way (and balancing good and bad foods along the way) will not only take the pressure off of you, as a parent, but it will also free up your children to learn and explore on their own.
Leading by example, and choosing a variety of foods, and allowing children the opportunity to learn from their OWN mistakes, is key. After a couple of tummy aches, they’ll start to figure it all out. When they make decisions on their own they are more likely to stick to them.
Note: for great family recipes and beautiful food posts, follow Candra’s personal journey on her Wife of a Grocer account. Her instagram is full of inspiration ideas (that her girls actually test out) and her website lists lots of great recipes. Candra is also a model and she and her family regularly appear in TV spots and print adds. So keep your eye out for this incredible, motivational family!