Most parents have experienced their normally, well-behaved child having a tantrum or meltdown right in the middle of their carefully planned (and much needed) vacation. It’s easy to blame the disruption of a child’s schedule for their disgruntled behavior, and this very well may play a role in it, but how many of us connect the dots between what we feed our children and how they are behaving?
It’s a challenge to eat healthy away from home. My son and I follow a gluten free (GF) and dairy free diet and every day I have to carefully plan our menu, whether eating on the road or at home. Listed below are some tips on feeding your family a healthy balanced diet while traveling.
- Pack as much food from home as you possibly can. When on the road, thick vegetable stews/soups travel well. Invest in several good thermos containers and – safe, stainless steel to-go ware food containers. Sandwich wraps are great for traveling as well, like nut butter and fruit spread rolls (mock PB&J’s) or even hummus and vegetable wraps.
2. For snacks, take nuts, fruits and vegetables with either yogurt, ranch dressing or hummus for dipping. You can also buy small packs of nut butter from Whole Foods that can be easily squeezed on an apple slice or celery stick. Trail mix can be fun to make as well. Use a variety of organic nuts and seeds, dried fruits, cocoa nibs (very high in antioxidants) and gluten free O’s cereal (you can substitute cheerios – the no sugar variety). Protein or snack bars made with minimal ingredients are great to keep on hand also. PURE and KIND brands are good options that are available at Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s and your local health food store.
3. Your phone can be a valuable asset on vacation. If you have the capability, use YELP to locate restaurants along the way that offer healthier options rather than mainstream fast food. Some of our favorites are Chipotle, Panda Express (not organic or GF), El Pollo Loco, PF Changs (GF menu) and Outback (GF menu). You can also do a search on the Internet before your trip to identify restaurants and grocery stores. A carefully planned vacation menu can make for a healthy and more peaceful vacation.