Are you planning to go for a vacation with your family during school break, but you don't know how to eat a healthy diet while traveling?
Yes, eating healthy when traveling can be difficult, especially when you're on vacation and you're relaxed and feel like you “deserve” to indulge and splurge.
And, it becomes a little more difficult if anyone in your family has any food allergies such as gluten, wheat, dairy or eggs.
As our family deals with food allergies, AND we try to eat healthy while we travel, we've figured out how we have been able to incorporate some actions that have allowed us to eat healthy AND still splurge, without feeling like we were deprived in any way or came back from your trip 5 pounds heavier.
The last thing, as parents you want to do is to have your kids or YOU to feel like you're restricted or deprived, especially while on vacation.
So, what can you do when traveling with your family?
Below, is our secret to keeping it healthy and real while traveling.
These are 5 super tips that are easy to do and have the following added benefits:
- Avoid bloating, digestive issues and allergic reactions
- Feel smoking hot in your swimsuit when poolside
- Be full of energy to play with your kids
- Keeping your kids in great moods while you relax!
5 Super Tips to ensure healthy travels for your family
1. Pack Smart
Whether it's a road trip or you're getting on a plane, pack some essentials to get you through your trip. This will help you avoid processed food vending machines or fast food places that cause weight gain, energy drain and behavioral problems in both parents and kids.
Here are some items to pack:
- Tree Nuts and seeds
work to fill you up and satisfy any crunchy / salty cravings that you may have.
- Insulated mugs
like Klean Kanteen that can easily be refilled with ice water, hot coffee and/or tea during the journey. We travel with 1 bottle for each of us. What's great about the insulated version of the Klean Kanteen is that cold drinks stay cold and hot drinks stay hot all day!
such as bars or beef jerkeys that can easily serve as meal replacements or just as healthy snacks. Our favorite jerkey is Epic Bars and jerkey and Krave these all have real food ingredients you can pronounce.
- Organic tea bags
You can always stop and ask for some hot water. But packing your own tea bags ensures that you are in control of the quality of the tea your consuming. Yogi Teas are a hit for us, Mom and Dad like the “Detox Tea” and the kids like the sweeter tasting bedtime teas. These are made of real organic herbs, nothing else! Definitely- Sugar Free, soothing, calming and even appetite suppressing.
such as Vitamin C, Vitamin D and fish oil supplements that everyone in the family needs to build their immune system and to stave off infections and/or sickness that can build up during travels.
2. Stock up at a Local Health food store
Once you arrive to your destination, and before you even check in at the hotel, visit the nearest local health food store to buy some food staples for your stay. This not only ensures that you have the right food on hand to nourish your family with healthy real food options, but will also save you money since it's always less expensive to buy and cook your own food, than it is to eat out every meal, especially for a family of 4!
The essentials for us, is to buy:
=> healthy fats (coconut oil, tree nuts and seeds),
=> fruits (apples, berries) and
=> vegetables (lettuces, herbs, celery) as well as some
=> gluten-free snacks that can help to tie you over in between meals or while out doing activities.
An added benefit of shopping at a local market is that you may uncover food, fruits, or vegetables that are local to the region. This give you an opportunity to immerse yourself in the local food customs in place where you are visiting.
This is really cool for the kids as well as it provides a culturally educational opportunity for them to learn about the area. For example, I actually am writing this article from a hotel in Maui, Hawaii. Because we shopped for food locally, we've been able to experience some local fruits we've never had before, such as the Breadfruit.
We learned that this sweet “potato”- like starchy fruit is a superfood that is classified as a “canoe plant” because it was brought over to the Hawaiian Islands by the original explorers from Polynesia that traveled to the Islands via canoes.
3. Eat more Veggies
You're on vacation, and you certainly don't want to feel deprived in any way. So, just be sure to eat more veggies during your meals. Try to have at least 1/2 of your plate at each meal be veggies…the other half, do what you wish.
Vegetables have great nutrient value, will fill you up more and will provide the extra fiber that you need to keep your digestion moving along properly. It will also help to naturally limit your indulgences since you'll feel fuller longer.
Keep it interesting and add as many colors and textures as you can. Make it a game with your kids and see how many colors you can put on your plate!
Don't forget to move around while you're on vacation. Many times, especially if you're traveling somewhere that involves a beach or pool, all you want to do is lay in the sun.
Instead, get in the water and splash with your kids, maybe even swim a couple of laps with them. When's the last time you played “Marco Polo”? Be a kid with your kids and as you do, you'll notice that you've gotten a little bit of exercise and you've bonded more with your kids making lasting family memories!
It doesn't take much to keep your body in motion and metabolism in check. Quite contrary, in NOT moving around, there is a greater decline to your metabolism which starts the fat-storing process a lot sooner as a result.
5. Have Fun
Finally, have fun!
Studies have shown that when you have fun, and are in the presence of loved ones, your food is better digested, provides greater nutrient value, your metabolism remains at a healthy rate and you make fonder memories which, in and of itself, is priceless!
Your on vacation with your family, disconnect from work as much as possible, be in the moment, and cherish the time you have with your family. These are the times that your children will cherish. These are the moments that instill in them a life of health, family and love.
Leaving a legacy of health is not just about carrot sticks vs. French fries, it's also about the moments you share with your children during vacations which includes spending time in the pool doing hand stands underwater or seeing who can hold their breath the longest.
Continue the discussion…
What tips can you offer that has helped you and your family travel healthy?
Which of the tips above resonates the most with you?
It would be an interesting question to ask your children what they believe you can do as a family that could make your trip a healthier one. Involving your children in the process can lead to some great engagement on their part and some insightful ideas.
Come back and let us know what they've come up with!
I am fueled by "Paying It Forward in Health" on this site.My main driver in creating this website, alongside my family, is to share our ongoing family health journey in hopes of encouraging others to have the health epiphany that we have been blessed to experience.
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