With summer officially here and schools pretty much out almost everywhere, many families (like ours) are getting ready for summer travel and trying to figure out how to eat healthy on the road. With a fair share of road and plane trips under our belts (yes, we’ve survived) , we’ve gotten pretty good at the art of feeding our kids healthier foods while traveling.
Well, for the most part anyway. It is vacation, after all.
Here, we share five of our favorite tips for eating healthier with kids on the road helping us parents manage fewer meltdowns and avoid terrorizing the people in the seats next to us on the plane. Not that our kids or yours would ever do that. Nope. Nuh-uh.
Here, some of our favorite tips we’ve used over the years, that we hope help keep everyone happy and healthy on your next trip.
1. Make individual servings. Not only are they easier to pass out if you’re dealing with multiple kids, but there tend to be fewer messes. Plus, kids know when they’re done and don’t consume the entire box of crackers or cereal. You can always use plastic bags, but we’ve got so many ideas for great reusable snack containers like these, from Lunchbots.
2. Prepare ahead of time. Wash and cut up veggies and fruit before your trip so that they’re ready to hand out and eat. Plus, it’s much less wasteful if your kids are like ours and take two bites out of a big apple and decide they’re done. Ugh.
3. Choose snacks that are healthy. Think snacks with protein like cheese, yogurt, and nuts (for allergy-free families). Whole grains and higher fiber foods also keep kids fuller longer. And don’t forget to pack spoons, forks, napkins – whatever you might need to go with your healthier choices.
4. Pack reusable water bottles for everyone. You’ll save sanity (no juice box sugar highs) and money, especially when you’re at rest stops, or at the airport where water is a fortune. Fill them up at a water fountain when you get to the gate after security. We happen to love Brita bottles for kids, which have a filter right in the top, so you can feel better when you fill up from an unknown sink.
5. Let kids pick and pack for themselves. Of course, this pretty much applies to older kids and not to your toddlers, but we’ve found that when kids are responsible for packing their own snacks, they’re way less fighting, which makes us way happier. Pretty awesome trade off.