One of the joys of going on holidays or travelling with the family is the fact that you can escape routine and not have to worry about being a slave to the stove.
But, one area that routine remains our best friend is, is when it comes to it maintaining our family’s healthy eating patterns.
Travelling though is a different story. One minute you might have a happy calm child, then next a cranky hungry child. Not what we had in mind when it comes to holidays…
So, what is the backup plan and what healthy eating ideas can you use while travelling on holidays with family?
5 Family Friendly Healthy Holiday Strategies
- Book an apartment with a kitchen
Having the convenience of a kitchen has been a lifesaver for me, even as my children grow older, we still make sure we have kitchen facilities to prepare healthy meals for breakfast and lunches. We tend to find a healthy restaurant for dinner to embrace the holiday fully (and who wants to cook on holidays?) but it makes life so much easier to at least have 2 familiar meals that are nutritionally balanced. Make a beeline for the nearest grocery shop and stock up on healthy food items such as fruits, snacks, cereals, milk, eggs, bread and salads and you will save a heap of money also.
- Keep the balance
Quite often we like to indulge ourselves while on holiday by enjoying the local cuisine. If you’re dining as a family, many children will welcome the change, but please keep in mind that with each meal you’re still incorporating colours of the rainbow in your choice of salads and vegetables. Fish and chips each night is simply not going to offer the energy to keep up a holiday pace. Perhaps ask for the fish not to be crumbled, potatoes instead of chips and add a side of salad or veggies or include a healthy smoothie with an array of fruits and vegetables. This will ensure immune systems are maintained, and make it easier to return to your healthy eating patterns at home.
- Set the example
The only normal our children know is the normal they see. Even though you may be travelling, it doesn’t mean that healthy eating goes out the window. Bring some of your own familiarity and values to the table and this will help ease any foreign food anguish.
- Take your own
Airline food can be quite unappealing to the best of us, let alone our fussy children. The simple answer is to pack your own. For the sake of convenience, throw in some healthy snacks of which is going to help make life easier when you’re on the road/ in the air / stuck in transit. There is no need for refrigeration and it’s one less hassle if dramas arise!
5. There is ALWAYS a healthier option…
When eating out here’s what to look for in regards to a healthy meal
+ Sushi – generally this is a good option but be wary of not adding mayonnaise or soy sauce due to the high fat and salt.
+ Thai/Chinese – stir-fry’s are a great option served with steamed rice. Chicken satay sticks, steamed rice paper rolls and salads are also great choices. Avoid Pad Thai’s (which is noodles fried in oil) or creamy curries. Plus battered meats such as sweet and sour pork, the lemon chicken will definitely go straight to your hips.
+ Burgers – I love a good burger, but it has to be healthy. Crumb-free chicken with or even better, have the bun made of ‘lettuce cups’. Avoid fried eggs, cheese, bacon and mayonnaise or crumbed patties and you can’t go wrong.
+ Mexican – Traditionally Mexican is a light healthy meal served with lots of salad. Unfortunately, as it has been westernised and evolved into a potential minefield. Ask to go lightly on the cheese and sour cream, choose flatbread instead of crunchy tortilla or tacos and fill up on salad and salsa.
+ Pizza – yes you heard it right. Pizza can be a healthy quick takeaway meal… Ask for a thin base or choose a vegetarian option with added chicken, beef or seafood. Ask to go easy on the cheese (cue strange looks) and stay away from salty meats such as salami.
Returning home after the holidays heavier than when we left is usually not a goal we set out to achieve but with a little prior research, you really can eat out and enjoy nutritious meals just as if you were at home