• Separator
  • Separator

Eating healthy while traveling with kids

I say it every year, “Vacation gets easier and easier”.  In other words, as the kids grow, they help more with the planning and work.  These same words hold true for how we eat when traveling.

How do you feed your kids while you travel?  Often, eating helps bide the time so it feels like it goes by faster – or so we think.  Balance mindful eating with vacation fun.  Consider:

  • Pack at least one meal.  Pack deli meat wraps/sandwiches & peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.  Yes, we couple bathroom breaks with maybe one drive thru meal – opting for just sandwiches and not the sides and drinks. On the trip home, we bring along the leftover pizza.
  • Snack on: cereal bars (with fiber greater than 2 – 3 grams per bar), tubes of Chobani yogurt, dry cereal (low in added sugars), Chex Mix, pretzels, dried fruit, carrot (and other fresh vegetable) sticks, fresh fruit (apples, plums, pears).
  • Make sure each person has a water bottle.  Bring 100% fruit or vegetable juice to”break up the drive” and get in that extra fruit/vegetable.
  • Balance the snacks with some fun vacation treats: (ours are) Red Swedish Fish and Peanut M&Ms.  We don’t eat these foods too often, so, having them a part of vacation is fun.
  • If the kids are old enough, pack different flavors of sugar-free gum for surprise tastings and bubble-blowing amusement.
  • Bring snack sized baggies to help with dividing the goodies.   I keep old grocery plastic bags under my seat for trash.  As we stop for bathroom and gas breaks, we unload the trash.

 

Remember to bring along some kid fun:

  • Have the child pack his/her own bag with fun books, magazines and paper with baggie of their own crayons.
  • Car games from the past: Alphabet game, I Spy, 20 Questions
  • Bring new “toys”: stickers, maze books, word puzzles, Mad Libs, reading books.  Pull out these new items throughout the trip.
  • If you play movies: fun movies plus any educational ones (we like The Safe Side: Stranger Safety and the Leap Frog Educational Series).
  • Take turns playing fun music and sing along!
  • For other ideas, check out my sister’s blog Ideas for Fun Activities for Kids on Long Road Trips

 

Enjoy food when traveling, just like at home.  Stay mindful and plan ahead so that healthy choices are easy choices.  And, when you get to your destination you feel healthy and ready to go!

What other tips have you tried while traveling on long drives with your kids??

 

Comments

  1. Reply
    Duncan Faber July 22, 2013

    For me, the secret to traveling with my little girl is to always pack an extra pair of leggings in my carry on.  That way if she spills something on her pants, or gets cold, it’s easy for her to slip them on.  Plus, they pack really small!  My daughter’s favorite brand is http://www.twirlygirlshop.com/girls-capri-leggings but obviously there are lots of places to get them.

  • Comment
  • Rate this article
    4261
    Thanks!
    An error occurred!

eGrowing Together

is a monthly e-newsletter of child health, safety and parenting tips from the pediatric experts at Dayton Children's.

Subscribe to the blog

We have created this blog as a way to communicate key childrens' health and safety issues to parents and other child advocates. It is managed by Dayton Children's department of marketing communications. Comments can be sent to rodneyg@childrensdayton.org.

Subscribe