I have mostly fond memories of past summer vacations with the family, but also remember the trying times: Noah in his seat wailing because we forgot his favorite DVD, Anna throwing up into a bag, Aleah shouting at me over the two of them, “MOM, HOW LONG IS THE GREAT WALL OF CHINA?”
There are always issues when traveling with a family by air or by car, and one of the biggest is “What in the world are we going to eat?”
With two vegetarians and a daughter who is vehemently against the “horrors of the fast food industry”, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution. But when it comes to healthy eating while traveling, a little planning goes a long way. And after much travel experience, I still believe that no one should have to eat fast food just because there are no other options. So, I am sharing some of my favorite ways to travel and eat well at the same time:
- Everyone has a full aluminum water bottle filled with cold water that can be re-filled during the trip.
- Each of us has a container of cut up strawberries, grapes and oranges. Juicy fruit tastes so good when you are traveling, dehydrated, and a little woozy. I will also throw a few whole apples into the carry-on.
- Bring hummus with flax crackers or carrots. Hummus is filling and substantial, and my kids love it! Dip-and-eat food always works well in the car or plane.
- I like to pre-mix a little avocado, lime juice, salt and pepper and use it as a dip with crackers.
- Energy bites are awesome to have on hand. Just mix 1 cup oatmeal with ½ cup nut butter, ½ cup ground flax, 1/3 cup honey, ½ cup chocolate chips and 1 tsp vanilla. Roll into little energy balls and store in a portable container.
- Ants on a log: I know it’s the oldest snack in the book, but my kids scarf it down. The peanut butter sticks to their ribs and they are getting a veggie, protein and fruit in one snack (celery spread with peanut butter, topped with raisins). I put them in a re-sealable container and separate the layers with wax paper.
- Keeping a Thermos with fresh-squeezed OJ on hand provides vitamin C and antioxidants. The insides of planes and public restrooms are like Petri dishes. We need all the antioxidant protection we can get!
- Of course, we always bring along plenty of Pure bars and Pure fruit snacks, because they’re nutritious, organic, filling, delicious and never cause a mess!
It takes under an hour to prepare and pack the above items, and it helps so much with travel, keeping us full with nutritious snacks until we can take control of our meals again. Happy summer travel!