As the last bell rings and summer vacation officially begins, many families are thinking ahead to their summer plans. Trips and vacations may be the name of the game for some, while stay-cations and more relaxing may be in order for others. But juggling all of these schedules may put dinner planning on the back burner. To ensure your children are eating as healthy as they can during traveling and summer activities, read on to find out some great tips and tricks!
Most people think of vacations and indulgence as hand-in-hand, and they wouldn’t be totally incorrect. You want to treat yourself and your family while away, and not have to worry about cooking. And while it’s fun to eat out or indulge a little, it shouldn’t be an everyday occurrence or an over-indulgence during your vacation, either. Sticking to a budget can help you plan out how much you can eat out and buy snacks or treats, but not go too overboard. You’ll want to make the vacation fun but not force everybody to eat certain foods 24/7, either. This can also help cut potential bonus costs from your vacation as well. Everybody knows eating out isn’t cheap, and when you do cook at your hotel room or Airbnb, you can keep it relatively cheap compared to ordering in.
Keep It Fresh!
Another hard rule to stick to is finding healthy snacks for a trip. Many quick meals or snacks typically contain a lot of sugar or empty calories in exchange for a small price. To keep the hunger at bay without breaking the bank, look for whole foods that are just as filling but a lot healthier for your kids. Fresh fruit and vegetables can easily fill up any growing child, and not cost a fortune either. Some great snacks include carrot sticks, celery, tomatoes, cucumbers, or any vegetable dipped into hummus. Nuts such as cashews, almonds, pistachios and more can be great snacks if there are no nut allergies in the household, and you look for either unsalted or lightly salted varieties. Trail mixes (and some granola bars) can appear to look healthy, but most will contain a lot of chocolate and sugar. You can create your own trail mixes using dried fruits, nuts, seeds, and whatever else your family will eat and enjoy.
Summer is the season for fresh fruit, so load up on one of the favorites, watermelon. It’s a sweet treat without all the added calories, and since it’s almost entirely water (92%), it can easily fill bellies for a while. Other fresh fruits that are great in salads, side dishes, or snacks include: raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, and cherries.
You can easily find recipes online as well to help aid you in cooking more often. And if you do go out, there are easy substitutes to keep it healthier, such as going for more salads and fresh foods, and opting for grilled and baked items instead of the fried side dishes. Have a fun and healthy trip!