Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Eating Tips for On-The-Road

Whether it’s seafood in New England, Tex-Mex in California, or the Creole stylings of Louisiana, food can be a fun and exciting way to savor the flavor of your vacation destination! However, to ensure that your family stays healthy and safe on the road, is important to remember that moderation is key, as is maintaining a balanced diet, and being aware of possible allergies or hazardous foods.

While it would be a shame to not explore local cuisine on the road, it is important to remember that you don’t want to go overboard. It is generally accepted that several smaller meals throughout the day can help you to maintain your energy level and help curb binging at traditionally designated meal times. So instead of sitting down to a large meal with an appetizer and dessert, consider trying a local favorite in snack size instead!

In addition, children and adults alike benefit from nutritional balance, so make an effort to keep meals as healthy and balanced as you can while travelling. Try to incorporate fruits and veggies as often as possible, opt for baked, steamed, or broiled dishes over fried foods, and be sure to drink plenty of water to keep hydrated. With just a little planning, you can enjoy regional favorites in moderation and ensure that the food you are eating provides you with the energy you’ll need to explore the other exciting adventures that await you!

It is also important to remember that when travelling with very young children, there may be some foods that should be avoided until you are certain no allergies exist. The following eight common allergens account for 90% of all reactions in kids: milk, eggs, peanuts, soy, wheat, tree nuts, fish, and shellfish. Also, children under one year should not be exposed to honey as it can cause a form of food poisoning called botulism.

These tips can help ensure that you and your children stay healthy and energized while enjoying all the fascinating things your vacation destination offers! Happy travels!

Nutrition Notes:

Both children and adults benefit from a well-balanced diet including a few servings each of the five main food groups (grains, fruits and vegetables, dairy, protein and healthy fats). Children have different nutritional requirements based on age, below are some guidelines by age range:

1. Toddlers (ages 1-2)

Grains (3 servings, preferably half of which should be unrefined), fruits and vegetables (4 servings, for the greatest benefit, divide evenly), dairy (2-3 servings, preferably low fat), protein (2 servings, preferably lean), healthy fats (3 servings).

2. Preschoolers (ages 3-4)

Grains (4-5 servings), fruits and vegetables (4–6 servings), dairy (3-4 servings), protein (2-4 servings), healthy fats (3-4 servings).

3. School-aged children (ages 5-8)

Grains (4-5 servings), fruits and vegetables (5-7 servings), dairy (4 servings), protein (3-5 servings), healthy fats (4-5 servings).

- Destination Mom

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