|image courtesy of Grant Cochrane/FreeDigitalPhotos.net|
Travel and healthy eating don't have to be mutually exclusive! This week we have a fantastic guest post that offers alternative solutions to the typical family travel fare; try some of these ideas on your next trip and you'll not only feel healthier, you'll save some money! Happy reading!
Feeding Your Family on Vacation
Traveling can be stressful in and of itself, but throw kids into the mix and there’s even more to think about when you’re planning a trip. Between packing up the car with toys, finding kid-friendly activities at your destination and making sure everyone has his or her favorite stuffed animal buckled in next to them, it can be easy to put thinking about things like meals and snacks on the back burner.
Eating, however, can often end up being one of the most expensive and time-consuming parts of any trip—not to mention that eating out on vacation has the potential to be extremely unhealthy. Instead of zipping through the drive through or dining out at tourist-traps with gigantic portions and prices, do a little planning to best optimize your time, save some money and help your family eat better.
On the Road
Road trips have reputations for always involving a couple things: family sing-alongs and greasy fast food. When you’re on the road and anxious to arrive at your destination, grabbing a large fries at the drive through can seem like the easiest option even if it’s not the most nutritious. Instead, pack healthier non-perishable snacks to keep in the car so that you’ll be less likely to go crazy on the burgers and fries when you do stop.
In the Hotel
One of the easiest ways to spend an excessive amount of money on vacations is buying food at wherever you’re staying. Whether you’re raiding the mini fridge, buying a bag of chips from the vending machine in the hallway or dining at the hotel restaurant, any food establishment associated with travel is likely to be a little more expensive than usual because they know travelers don’t have many other options.
To avoid paying too much, consider packing some frozen or microwave dinners that you can heat up for quick meals for dinner in your hotel room. Making food for yourself is usually cheaper than dining out, and is especially nice for younger kids who won’t appreciate a nice restaurant yet anyway.
Out on the Town
Don’t feel bad about going out for the occasional meal on your travels, though—it’s called vacation for a reason! When you do go out to eat, however, keep in mind that restaurant portions are usually extremely large and on the higher end of the fat and calorie spectrum. If you’re faced with an enormous plate of food, consider splitting dishes with family members or saving leftovers for tomorrow’s lunch. Additionally, try to encourage your family to make healthier choices when you eat out. Choose whole grain pasta over white pasta or substitute a side of veggies for a side of french fries to keep your eating balanced during your trip.
Don’t let unhealthy meals be the biggest expense of your travels or detract from your trip’s enjoyment. Eating on vacation should be enjoyable and not stressful, so just be conscious of your eating habits and try to make food choices for your family that are good for them and your wallet at the same time.
About the Author: Meredith K. writes on behalf of Chef Boyardee®. For pasta dishes and other products perfect for quick meals both in your home and on the road, visit www.chefboyardee.com.