Healthy Holiday Travel Made Simple
by Noha Waibsnaider
Pulling off a holiday trip with kids—whether to the grocery store or a faraway destination—requires a lot of planning, patience and effort. There are ways to make the experience memorable for all the right reasons, though. Here’s how you can manage common obstacles to make this holiday season travel your best ever.
Empower Your Kids to Pack For Themselves. Consider allowing your children to help you pack. Younger children especially love choosing toys, activities and snacks. Involving your kids ensures they’ll be more engaged in these entertainments while on the road, and you’ll avoid hearing these dreaded words: “I’m bored.”
Expect the best, prepare for the worst. Consider packing a basic first-aid kit. There’s nothing worse than trying to manage a cranky child with a minor medical issue on the road while frantically searching for a store that carries band aids or over-the-counter pain relievers. It’s also prudent to carry important medical documents for you children, such as immunization records, blood type and pediatrician contact information. This information can help health care professionals treat your child thoroughly no matter where you are.
Fill Up Their Tanks. Pack your carry-on with healthy snacks so you have good options available when you need them. If you don't have time to pack some snacks, skip the candy bars for healthy options available at many airport news stores like packaged dried fruits and nuts. We know when kids eat healthy foods filled with fiber and protein, they are more likely to maintain steady blood sugar and energy levels. With sugar and carb-filled snacks, their blood sugar spikes giving them lots of extra, false energy, which leads to an inevitable crash. That’s why traveling with healthy, good-tasting snacks like organic fruits and vegetable snacks, cheese sticks, almonds and lots of water can make a big difference.
If you're driving to your destination, avoid eating a heavy meal that may make you drowsy or nauseous on the road. Instead, eat a light, nutritious meal and bring snacks that are as close to nature as possible to stay energized throughout your drive.
Be ready for delaysNo matter how well you’ve planned, travel delays are inevitable. Whether it’s a layover, car trouble or something else outside of your control, delays will happen. Depending on the age of your children, pack extra “just in case” items in your bag including diapers, wipes, snacks, games and books. Also, remember to keep the inconvenience in perspective. Unexpected delays are disappointing, but they’re part of a greater effort to spend time with your family. Use the opportunity to do just that and the experience may pleasantly surprise you.
Healthy Travel Doesn’t End at Your Destination. You can’t underestimate the importance of good nutrition when it comes to your immune system. Vitamins, minerals and antioxidants boost the body’s ability to fight infection. Even when you’ve reached your destination, encourage your family to eat fruits and vegetables along with traditional holiday indulgences as much as you can to help boost immunity for trip back home, especially if you’re flying. Strive to plan a few active family outings to balance out lounging by the fire or watching movies. Walking around the neighborhood, jogging to the store for that last-minute ingredient, or a snowball fight can boost your individual energy levels and the group’s sense of togetherness.
Noha Waibsnaider is the founder and CEO of Peeled Snacks, a maker of organic fruit and vegetable snacks. Committed to organic, clean food, Peeled Snacks makes a variety of vegetable and fruit snacks available in Starbucks, Whole Foods, Hudson News, Amazon.com and grocery stores.