Need-to-Know Health Food Travel Tips for Parents
Being Type-A can sometimes make us feel like we're not flexible until we experience the something new we're worrying about. Once we experience it, we learn and then master it - there's no turning back! I was so nervous to travel with my 1 1/2 year old to Hawaii last week. The idea of keeping him entertained didn't seem hard. I scoured the internet reading 10/10,000,000 "mompreneur" mom blogs on traveling with toddlers and think I gathered more tips than I needed.
But I couldn't find any great advice on ensuring I wasn't just having to feed my little snack-y, surgar-y food the entire 9 hour travel day (times 2 days). The last thing we moms and dads need when traveling is additional sugar, which is proven to cause kids more anxiety and hyperactive behavior.
Traveling with kids can be a daunting task. It’s hard to keep them happy and healthy while on the go. That’s why it’s important to come up with some healthy food hacks that can make the journey easier for mom, dad, and kiddos alike.
Healthy snacks are a must when traveling with kids, as they are not only nutritious but also convenient. From pre-made snacks to healthy food hacks, there are plenty of options available for moms who want to keep their children nourished during their travels. With these tips and tricks, we have a better chance of keeping our kids chill and happy throughout our trip - one less thing to stress about.
Planning ahead is E S S E N T I A L if you want to conquer healthy food hacks when traveling with kids. Don't get too caught up in this - I gave myself one day of writing out what we'd eat on the plan or in the airport throughout our travel and then one day of grocery shopping (online shopping for pick-up is another timesaver!).
Here are the food we traveled with to and from Hawaii in our carry-on and checked bag:
- Non-perishable fruit + vegetable pouches (an absolute must!!! Bonus points if blended with a yogurt for protein for more balanced blood sugar, or oats for fuller tummies)
- Mini cheese, cracker, salami platter
- Trail mix with tons of nuts, seeds, and no-added sugar dried fruit (and HU dark chocolate Nibs for me...Mmmm!)
- RX bars (these are the BEST snack bar due to NO added sugar and egg whites for a healthy boost of protein! You want protein in your snack bar to keep you full and blood sugar steady. Eggs are a REAL FOOD, therefore less processed than a protein powder)
- You can also bring along a cooler filled with fresh fruits and vegetables that won't spoil quickly - although we could not do this traveling into Hawaii due to agriculture laws
- "Snackie" type items with some added sugar for "Fun" food for last ditch effort to keep toddler happy : Jammies (PB&J bars for kids), Probiotic Melties, Fig bars (the Costco ones... IYKYK ) :-), and PB&J sandwiches
- Food easy to travel with for condo: easy breakfasts for a quick pick-me-up like Better Oats Oatmeal packets (high in sugar, but we cut with their Steel Cut Oats), Mac n'Cheese (we bought frozen broccoli on the island to mix in for easy lunches)
Additionally when planning, try to find restaurants that offer healthy options such as kids menus with grilled chicken instead of fried chicken fingers. Otherwise, we planned to share our meals with our little babe.
I'm happy to inform you that even though I was extremely nervous traveling with a toddler for the first time who isn't all that flexible (thanks to me...working on this!), my husband and I (and the flight attendants!) were surprisingly impressed! Knowing we had a plan for snacks and food made everything else so much more manageable. Our little guy, Myles, loved waving to all of the people on the plane. His favorite thing was take off! And the hardest part of it definitely goes to my Husband of the Year for lugging his 25 lb carseat all over the airport and plane. We'll save this for another time, as this had its pros and cons!
I'd love to hear what travel tips you have when traveling with kids! I think we can always learn something new from each other. I'm definitely more confident and feel our next plane trip will be a breeze!