So you’ve decided to go on a holiday. You’ve booked hotels, organised your transport…packed the kids bags, repacked the kids bags, packed the kids toys, repacked the kids toys and thrown some stuff in a bag for yourself in the hope that there is at least one semi decent outfit. And you’re off. The tricky bit is done, right? Not quite! The hardest part is eating healthily with kids on holidays.
Holidays present a whole new realm of eating challenges with families. The main reason for this is I think we get into “holiday mode” and we want to just relax…and forget all the woes from home. You can still do that with these tips and tricks whilst eating healthily with kids on holidays.
Here’s my top tips for eating healthily with kids on holidays!
Pack the fridge
Not the actual fridge, but the contents of your home fridge! If you’re travelling a short distance or have a good freezer bag or esky (or like us a camping fridge)…pack the contents of your home fridge. If you’re going any great distance or flying this just isn’t possible, so stock up at your destination with as much of the usual stuff you would have home as you’ll need.
We just went to Dalgety, outside Jindabyne…and trout…well, it’s local. Near Coffs Harbour: it’s all about bananas. Near Taree- berry farms abound! Eating local foods keeps costs down and ensures you are getting the best of local produce. Investigate what’s on offer in the area you are visiting. On the way home from Dalgety we travelled via the coast and stopped at Tilba Central to get some cheese from the cheese factory.
Take them with you and pack them for outings! Fill them with leftovers, or what you would normally pack at home. Not only will it save you money- we spend a fortune on lunch when we eat out, but you can also ensure your kids are getting their daily food needs met.
Ditch the kids meal (or swap the chips for veggies!).
Go with cuisine that allows sharing: Thai, Chinese, Mexican, Spanish, Italian they can all be done as share plates. Or if that’s not going to work, order a number of entrees and some veggies to make sure the kids have some different things to choose from. We all know how even a favourite food prepared slightly differently (eg fresh parsley in a schnitzel crumb) can upset the apple cart!
Prepare for the snack attack!
You know what I mean, right? You’re in the ski shop, just trying on ski boots when…BAM! “I’M STAAAAAAARVING”. That’s when I pull out the “morning tea” that’s in the lunchbox (I use yumbox minisnacks for morning tea) in my bag and buy a little silence.
Don’t buy into breakfast
Hotel breakfasts are expensive (I can’t believe some are $45 pp with kids given the reduced rate of $38) , and often don’t have stuff my kids will eat. Instead, breakfast bread rolls, with ham and cheese are easy to make in a hotel room, or bring your own bowls and have muesli and fruit for breakfast.
I often find, even when staying in a home or apartment, there just aren’t containers for things like, the rest of the block of cheese, or the half chopped orange that you have left after lunch or breakfast. So I take a few of my own and also stock a few ziploc bags in my kit. That way there is less waste- think stopping bread rolls from getting stale.
It should be common sense, drink bottles are your friend when travelling, as long as the water supply is good.”I need a drink”. I rarely give my kids juice, but when travelling I also don’t like buying bottled water when I know I have perfectly good water bottles at home that could be filled up.
Make food experiences part of your holiday. We went trout fishing as a family at Eucumbene Trout Farm, this holiday. It’s a fantastic way to show kids what their food looks like uncooked and give them a great understanding of the farm to table concept. We have also picked blueberries on other holidays, picked apples and even brought home a leg of venison (complete with fur) from our latest trip. It gives kids an appreciation of food and where it comes from. Fruit picking is an amazing experience for kids as they develop a greater understanding of what goes into getting our fruit and veg to our lunchboxes and dinner tables.
Stick to usual meal times
As tricky as it might be, try and stick as closely as possible to the meal times that you normally eat at home. But once you let lunch slip later, dinner slips later too, and you’ll be dealing with overtired cranky kids who won’t eat!
There we go! Those are my top tips for eating healthily with kids on holidays. Have you got anything to add?
We booked the kiddies into ski school at Perisher Kids.