Spring break is a time for parents and kids to throw some of the daily household rules out the window and let loose, but overindulging too much can make it twice as difficult to get back on track after a week or two of splurging.
It can be convenient for the “one soda per week” rule to turn into one soda per meal while traveling. Does your “no junk food diet” turn into empty chip bags, candy wrappers, and fast food receipts found in the hotel room and on the floor board of the car?
I know healthy eating is the last thing you want on your mind while on vacation, but this simple guide can help you keep your distance from the high fatty foods and more committed to making healthy choices while still enjoying your spring break.
Tips to Keep Your Healthy Eating Habits Intact During Vacation
The first word of advice is to PLAN. Eating healthy on the regular takes a bit of planning, but eating healthy while traveling takes even more.
Before you leave home…
- Pack plenty of water and have a water bottle with you at all times to ensure you are getting plenty of hydration while also avoiding the temptation of sugary drinks.
- Pack healthy snacks or meal replacements to have while in the hotel room.
- Do online research for the area you will be staying in. Use Google Maps or your smart phone to search the restaurants around and look at their menu ahead of time to see what healthy options are offered for your family.
- Check to see if there is a grocery store close to where you will be staying. When you get to your destination, load up on fresh veggies, fruit, and healthy snacks to keep in the hotel room.
While on the road…
- If you have the room, pack an ice chest to store snacks that are healthy for you.
- Pack foods that will keep you fuller longer like string cheese, pretzels, fresh fruit, and raw vegetables.
- Keep plenty of water in the car.
- Pay at the pump to avoid the temptation of all the unhealthy snacks found in the gas station.
- Look for smart options when looking for fast food restaurants- Choose Subway rather than McDonalds or Taco Bell.
While at the airport…
With the many unhealthy food options and the feeling of stress that airports bring, it’s often easy to choose the most convenient and most comforting fast food option. But if you really want to make an effort to eat well while traveling, try the following:
- Slow down. We all feel rushed at an airport, but once you get through security and find your gate, you hopefully have some time to relax before boarding.
- Instead of grabbing the first unhealthy thing that appears before you, explore all of your options so you can make an informed decision.
- Bring your own snacks. Unfortunately, you can’t bring any liquid-like items through security, so yogurt is out. Instead bring protein-rich snacks and fiber-filled foods.
- Drink plenty of water. It’s so easy to not drink enough liquids when rushing through the airport. Before taking a seat at your gate, grab a bottled water to help keep you hydrated. Drinking lots of water also helps to prevent us from over-eating.
When dining out…
Restaurant foods typically offer servings that are larger than recommended. When eating out, like at a buffet, it can be easy, and even tempting, to overeat. When eating out, try eating slowly and focus on healthier items.
- Eat more: Salad, non-cream-based-soups, baked or lean meats, fresh fruits and vegetables, and low-fat dressings.
- Eat less: Mayonnaise-based salads, full-fat salad dressings (like regular ranch dressing), fried foods, and foods with gravies or cream sauces, sugary desserts.