Favorite food country? Or a favorite dish in each country?
Family vacations always include local cuisine. Food is always a large part of our family’s travels and cultural experiences, whether it’s patatas bravas in Spain, curry in Thailand, or ika mata in the Cook Islands. Worldwide, families and friends gather for meals to talk and eat.
How can traveling families eat? We created the ultimate travel family healthy eating guide! Read on for the best ways to maintain a healthy lifestyle while traveling abroad or at home! This is the second of three posts about staying healthy this year.
Plan your next adventure.
Travel snacks: Pack meals for automobile or aircraft trips. We love apples, mandarin oranges, string cheese, and fig bars. PB&J comes in helpful also. If you’re feeling ambitious, bring a salad or simple dinner in a foldable dish, so it doesn’t take up space afterward!
Containers: Chopped fruits, veggies, and complete meals travel well in collapsible containers. They fold flat, making suitcase packing easy.
We always carry water bottles for the family. I must emphasize. Hydration keeps us healthy! The straw prevents water spills, making these bottles ideal for road trips! Bonus: you and your kids can match!
Cooler: How will you keep all your fresh goodies chilled all day? A collapsible cooler! We carry a similar cooler. It folds almost flat. If this is your first time picking up on this, we appreciate goods that fold flat into our suitcases.
Future snacks: Pack your favorite pre-packaged snacks if you’re traveling internationally. We love to travel with Go-Go Squeeze pouches (the ones with fruit and veggies!), and other 100% fruit delights like fruit roll-ups and fig bars (I would say these are all for the kids, but those fruit roll-ups are fantastic!). Since we can’t always obtain these things when we travel internationally, we bring them and ration them out as we go!
Local market: Your hotel or host can recommend local markets. Visit local farms and support small businesses.
Grocery store: A larger food store will have items a small market doesn’t. This is one of my favorite parts of traveling. I love browsing shopping aisles for unusual goods. However, I often buy sour cream & onion Pringles, which are available worldwide!
Buy reasonably: You can’t cook in a hotel, but you can utilize the mini-fridge to hold a few essentials. Packaged cheese and yogurt are lifesavers. Vacation rentals like Airbnb or Vrbo offer more options. Eggs, lentils, pasta with red sauce, and rice are simple, healthful home-cooked meals!
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Daylong excursions? These tips will fuel your quest.
Eat breakfast: Plan for breakfast. Breakfast, especially homemade, is a cheap and easy way to get protein, like peanut butter or eggs, before work. Enjoy it before you leave. This will refresh your body before the day begins. Favorite breakfast? I enjoy topping leftovers with fried eggs. Egg or curry? MMMM!
Picnic: This is our kid-travel strategy. We bring “child food” everywhere, so bringing our food isn’t a big deal.
Meal prep: You plan your trips, so why not your meals? This will prevent family “hangries”! Have a backup plan for your next meal, whether a restaurant or something you packed.
Feed yourself: Plan meals and snacks around your excursions. Cambodian temple-hopping? Hydrate with water and coconut water. Tahoe mountaineering? Those water bottles need granola bars or sandwiches!
Switch drinks: Instead of beer or alcohol, try tea for a quick snack. Tea may prevent cancer, increase immunity, and reduce inflammation. It’s also non-alcoholic, so it’s ahead of the pack! Uncertain about quitting colds? Moderate swapping. Make one of three drinks of tea instead of alcohol. Thanks, body!
Don’t go too crazy on excursions: Everyone gets tired—schedule downtime. Rest and regroup with the kids. This will allow you to rest, acquire snacks, and plan the next move without rushing. Give your body a break from traveling!
Packing snacks for a globetrotting family is easy: Always Have Snacks for Your Kids!
Snacks: Nuts and granola bars work. Both are available at convenience stores worldwide and don’t expire or must be rejected at customs. I blend nuts with raisins and M&M’s for a tasty trail mix!
Greens: Smoothies provide protein, vegetables, and fruits on the run. Choose one without sugar (check ingredients or nutrition facts).
Tough parenting: Traveling with a fussy eater? This Travel Mamas tip is my favorite! Sample local delicacies with ice cream to get them to try it! Kiwis, passion fruit, pineapple, and other exotic fruits are present in ice cream worldwide, helping kids get acclimated to the taste. Win-win!
At home, eating healthily is difficult. It can seem not easy in a foreign nation where you don’t speak or read the language! But you can conquer that restaurant menu with a few tricks.
Restaurants: If you’re new to the country, investigate the best restaurants online. Tourist hotspots usually offer menus online, so you can start planning. Find a fantastic restaurant with a healthy menu or multiple selections to get enthused about your healthy dinner. Try vegan restaurants. They make their meal tasty.
Inquire: Ask your host for local recommendations. They’ll usually recommend fresh, local food. Thanks to our Airbnb host in Siem Reap, Cambodia was a terrific gourmet destination!
Discover local cuisine: Before dining out, learn about local delicacies and what’s healthy and what’s not. I ate noodles during my first week in Thailand. I investigated healthful Thai food after my shorts got tight. Papaya salad is nutritious! Also delicious. Papaya salad is still one of my favorite restaurant dishes!
Choose wisely: Every meal should have protein and veggies. Protein satisfies hunger, strengthens bones, repairs the body, and more. Vegetables are beneficial for you and replenish vitamins and fiber! In addition, cooked veggies are easier to eat at every meal, especially in countries like Bali, Mexico, and others where the water is unsafe.
Choose from this vast collection of healthy eating ideas for family travels. Above all, don’t worry about always choosing the healthiest option! Eating healthy when traveling is only some or nothing—finding balance, feeling your best, and satisfying your mind and body while traveling!