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Make the transition from vacation back to normal life by keeping kids healthy on vacation. Read on for 3 reasons why you need to worry about it and 4 ways to do it.
If you’re anything like me, you might find it hard to stay healthy while on vacation. There is so much to see, do, and taste that sometimes my health is not my first priority. Fried food, desserts, and adult drinks call out a siren song that is much harder to ignore while relaxed on vacation than while living day-to-day life.
And then, you go and have kids and have to be all responsible and a good role model. Ugh, what’s up with that, amirite? All joking aside, If you’re taking your children on a vacation anytime soon, I’m sure you’ve pondered how you can try and keep them healthier while your family is away so that the return to normal life is a bit easier and you can hopefully avoid getting sick while on vacation.
This was a big concern of mine while we were in Austin earlier this month. Alex and I have worked hard to encourage healthy habits in Ryan and I didn’t want to have them completely thrown out the window just because we were away. Thankfully, I came up with some simple ways to keep my family healthy while on vacation that I’m excited to share with you. But first!
Why it’s important to focus on keeping kids healthy on vacation:
Some of you might be thinking, Hey! We’re on vacation! Let the kids have fun. You can worry about kale shakes when you get home. I totally get it. But there are a lot of reasons why it makes sense to work on keeping kids healthy while on vacation I’d like to touch on quickly.
Teaching importance of a healthy lifestyle. Let’s teach our kids that a healthy lifestyle doesn’t just have to be when we’re home. A healthy lifestyle is so important to teach our kids to love and appreciate – including when you’re on vacation. Show them that a few simple changes on vacation can keep them healthy while still having tons of fun!
Keep them icky free! Tell me – who here has come home from vacation only to immediately suffer the world’s worst cold? Is there any bigger bummer than having to not only come home after a great trip but also, battle an illness? Keep those immune systems happy and healthy to attempt to avoid this!
Transition back to normal life. Have you ever tried to convince a 2-year-old that we are no longer going to eat junk and that the week of free-eating was just ‘vacation’ food? It’s not for the weak of heart. I learned this the hard way when I
Convinced yet? Okay – and I promise, all of these tips are easy and won’t put a huge damper on your vacation! Let’s get into the 4 tips for keeping kids healthy on vacation.
Keeping Kids Healthy on Vacation
Washing hands regularly. This may seem obvious, but it’s one of those things that become a bit more difficult while you’re away. Make sure that you don’t bring and icky friends home with you by washing hands regularly – maybe even more than normal. In a new place, kids are much more prone to touch allthethings, so combat that with extra hand washings, wipes, and hand sanitizer.
Focus on active vacations. Especially important is you also took a long car or plane ride to get to your destination, make sure you get your kiddos up and moving for as much as your vacation as possible. Personally, I’m not sure how an inactive vacation is possible, much less with kids, unless you’re laying out at the beach all week (the dream, right? Though definitely NOT happening with 2 kids under 3!!), but either way, keep it moving. Before going research kid friendly activities for your kids’ ages. Find parks that are close to where you’re staying and take them there to run around. Looks for a national park your family can explore together. Keep it active – not necessarily the ‘boring’ intentional kind of active, but be sure to keep your family moving.
Choosing healthy sides. For me, 75% of the fun of vacation lies in food. The first time we went to Austin, we literally went for food – Alex and I drive a full day to try out a world famous barbecue place. I love checking out different food, different cultures, and flavors that I might not be as open to trying out at home. But the reality is, most of those choices for vacation food aren’t the healthiest options. At most places, kid’s meals leave much to be desired, focusing mostly on super kid friendly choices or boring grilled chicken and veggies (which is why we usually either just split an adult meal with Ryan or order him an appetizer, but that is a conversation for another day.) I’ve found the way for my kids to eat ‘happy vacation’ food while still staying healthy is to order a healthier side. It’s a great way to balance the two and keeping healthy options in sight and mind will make the transition back to ‘normal’ food at home easier. Even something as simple as getting a side of roasted corn and coleslaw atop a sandwich can help make what might be a less than stellar meal nutrition wise a little bit better.
Packing snacks with extra nutrition. This is HUGE you guys. The reality is that unless you’re super strict with all of their food and they don’t get distracted at all while eating out, your kid is NOT going to be getting the same nutrition they would at home. So how to combat that? Rather than stress about it, we make sure that snacks are packed with as much nutrition as possible.
Packing snacks doesn’t have to be difficult or frustrating, either – in today’s world, there are so many nutritious options that make both momma and kiddo happy. Recently, one of my favorites has been V8® Veggie Blends. Did anyone else love V8® tomato juice as a kid? My mom loved it and always had a few of those mini cans in the fridge. She would pour me a glass, adding a little bit of pepper to mine, and I would gulp it down, not even realizing that my ‘grown up’ drink was really packed with good stuff.
It seems like the good people at V8® realized that not everyone is a weirdo like me (ha!) and found a way to make a much more kid-friendly version (and husband friendly, if your guy is anything like mine) way to get in those vitamins and minerals with V8® Veggie Blends. Each 8oz. serving contains 1 full serving of vegetables, is an excellent source of vitamins A, C, & E, and 60 calories or less with no sugar added and no artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives. The vegetables are blended with great tasting fruits
Since they are shelf stable, you can either buy them at your local Walmart before leaving and pack a bottle or two up to take with you or buy some when you get to your destination, since Walmart is reliably near most locations you might vacation. I recommend grabbing one of the two new flavors – Berry Bliss and Caribbean Greens, which come in both 48 and 12 ounces. This makes it perfect to either get the larger size and drink over the span of your vacation if you have a fridge or pick up the smaller one if you are more likely to be drinking on the road. Paired a cheese stick or some peanut butter on crackers, this makes a well rounded, nutrition-packed snack for your favorite kiddos.
So tell me – what are some of your tips for keeping kids healthy on vacation? Is it something you worry about or do you try to enjoy your trip more and worry about it later? (I see the draw of both sides!) Do you dig V8®? Let me know in the comments!
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