Many Yeshivahs have their winter vacation this month, so take these great tips with you if you plan on traveling soon:
Whether on the beach, running around Disney World, skiing, or navigating a new destination, healthy eating and meal planning is the way to go. Your vacation starts as soon as you lock your front door and roll your suitcase into the car. Pack your carry-on bags with lots of healthy snacks like;
carrot and celery sticks
peanut butter sandwiches
These snacks will come in handy when your child is hungry and is looking for something to eat.
Fill your hotel room with all of these healthy snacks. Vacation days are long, and there’s lots of junk food available to kids everywhere they go. Your room should be a “junk free zone”; this gives some control with the amount of sweets available. The strategy is to fill them with healthy food.
How can we do this? Let’s start with breakfast because its the most important meal of the day.
The morning is the best time to encourage kids to get some of the essential nutrients they need, like eating veggies; sliced tomatoes and cucumbers, or an omelet with mushrooms, peppers, or spinach. Fruit, half a grapefruit, sliced oranges, yogurt with low-sweetened breakfast cereal, berries or sliced strawberries. Your goal is to make sure breakfast consists of 3 food groups; protein, veggies and fruit, and carbs. Be very careful with breakfast cereals, many times hotels and restaurants have cereals that are high in added sugars.
You will want to make sure to keep the kids hydrated. WATER, WATER, WATER, that is their best choice! Don’t get caught up in the “sweetened beverage trap” with sodas, juices, iced teas. Pack a water bottle that you can refill and have it available to them when they ask for something to drink, save the extra sugar for ices and pops.
The next challenge is lunch. Here are a few suggestions to help guide your kids into making better choices;
- Salad bars are always fun, but remember they will not feel full enough with just greens, you want to encourage them to add a protein into their salad; Chickpeas, tuna, hard boiled eggs, kidney, white or black beans, or feta cheese. Adding some croutons for crunch can be fun. Be careful with the salad dressing.
- Tuna, egg salad, turkey, peanut butter sandwiches on whole wheat bread
- Baked potatoes stuffed with veggies’ and cheese
- Omelets with veggies
- Grilled cheese on whole wheat with tomato
Things to avoid / substitute with
- French fries / try baked potato instead
- Macaroni and cheese / try pasta and sauce with parmesan cheese
- Fried fish or chicken / try grilled or baked
When going back to your room for a break before dinner, you’re going to be happy that you chose to keep your room free of junk food. Having healthy snacks around, will avoid conflicts, and you won’t mind if the kids are having a healthy snack before dinner!
Be Smart ,Be Healthy
Diane Terzi is a Registered Dietitian. She is certified in Weight Management for Children, Teens & Adolescents. Diane’s expertise is in working with kids; she has created a nutrition education program and teaches nutrition education in private schools throughout Brooklyn. Diane also works in private practice; she works directly with kids and their families. Her consultations are customized to meet each child’s needs, confidence building balances the education so each child learns to make the choices they need to maintain a healthy lifestyle.