We just returned from a Disney Cruise. Wow, I felt incredibly fortunate to get out of the bitter cold, which I'm pretty sure was turning my skin a disgusting shade of hollow grey. The kids were beyond excited to see what Disney had in store for them. Even my 8 year old. These days, when I think about Disney, just the princesses come to mind. But that couldn't have been farther from the truth. There were live shows, dance parties, cooking classes and many more activities that were interesting, relevant and fun for people of all ages (from morning till midnight!).
But I digress. We tend to eat very healthfully at home. There's a saying in my house that there are four big things that help a person stay healthy and strong: sleep, water, good food and exercise. To that end, I'm not the mom that lets my kids stay up very late, I'm always armed with water or seltzer, I encourage my kids to do something active as an extracurricular activity and we regularly eat simply prepared, good food. On vacation, living up to that is much, much harder.
Here are three things we do about eating on vacation:
1. Ease up on restrictions. When confronting the breakfast buffet - with chocolate glazed donuts, giant cookies masquerading as scones and vibrantly colored sugared cereals - I took it in stride and let them eat what they wanted. It was hard, but I felt encouraged to see my kids eating fruit with all of their meals and tried to focus on that. My 8 year old has a salty tooth. Her lunches were accompanied by fries almost every day. Her younger brother and sister, always eager to do whatever she does, followed suit. This would never happen at home, but what happens on vacation stays on vacation.
2. Set limits on quantities. Much as I tried, I couldn't let it all go. While I saw that it would be too much of an uphill battle to prevent them from trying and eating foods that we normally wouldn't eat on vacation, I did set limits on the quantities. For example, there was unlimited access to the ice cream machine at all hours of the day, but my kids were told they couldn't have it more than once per day.
3. Pack good snacks. I brought snacks from home for our flight to and from Miami. In addition to fresh fruit (bananas and oranges, which are perfect little travelers), I packed Somersault Snacks, 18 Rabbits JR organic granola bars, Peeled Snacks dried mango and dried apple, packaged applesauce, and Super Seed crackers. Sure, it took up room in our carry on bag, but it was well worth it.
The kids have definitely asked for more sweets than usual in the last two days since we've been home, but I feel confident that we'll be back into our usual routine in no time.
Do you have a vacation food strategy?