Last week was Spring Break around here and my family and I took the short drive north to Chattanooga, Tennessee. Traveling is so much fun, but it can also pose a major challenge to a healthy diet, right? What to do? Here are my top three tips for healthy eating for family vacations:
- Rent a kitchen. Seriously, services like VRBO and AirBNB have made renting house or apartment super easy. Efficiency and extended stay hotels also provide kitchenettes that
make preparing simple meals on the road easy. We stayed in a house in Chattanooga and didn’t pay any more than we would have in a hotel and it had a fantastic kitchen.
- Eat out at the grocery story. Many groceries have wonderful hot and cold bars, as well as prepared foods that rival some restaurants. They also often have more healthy choices than you will find at a grocery store. Even if they don’t have a prepared food bar, you can pick up a gallon of milk, low-sugar high-fiber cereal, PB and jelly, a loaf of 100% whole grain bread, some fresh fruit, pre-washed salad, boiled eggs, and pre-cooked chicken to make simple meals for a steal. While we were on vacation, we hit Whole Foods Market, which always has a great hot and cold bar – and in Chattanooga, did not disappoint.
- Let yourself (and your family) splurge. Remember…you ARE on vacation. Don’t go totally off the rails, but make allowances for splurges! We enjoyed ice cream, amazing local donuts, and hand cut french fries with gourmet hot dogs (for me it was a chicken apple sausage with onions and red pepper relish) on our trip – not foods we would usually eat. It was fun! I was able to relax and balance our the splurges by ensuring that breakfast and lunch, in particular, were chock-full of healthy options.
In general, I try to live by the 80/20 rule – making 80% of my foods super healthful, while allowing 20% to be not quite as nutrition focused. And I do always focus on flavor no matter what! What do you do when you travel on vacation? Do you bring food, plan to cook, eat out for every meal? Any great tips I didn’t mention?