Between fast-food stops and regular snack and ice cream breaks, it's easy to overdo it on no-good-for-you foods while on vacation. Some ways to help your family keep a healthy balance:
- Pack sandwiches, snacks, and drinks for a car or plane ride to reduce the number of roadside or airport fast-food stops. Turkey sandwiches, baby carrots, apples, bananas, dried fruit, nuts, whole-grain crackers, string cheese, and bottled juice are nutritious options -- and travel well.
- Look for a hotel with an in-room kitchen or mini-fridge. Then stock healthy breakfast, lunch, and snack fixings, such as yogurt, lean deli meats, precut veggies, and fresh fruit.
- To keep energy up, make sure your family always eats a hearty breakfast. If your hotel offers a free continental breakfast, find out what it includes ahead of time. It can mean anything from nutrient-void fare (a powdered fruit drink and packaged danish) to healthier items, such as fruit, bagels, cereal, milk, and juice.
- Don't fall into the daily burger-and-fries trap. Look for places that serve a variety of foods, like grilled or roasted chicken, pasta, chili, veggie burgers, and pizza.
- Avoid soda overload: Carry a water bottle for your child, and remind him to drink often to prevent dehydration.