School’s out! It’s time to focus on enjoying the long days of summer with family and friends. Summer means barefoot temps, fresh and simple meals, doing as much as possible outdoors…and maybe even hitting the road to a new and fun destination. For our family, the start of summer meant a few very long plane rides back to the USA from our temporary expat home of Argentina.
Ahhh, OVERNIGHT AIRPLANE RIDE with KIDS, how I missed you!
Packing healthy travel food is really important to me, and it’s one of the biggest impacts on the success or failure of our travel days (read: no meltdowns vs meltdowns!). Today I want to share with you how I pack healthy food for my kids on the airplane or in the car. Having healthy snacks and meals on hand allows us to avoid stopping for fast food and keeps my kids nourished and feeling good for our trip. Here are my 3 tips for packing healthy food for travel.
3-5 days Pre-trip: Make Your Food List
My husband likes to kid me about my travel food list-making, but honestly who’s laughing at the end of the day? ME, that’s who! First I count up the hours we will be traveling, then I count how many meals and snacks that covers. For our trip last weekend (from Argentina to California) it was 3 meals and 2 snacks. I usually throw in an extra snack just in case we have a delay. I ask my kids to give me a few ideas about their FAVORITE snacks because their “favorites” change on a daily basis and I want to make sure I can accommodate their requests if I can. I also always include a few “treats” that they don’t usually get on a regular basis like my protein cookies. These treats help when we are taking off or landing to distract the kids from their ears popping. It’s amazing how my daughter forgets about her ears the second I say the word “cookie.”
1-2 days Pre-trip: Organize Food Containers
I’ve had a few occasions where I planned all the food and then had no place to put it because I didn’t have enough containers or space in our travel cooler. I found myself scrambling at the last minute— which is NO FUN. So these days I quickly plan what food goes in what containers before I start making my travel food. This way I make the right amount of food and I have enough space to carry it all.
Here’s a peak into my prep…
We have been a fan of Little Bites silicone snackware for years. These cups are so easy to pack. They also have lids that seal up keeping everything secure.
This snack bag by Eco Lunch Gear allows me to ditch the plastic and keep our snacks fresh. We packed this with pretzels and the pouch kept them secure and in pace without needing a plastic ziplock.
Stainless steel containers are a must when we travel. I like this brand because it is deeper than other brands and can hold more food for a full meal.
Day of Travel: RELAX, You’ve Prepared and Your Kids Won’t Starve!
After you’ve prepared and planned, try to relax on your travel day. Your kids will eat as healthy as possible and the more you relax about the whole thing, the more they will relax too. Kids pick up on the energy of their parents. When I’m stressed, my kids are stressed. When I’m (seemingly) calm, my kids relax and have fun too. Enjoy the journey, and if someone gets cranky—throw a protein cookie at your cranky kid—-it’s all good.
***Thanks to MightyNest for sponsoring this post and for the following great gear: To go containers, snack bags, silicone storage jars , our new favorite thermos cup that my kids fight over, and this flask we plan to use on our next camping trip.
READY TO TRY A FRESH HEALTHY TRAVEL APPROACH WITH ME?
MightyNest is a company that I’ve used for years because they are committed to raising awareness about safe and non-toxic products. They have a great program aimed at helping schools raise money and you can help your local school today with a few simple steps!
You can vote with your dollar right now and 15% of your purchase will be donated to the school of your choice. Plus, you can help earn points for the school of your choice by pledging to make super simple changes, like packing healthy travel food! The school with the most points earns $500!
Pledge to make one small step to pack healthy travel food this year and take a small but mighty step in a healthier direction! You’ll automatically be entered to win $100 gift card from MightyNest. And because MightyNest is all about inspiring and rewarding simple changes for mighty living, you’ll also earn points to help your local school win up to $500 this month in the Get Fresh Challenge!
Here’s how to enter:
1. Pledge to make one small step to pack healthy travel food this year.
2. Support your local school by choosing them to win up to $500 in the MightyNest for Schools Get Fresh Challenge. All you have to do is select a school (based on zip code) when you pledge. MightyNest will accept pledges until June 30th. The school with the most points on June 30th will win $500!
This giveaway is open only to U.S. addresses. Thanks for understanding!