If you’re anything like us you probably have a certain diet that you roughly stick to and go by for your ultimate health and wellness needs.
This probably contains the major food groups and some of your favourite dishes that your body is used to digesting, like whole grains, meats, and poultry, dairy, fruit, and vegetables with some cheeky chocolates and snacks. Your kids are used to eating certain foods at home that you regularly prepare and we all know how hard that can be, one likes carrots the other doesn’t, one likes rockmelon the other doesn’t, kids can be the pickiest of eaters so it is even hard to keep them healthy while in the routine of life let alone while on the road or overseas!
Health and nutrition for kids while traveling can be hard, but with some good planning and helpful tips you can still keep the little ones healthy and fill them up at the same time.
Traveling around Australia for us was easy because we basically have the same supermarkets in every state, so you can keep to the same type of diet.
Traveling overseas, on the other hand, is a lot harder to manage, kids are really picky sometimes and haven’t been exposed to different cultures or herbs and spices. So it is really important to bring some familiarity from home for those odd occasions where the food is just to darn weird!
Most countries in this day and age have small corner stores that often sell all kinds of stuff like different kinds of bread, cheeses, fruit, chocolates, snacks, and drinks. But they all vary in the kinds of foods in stock, an example would be in Japan they stock green tea kit kat’s, green tea drinks and some very weird pastries with weird ingredients.
We make sure with kids that we always get accommodation with a kitchen so we can prepare easy foods for the kids and store items in the fridge too. Check out our post about staying in a villa in Bali here.
Whenever we travel abroad we make sure we have some staple ingredients for the kids to get them through if they don’t like what is on offer.
Here are some travel safe food items we carry,
- Vegemite – If you are from Australia you will always carry the Vegemite, preferably a small tube just long enough to last for 2 weeks or so. All you need is some type of bread to spread it on and you have an instant meal for champions full of vitamin B12 for building blood cells and healthy nerve cells in your children.
- Nutella – I know what you guys are thinking, “It’s just chocolate!” but Nutella has some great health benefits that boost the health of your heart. Also if your kids aren’t eating they will definitely eat anything with Nutella on it, great to spread on anything from bread to fruits.
- Coconut water – This is great to keep your kids hydrated and contains heaps of antioxidants, a good source of nutrients and contains vitamin C and fiber. You can just bring a few to have throughout your trip, make sure it doesn’t tip your bag overweight though!
- Muesli Bars – Especially healthy ones are a great snack to have on the road and are easy to fit into your bags for the emergency snacks, they are generally high in fiber and can contain a lot of essential minerals such as manganese, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, zinc, and copper. This makes them probably the winner for the ultimate travel snack for kids.
Depending on which country you are from will depend on the types of foods you will take on a long trip, but remember that whatever you take must be able to clear customs, so no fruit and vegetables, nuts or any other food sorts containing little critters or seeds. You don’t want to share everything with this beautiful world of ours.
But don’t stop your children from tasting the world either, these snacks are mainly for emergencies, they need to explore different foods from the globe to learn.
For exotic foods of the world are just as important as the famous sites, it’s what forms cultures and identities for the people of the country.
When traveling overseas try and stay away from the western style restaurants and cafes that everybody is used to and eat at local restaurants that serve the local delicacies, this is where the best culinary memories are made.
For ultimate health and nutrition for kids while traveling just remember to follow the basic rules of thumb:
Eat at places recommended by guidebooks or locals
Dine at restaurants that have some customers attending, this is a good sign it has good food. Busy restaurants must have freshly prepared food.
Stay away from quiet and untidy eateries, these are risky.
Drink only bottled water.
- Avoid dodgy ice in certain countries.
If any food or drink looks risky, avoid it. Avoid anything that is undercooked or unidentifiable!
Ethnic countries are going to make their own food better. As in, if you are in Bali, nasi goreng (fried rice) is amazing, but don’t expect an amazing rib fillet. The local food is not only made well but it’s heaps cheaper as well.