A Guide for Healthy Eating while on Holiday
Holidays are a time for relaxation and enjoyment although many new parents worry about how to help their children eat healthy while they are away from home. In this blog post, we will explore practical tips and expert advice on how to ensure a balanced and healthy diet for your little ones while enjoying your time away to the fullest!
Adapt to a New Routine: You’re only on holiday for a week or two at a time, so try not to stress too much about disrupting your normal routine or eating habits. Children are remarkably adaptable and can quickly readjust to their regular routine when they return home.
Stick to Regular Meal Times: Children thrive on routine, so aim to provide them with three regular meals a day and include snacks in between. While meal timings may shift during your holiday, especially if dining out or exploring new places, try to maintain consistency as much as possible. If you find yourself having dinner at a different time than usual, consider offering an additional snack to keep your little ones satiated until the mealtime shift.
Adapt to Changing Appetites: Hot weather can affect appetite for both adults and children. During a heatwave or while on holiday in warm destinations, it’s common for children to have a decreased interest in hot meals. Instead, they may prefer hydrating foods such as fruits, vegetables, lollies, or smoothies. Cold soups can also be a fun thing to try! It’s important to go with the flow and allow them to listen to their bodies. Their reduced appetite is often the body’s way of conserving energy while trying to stay cool. Rest assured, their appetite will return to normal when you return home.
Prioritise Hydration: Hydration is crucial, especially in hot weather. Encourage your children to drink fluids regularly to stay hydrated. Offer water, diluted fruit juices (for older children), or other healthy beverages to ensure they’re getting enough fluids throughout the day. In addition to drinks, hydrating foods like watermelon, cucumber, and other juicy fruits can contribute to their overall hydration levels.
Be Prepared: Being organised before arriving on holiday can make a real difference in managing your children’s eating habits. If you’re staying in a self-catering accommodation, find the nearest supermarket, take the opportunity to stock up on nutritious foods that you know your children enjoy. Packing essentials in your luggage, such as low-sugar baby cereals and favourite snacks, can also come in handy. Consider bringing a cool bag for outings, picnics, and beach trips, allowing you to pack healthy snacks and drinks on the go.
Flexibility and Adaptation: Take the opportunity to introduce your children to different cuisines and cultural experiences. Visiting a new country can be a really fun and engaging way for your little one’s to discover new food. Visit local supermarkets, fruit and vegetable markets, or fish markets to learn about unique foods and engage your children in the exploration. Be open to trying new dishes and encourage your children to do the same. Try not to stress about deviating from their usual food choices. Offer a balance by incorporating familiar and nutritious options alongside the new culinary experiences. Even if you have a younger baby, don’t feel that prepacked baby food in pouches and jars are your only options! You can always ask restaurants to cook you something without salt (like fish that can be flaked) or “overcook” some vegetables (such as broccoli, potato). You can use them as finger foods if you have done baby led weaning (BLW) or smash it with the back of a fork if your little one prefers softer texture.
In summary, by sticking to regular meal times, adapting to changing appetites, prioritising hydration, and being prepared with nutritious snacks and meals, you can help your children maintain balance and enjoy their (and your!) holiday to the fullest. Remember, you’re on holiday! So a flexible and relaxed approach should allow your children to explore new flavours while ensuring they stay nourished and satisfied. Bon voyage and happy, healthy holidays!