How to Give Your Children Healthy Food During Vacation

Getting your children to eat healthy food on normal days is not that of an easy task, so how about trying healthy food on an outing or a vacation? It feels like a hopeless case, right?

Vacations are known to be “fun” times, where kids think that it’s a good time to break some rules. Parents usually face new challenges while trying to give food to their child outside of home. 

Although it is said to be a hard task, the good news is, it’s not impossible! Vacation can be a fun time while maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

Mirna Elsabbagh, Adult & Child Nutritionist, How to Give Your Children Healthy Food During Vacation

 

Here are some tips to help your kids eat healthy food during vacation:

Avoid certain types of food during an outing:

These foods include fast and processed foods like French fries, pizza and others. Usually, a kids’ menu is rich in refined carbs and processed oil. Children usually accompany these types of foods with vacations and fun, which creates a hard time for parents to give them other healthier alternatives and experiencing new varied foods. This results in dangerous consequences like health problems, weight gain, low immunity, and shortage in their vitamins and minerals intake.

Also, parents should make sure to not give their children sweets and high-sugar foods. Sugary meals and treats supply your kid with an energy boost that only lasts for 30 minutes, and is then followed by a sudden energy crash.

Have a discussion about food alternatives

Try talking with your children about trying new foods, and discuss healthier options and various preferences. Children need to learn how to eat properly, so you have to explain why an apple is more important than a chocolate bar, and differentiate essential meals from occasional ones. Listen to your child’s needs and opinions, and offer them compromised food options based on their stated desires.

This helps with improving the physical development of your children, and boosting their overall vacation experience.

Give your children choices

It’s very important to give your kids a sense of choice. So instead of ordering them a salad or grilled chicken, let them choose between 3 present healthy options. This will help you in the process of supplying them healthier foods, and give your children’s diet a push by giving them the ability to pick what they want. You’d be surprised by your child’s willingness to choose once given the ability to.

Help your kids feel involved

Your children will be less reluctant to eat healthy meals if they were a part of preparing it. Encourage your children to participate in creating new snacks, or in making up their meals.

For example, let them be a part of choosing the vegetables needed for their salad, washing the vegetables, mixing the salad, and adding the flavors and toppings they like. They can also be a part of preparing their meals requirements, opening packages, or helping with healthy desserts.

Supply vegetables in different forms

Vegetables can come in different forms like grilled, steamed or roasted. All these types have different tastes, so you can test what your kids like most and focus on making that type for them. Try adding different spices for their vegetables and foods, and add aside a few dips. You can also decorate your children’s vegetables, play with their foods, and add shapes and colors. This will help boost their overall eating experience and make healthy food more interesting to them.

Mirna Elsabbagh, Adult & Child Nutritionist - How to Give Your Children Healthy Food During Vacation

Set food choices ahead of time

An effective way of helping your child eat healthy foods is expecting what to eat next. Meal planning helps in getting your child ready for what they will eat and avoid their sense of disappointment. 

This will help reduce their reluctance to healthy food, improve your child’s eating habits and give them a set of options to choose upon.

Be a role model

Your child is most influenced by your choices and actions in front of them. So make sure to make healthier eating choices while choosing your snacks, desserts and meals. Keep your eating habits outside similar to what it is at home. 

Keep the healthier options closer to your hands than the unhealthy ones, like nuts, fruits and vegetables.

 

Hope this information was helpful!

Mirna Sabbagh, an adult and child dietitian, nutritionist, and lactation consultant sees patients physically in Dubai, and also does online consultations for weight loss for adults and children, pick eating and  other services. In addition, she also has several digital courses: breastfeeding course,  starting solids 6-12 months course, child nutrition for all children including picky eaters, and also a weight loss course for adults that you can sign up for from the comfort of your home. You can also e-mail Mirna for questions on info@mirnaelsabbagh.com