It can seem like a daunting task to prepare and package food for a trip especially when you have children. But oh is it important. You don’t want to risk getting sick from eating out in someplace you don’t know. Trust me you don’t. I know because it’s happened to us and it’s not pretty to get the stomach flu or a virus complements of the chef or waiter at your local restaurant while on vacation or while traveling.
Also if you normally take herbal teas, supplements, homeopathic medicine, and superfood snacks on a daily basis, do bring them with you. It will come in handy if you have a medical condition needing treatment like diarrhea or serious bug bites. I have a little travel pack I stuff with dried herbs, herbal oils, salves, and tinctures. You never know who is going to get ear pain or a fever. You’re also less likely to spend money on last-minute gas station junk when you have a cooler in the car with wholesome good drinks and snacks. So what’s on the menu when you’re on the road? Here are just a few suggestions:
– Next time you’re out shopping look for some recycled plastic or bamboo cups/plates that are eco and family-friendly. Stash them in a bag inside your pantry for quick access before going on a trip. Using recyclable plastic and or bamboo is a much better alternative for your pocket and for the planet.
– Buy organic raw nuts in bulk then freeze small containers so you can take them out before going on a trip. Nuts are fantastic snacks as you can mix them with raw cacao nibs, coconut, and many other treats and have a healthy protein-packed snack. Nuts can be stored in airtight containers in the freezer and only take about 5 minutes to thaw once removed.
– Pass the pita. I love organic whole-grain pita bread. We pack a cooler with homemade hummus although you can buy awesome organic hummus at your local grocer, just watch out for GMO’s. Pita is great with tuna, raw veggies, and dip, almond butter, chicken, steak, cheese, and fruit spreads. Most whole-grain or oat pita is loaded with fiber and protein so just eating alone makes for a nutritious meal. You can easily make a pita with oat flour which is what we do from time to time.
– Take your blender with you and prepare fresh fruit smoothies in your hotel, or if you have a bullet blender you can make great drinks in your car using an adapter. This is worth the purchase price of $20 since you can blend frozen fruit drinks in your car and treat the kids to healthy slushies. Once you arrive at your destination make your smoothies and add some raw nuts or organic protein powder and have a quick, light, and nutritious start to your day. Smoothies are a great addition to hot summer days. You can easily bring produce with you and store it in a hotel fridge or freeze it at home and carry frozen in a cooler.
-Tuna or bean salad. We make lots of this and take it with us since it can easily be scooped into a pita or eaten with crackers. We use Organic mayonnaise or sesame oil with lemon and pepper, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, shaved almonds, shredded carrots and zucchini, and some toasted coconut and toasted onions. Mix it all up and you have an awesome quick treat.
– If you eat poultry stop by your local health food market and pick up a box of organic turkey burgers which are great on a grill, but they can be made on a stovetop or oven. If you are vacationing on the beach you can grill these on-site depending on what beach you’re visiting. Most beaches have areas for grilling and picnicking.
-If you must eat out, do a few searches online before you reach your destination and search for green markets and farmers markets. There are several of them around the country that have nice restaurants attached where you can enjoy vegan, vegetarian, pescatarian, or regular organic food at competitive prices.
-If you’re traveling with a baby make your own baby food and pack it in small containers and freeze. That way you can carry the containers with you and when you leave your hotel just take a container with you. Chances are it will thaw out by the time you’re ready to feed the baby. A quick breakfast mix is bananas, apples, peaches, and unprocessed organic oatmeal. Blend 3 bananas, 1 apple, one peach, and half a cup of oatmeal with 6 ounces of distilled water. I add in a few drops of lime or lemon juice to avoid oxidation. Pour in your containers once blended and freeze. For lunch you can do 6 ounces of organic sodium-free vegetable broth, half a cup of raw baby spinach, one cup of sweet peas and carrots cooked but not overcooked. You can add in a small piece of chicken if you like or lean beef. Blend and freeze.
Whatever you decide I hope you have a wonderful summer with your family. Make the best of the time together since it passes so quickly.