Whitney’s Kitchen Blog

Food on the Go

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Posted on December 21st, 2016 by Piccarreto
Selective focus on the father and son wearing T-shirts and jeans coming back from the picnic holding a wicker basket

It is not always easy to make healthy choices when we are on the go. Your “go” might be job related, chore related, or even fun adventure day related. What I have realized since having kids is that I make the choice for success or sabotage before we even leave the house!

Before children I always figured it was just me, so what did it matter? If I felt hungry I could grab fast food, or buy a cookie at work. Constant poor choices.

Then we had kids.

My perspective changed as soon as I looked into their eyes. They needed me. How could I help them if I couldn’t even help myself? It took some trial and error on my part, but I have it down to a science now. I can leave my house for a full day adventure and never buy snacks… with 3 kids in tow!

How do I do it?

10 minutes of prepping our backpack or cooler. I load up anything I think we might need. I put the kids in charge of filling our water bottles while I make sandwiches for them and a salad for me. We gather fruit, snack-able veggies, nuts and any other choices I see worthy of our day.

I tend to over-pack. Yesterday we were out for 4 hours and we STILL came home with a fairly full backpack. Not once while we were out did I hear the words, “Mom… I’m starving!”

We follow a few rules as well to keep us on track.

We never buy food in arenas. Our kids have sat through monster trucks and football games with no food. Instead, we fill them up with a cooler picnic before we go in! Countless zoo trips, aquariums and museums. I’m pretty sure I have only purchased them a snow cone once. It was 100 degrees that day and we were all melting!

NO fast food unless we are traveling. I can count on 1 hand the amount of times we have entered a fast food joint in the past 10 years. Until a couple of years ago, I think our kids believed they were rest stops… not restaurants! The 1 we went to was our halfway point from NY to MI and IN!

We don’t eat and walk. When they don’t pay attention, they have no idea how full they actually are.

No vending machines.

Quick tips:

  • Estimate how long you will be gone and pack accordingly.
  • Only bring what will still be good when you return. If you don’t eat it, it can go back in your panty or refrigerator.
  • Enjoy a picnic at your destination before you go in. A full belly will help you avoid the snack bars!
  • Snack time = Stop. Find a table or tree and relax together. The quickest route to a stomachache is not paying attention while eating!

Figure out what might work for you and your family. Set some rules and stick with it. Your body, and your children, will thank you in the long run!