'Tis the season to travel, and this year people are going the distance. AAA predicted 2016 to be the busiest travel season in nearly nine years. Hopping on a plane, train or automobile means you'll no doubt be hitting more dining establishments. Keeping things healthy will require a little finesse. Here are a few things to add to your toolbox.
If this seems like a lot to remember, just go back to the basics. What would you serve at home? Picture a healthy plate and build from there.
1. Wisniewski, Mary. Chicago Tribune. More Thanksgiving travel expected this year on roads, rail and air. Retrieved from http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/columnists/ct-thanksgiving-travel-getting-around-20161120-column.html
2. Picture from http://joannekraft.com/planes-trains-automobiles/
I saw this Kid-Friendly Chai Tea recipe on Facebook, and couldn't wait to check it out. While I dig the main ingredient (milk), my enthusiasm dwindled upon reading the recipe, which calls for 2 Tbsp of sugar per serving.
What you need to know: It is recommended that children have no more than 5-7 teaspoons of sugar per day. In essence, this one drink would equate to 100% of a kid's daily allowance. I'm game for holiday treats, but sometimes I feel tricked into thinking something is more healthy than it really is. Kid-friend chai tea sounds good in many respects, but I might stick with plain ole milk in this case since I know the gingerbread men are coming.
Remember that sugar is in many of the products we consume every day (pasta sauces, breads, crackers, soups). This Jamie Oliver blog post on sugar is a good recap of what to look out for when it comes to sugar.
One key way to impart healthy eating habits on your kids is to offer them hands-on experiences in the kitchen. When a child participates in meal preparation, they gain a sense of ownership and even pride. Thus, they are more likely to eat the foods prepared.
While in the kitchen together, take advantage of making healthy the norm. Talk about healthy foods - where they come from, how they got to the store, and what nutritious benefits they provide the body.
Here's a quick guide on what tasks to start your kids on:
If you really want to invest in your child's kitchen time, consider a "helper stool" of some sort. Your best bet in finding one at a decent price is Amazon.com.
One last thing. This is one of those times when frequent safety reminders is a must. Kids will be stimulated and excited to be in the kitchen, and offering gentle reminders that the stove is hot can keep the experience positive for everyone.
Registered Dietitian, Austinite, Mom with a 2-yr old, Dog lover