Four Tips for Eating Healthy with Kids on Road Trips
My idea of fun is a road trip - to the extent that I wonder whether I may have descended from Magellan. Or Sacajawea. Or possibly Dora the Explorer. It's deep in my cells. While I love a three-day (or more), multi-state adventure, a misty, Sunday afternoon drive to the ocean is all the excuse I need to open the sunroof, let my hand catch the breeze from the open window, and listen to an entire John Denver CD. The proof is reflected on my extra-freckled left forearm.
Over the years of traveling with my children from toddlers to teens, I have developed a toolbox of road trip tips and tricks (say that three times fast), focused on a combination of saving money and eating healthy food whenever and wherever we could. The results of our annual quests are not just a series of drive-through moments, but my family's memories, conversations, and now-favorite destinations.
In the end, it's not just about feeding my kids' or my own voracious appetite, but feeding them morsels of information about how they too can choose wiser when they become solo adventurers. Though I silently hate the idea of them traveling without me (where did all those precious family vacation moments go?), if I can develop in them a lifelong craving for healthy, fresh, local-or-sustainable-or-organic food, I'll still be with them on their adventures, even if in spirit. But I have a few more years until they traverse the globe without me. Until then, we'll continue to make finding fresh food fun!
Here are four of my (our) favorite tips that apply to all ages and many food philosophies in a upbeat video:
Fabulous food is now part of our road trips. We research our meal-stops right along with the local attractions. With all these memories, discoveries, and a developed love for real food, we often wonder why we tried to shave off time in our vacations by eating whatever food was closest. We shake our heads and chuckle, "What were we in such a hurry for in the first place?"
From Kristi's Toolbox and Recommendations:
When in unfamiliar territory, fill up your coolers at some of these watering holes:
- When in doubt start at Whole Foods, Trader Joes, Natural Grocers, or Sprouts, or visit the Organic Store Locator for other local options.
- Use Local Harvest for family farms.
- If you're traveling across northern California, stop into New Earth Market in Yuba City.
Choose Wiser Restaurants
Food is deeply personal, but for the goals of options and simplicity, here are a few starting points on how to find happier, healthier-than-the-rest meals on-the-go. This list isn't perfect if you're looking exclusively for local and organic choices and avoiding fries and shakes altogether. What I aim to offer here are choices above traditional options and chains.
- On Yelp, search "Organic restaurants" in your destination, or visit the Green Restaurant Association.
- Some of our favorite discoveries include Chipotle , Hannah's Bretzels in Chicago, Burgerville in the Pacific Northwest, Le Pain Quotidian in New York, Los Angeles, Washington D.C, and Philadelphia.
- For a few New England options, you can't go wrong at Stone Hearth Pizza, Flatbread Co. , Cafeteria Boston, or Cambridge Brewing Co. Or if you are between Boston and Providence, RI, I encourage you to seek out The Farmer's Daughter and Langwater Farm.
Your turn to dish! What better-for-you options for shopping or eating are in your hometown? Where you do you eat when you are discovering new territory? Please share so we can support your local favorites as we travel our country this summer.
If you enjoyed Kristi's EveryDay-Me style and story, you'll enjoy the wisdom she shared with Our Periods, Our Daughters, Our Choices.
About Kristi Marsh
Kristi Marsh is the founder and force behind Choose Wiser and a passionate speaker. Born and raised as a mainstream Pacific Coast soul, she now advocates for women's eco-health while raising her children in New England. Kristi revels in taking gloomy-n-doomy overwhelming topics and flipping them into bite size doable changes for Everyday-Me's, creating healthier homes and bodies one little change at a time.