The first holiday after you have a baby is a killer wake-up call. As my sister once put it "It's not a holiday it's just relocating the problem".
But the babies get older, and you figure it out, work through the issues, and soon enough they become precious days to look forward to all year.
But as soon as you get out of your house and start the journey, the endless array of packaged convenience food throws itself at you, hotel's kids menus can be terrible and a week of burger and chips can often loom as the safe option. So I've got a little tool bag going to get through and over some of the issues. By arming yourself with a little bag of goodies for the journey and a suitcase of a few extra boosts you can keep everyone healthy and happy and enjoy the holiday without stressing!
Food Stash for travel days - Hand bag Handies
However fabulous the holiday is, the travelling is never much fun with tiny people, and there are so many potential disaster zones that can end in tantrums, tears and everyone losing the will. Whilst a lot of this you can do nothing about, the food and snack situation, which is nearly endless on the road, is really much easier to sort than I once thought.
And the impact is massive. By throwing tons of sugar, colours and e numbers into kids who are supposed to sit still and talk quietly all day as they are shovelled from train to car to plane to wherever, you're setting up the scene perfectly for violent volcanic eruptions!
Here is my top list of things to stash away easily in your handbag/suitcase that you can produce at any given moment, that will keep the kids happy, full, calm and ready for a happy holiday. And also means you don't have to waste your money on crazy expensive, sad airport food on the run:
- Avocado - mashed with either banana or egg for weaning babies, or perfect portable snacks for everyone else
- Boiled Eggs - as above, or with some sea salt as a quick lunch for anyone
- Bananas, apples, tub of strawberries or blueberries
- Chicken drumsticks
- Oat cakes - for munching or dunking or using to spread anything on
- Cherry tomatoes, Carrots, cucumber, peppers and houmous
- LLH Granola Bars (homemade if possible)
- LLH Energy Balls (3 recipes on here that work a charm and take 3 mins to make)
- Naked Bars or Rude Health Bars
- A pot of LLH trail mix
You can't drag all of this around with you, clearly, but pick a mixture of sweet and savoury that you can make/get and I promise you, you will arrive with way less stress than usual! I've tried journeys all ways, and the packet food, sweets galore version has never been a happy outcome!
Holiday Happy food tips
The journey can feel like forever, but you'll be on the holiday for a lot longer, hopefully! So this is when I really think you can make a big difference on the food front.
Try all the amazing fresh local delights
The main thing about being away is that you and your kids get to try all the amazing fresh, local food, it's such a great time to try out new flavours and things that you'd never make at home. Eat whatever the locals are eating and buy food from the markets if you're cooking for yourself.
I've always taken a stash of things away with me for as long as I can remember, and I've finessed the art of what I can't do without. This is just my absolute must-have, minimal list, so ignore or not as you like!
- Maldon Salt - make all hotel food and cooking better
- Great quality Dark Chocolate - I just can't live without it
- Almond Butter - In case of hunger attacks, slather on apples, oat cakes etc
- Chia Seeds - Throw into yoghurts, smoothies etc to make a filling breakfast/snack
- Oat cakes - Always and with everything, it's tough when you're gluten free and there are no crunchy baccies
- Coconut Oil - for everything, from rubbing into dry skin, hair, nails and teeth
- Linwood Goji and milled flax/hempseeds - to sprinkle on breakfasts that might be a little lacking
Pre- Holiday Kitchen Clear out
Nothing worse than coming back to a fridge full of squelching vegetables and mouldy fruit. And there is no need at all to add to the massive food wastage that is created every day.
So here are some fabulous things to think of before you get on that plane to use up things and stash away veg, fruit, yoghurts, or anything that just won't still be working when you get back:
For the Veg
- Make some soup, then freeze
- Bag up veg pieces and freeze for soups, smoothies
- Make my Fridge Empty Frittata for the last lunch before you go, and to take leftover slices on the plane
- Throw them on the compost heap!
For the fruit:
- Peel bananas and freeze, or slice and freeze ready for ice cream
- Chop, core, stone, peel etc any other fruit and freeze in bags for smoothies
- Make a batch of lollies/smoothies and freeze
- Take what you can on the journey
- Throw the rest on the compost heap!
MOST IMPORTANTLY - HAVE AN AMAZING TIME, don't stress, you'll be home soon and planning the next one so make the absolute most of every single minute!