Gen X Mom Sarah Krause has been a contributor to the Fresh Talk blog for several months, weighing in on the Dirty Dozen list, organic produce, sustainability and the quest of getting kids to eat new fruits and vegetables.
After I half-kiddingly challenged Sarah to keep a “food diary” on her family’s spring break getaway, Sarah responded with this delightful recounting of the ups and downs of trying to tuck fresh produce into the family vacation. Enjoy.
By Sarah Krause
Okay, so here’s what I’ve realized. It’s not impossible to eat healthfully on family vacation; however, it’s certainly not a piece of, ahem, cake. Fitting in our requisite number (what’s the recommendation these days anyway?) of fruits and vegetables was quite a bit more trying than it is for us under normal circumstances. Here at home, we have produce with every meal, and even for snacks. But something about a vacation away makes you want to loosen up, shake up the rules, have some fun!
Sure, all the “healthy eating blogs” are loaded with travel tips and assurances for ways to get your kids to eat healthy on the road, proclaiming: “eating healthy on vacation isn't really that difficult.” Sorry, but I didn’t read these articles before we left. I was too busy trying to pack up five people for the long eight-day road trip through Texas. But I did manage to pack a cooler with our sandwiches, carrots, apples, frozen fruit chillers (basically frozen flavored applesauce in a pouch) and tossed in some pomegranate Craisins, boxes of raisins and dehydrated apples and strawberries. Always good intentions.
While visiting friends, we managed to have a few servings of produce. We timed our visits during the lunch hour (smart, huh?), so we were served grapes and oranges. The kids thought pickles counted as vegetables (“These were once cucumbers, you know, Mom.”). Additionally, our sandwiches always arrived with lettuce, tomatoes and avocados. This was a common theme throughout the trip: sandwiches w/lettuce and tomato often constituted our “vegetable” for the evening. Plus, the kids tried to convince us that fruit-flavored gummis counted as a serving of fruit!
Since we stayed in a hotel for the first half of the trip, we indulged in their continental breakfast. Each morning, we required the kids to choose one kind of fruit – a banana, orange or apple were the only offerings – and a fruit juice, either orange or apple. Limited choices, yes, but we were grateful for something fresh. Mostly our three kids were thrilled with the tasty breakfast offerings. Oh, the choices.… French toast, donuts, cereal, eggs or a make-your-own waffle. Sometimes all the above! Produce options during dinner at the hotel proved limited: we all either had baked potatoes, salad (iceberg – blah), carrot or celery sticks. We jazzed up the celery by sneaking in some peanut butter from breakfast.