To us, summer means long days spent outside, water play, popsicles, and family vacations!
Feeding your family can be tricky even when you’re on home turf, so what happens when you’re on a plane, train, or automobile and you can’t pack your kitchen up along with the sunscreen and beach towels?
Liana Blackburn’s career as a dancer, choreographer, teacher, and creator of Daily Dancer Diet takes her all over the country and world, so she has healthy traveling down to a science. We talked to her to compile a list of tips and tricks for staying healthy(ish!) and happy on the road.
Plan ahead! We’ve all watched a toddler meltdown when they’re tired or hungry, but mom and dad are at risk of hanger, too! Before you leave, pack plenty of snacks for the whole family. Blackburn is a fan of whole, unprocessed foods whenever possible, but also has an arsenal of healthy, wholesome brands she believes in for packaged food on the go:
Grandy Oats – Organic grain free granola
Coconut Cult – Organic unsweetened coconut yogurt packed with probiotics
Siete – Grain Free Chips and wraps
Eating Evolved – Organic Dark Chocolate and Coconut Butter Cups
Want to go the extra mile with prepared treats for your clan? Make Blackburn’s easy, nutritious, filling protein bars to take in your carry on!
Don’t forget to hydrate! One thing Blackburn never leaves home without is a glass water bottle (her fave is bkr). “Flying is extremely dehydrating and receiving basically a shot of water from the flight attendant is a tragedy!” Bring it empty through TSA and fill it up in the terminal before you fly. You and your kiddo will be more likely to stay hydrated if you don’t have to ask for more water!
Airports don’t HAVE to mean fast food! Blackburn is known for hauling coolers with full meals through security, but if she finds herself in a bind without her own food, she prefers to “walk around the entire terminal and collect a smorgasbord of the best things from different places.” Think apples or bananas, bags of nuts, or bars without a ton of unnecessary ingredients, like Larabar or RXBAR.
If possible, make some of your own meals! Even if you’re not staying in a hotel with a kitchenette, you’ll often be able to request a mini fridge to keep fresh foods on hand. Even better? An Airbnb with a full kitchen to spread out in!
Of course, so much of the joy of traveling can be found in exploring new restaurants and food cultures, but maintaining some of your family’s food routine alongside special moments of indulgence will keep both big and little tummies happy and aide in easing the transition back to reality post-vacay.