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How to Embark on a Healthy Family Vacation


Taking a trip, for any family, involves departing from the routine and regular eating habits.  I welcome this change and I know my children do too.  For me, it is such a relief to get a break from deciding on meals ideas and cooking.  But how do you embark on and manage to eat healthily on a vacation?

One of my all-time favourite things to do is to explore different parts of the world.  Right now, our family is exploring Quebec City – today we saw the old city, the harbour, Le Chateau Frontenac and the Funicular (the cable railway that connects the upper and lower town and shown in the background of the image above), the cathedrals, the incredible shops and Palais Royale.  I am already beside myself with excitement for tomorrow and the wonders that await us.

As many of you know, I believe that dairy (click here for my blog post with more information on this subject), wheat and chemicals, which form the basis of most people’s diets, are our worst enemies.  Many of you have heard me encourage families to dare to be different and eat foods that others are not eating so much of.

Here are some ideas as to some good-tasting, health-giving foods you can order in a restaurant:

  • Boiled or scrambled eggs or an omelette
  • Chicken, turkey, fish or seafood
  • Goat cheese
  • Rice or potatoes (some restaurants even serve quinoa!)
  • Fruit or vegetables
  • Various soups or stews
  • Nuts and seeds

If you or your children have very restricted diets or are picky eaters, here are some healthy foods you can take with you on a trip:

  • Cartons of rice, quinoa or almond milk
  • Packages of rice or spelt crackers
  • Rice, kamut or spelt cakes
  • Rice or granola bars
  • Various dips such as hummus, tofu spread, pesto (unopened containers can be carried in a small handheld cooler)
  • Loaf of bread
  • Almond or other nut butter and jam
  • Box of cereal
  • Cans of beans or soup (don’t forget a can opener!)
  • Baby food jars
  • Snacks – plastic containers of apple sauce, nut or seed bars, fruit bars, vegetable chips, “safe” suckers and chocolate bars, nuts, and cookies

Of course, if you are bringing these items, you will need to choose accommodations that have a kitchenette or at the very least, a fridge. A microwave would also be of benefit to those who use them.  There are even portable kitchen sets that are designed for families coping with allergies and available for purchase from You can also Google the health food stores close to where you are staying, while you are away and purchase healthy foods there.

Whenever you are traveling, it is safe to assume that you will not always be able to find food for your child exactly when you need it, so bringing some food from home for snacks is always a good idea.  If you are flying, lollipops (made from maple syrup or Sorbees) or gum from a health food store are a good idea for children to suck on or chew to make taking off and landing easier on the ears.

And, if you or your child can handle treats, I highly recommend having one or two treat days in a week-long vacation (click here for my blog post with more information on this subject). You may even decide that you have treats every day of your vacation because it’s easier – and that’s your right!

For those of you that choose or have to eat healthier while away, your family’s trip can be every bit as safe, inspiring and memorable as other families’.  With these ideas, I hope your family’s vacation is the most enjoyable ever!

Please share your experiences. Here on my blog, you’ll get commentluv.  This is an opportunity to leave a link back to your own blog when you leave a comment.

Until next time,


Meredith Deasley

Certified Life Coach, Registered Holistic Nutritionist, Spiritual Vitality Expert - Published Author, Speaker, and Teacher.


  1. Grady Pruitt on August 9, 2011 at 3:26 am


    I am finding this at just the right time. My family is taking off for a “mini” vacation in just a few days. The tips that you have here are really great.

    One thing I like to take with me that’s a pretty good anywhere snack is trail mix. But I’ve gotten to where I don’t buy the “premade” ones at the store. Those are often laden with too much salt, sugars, and oils. I try to find raw nuts and dried fruits and mix it together myself. Grocery stores will sometimes have these in the produce area. If you have a place like Sprouts Farmer’s Market nearby, you can find a better selection. Tastes better and is better for you!


    • Meredith on August 10, 2011 at 6:45 am

      Thanks so much for writing, Grady. I love your idea and agree that homemade granola mix is so much healthier than the store bought mix. One thing my girls love in their lunches is sunflower seeds and dark chocolate chips. Parents often think they can’t send nuts or seeds to school but it is usually only the nuts that are exempt.

  2. Anna on August 19, 2011 at 11:38 pm

    Meredith, even before we had our child, sometimes we used to take our own food or healthy snacks on the trips with us. It is so easy to eat junk food when you are really hungry.
    My boy is now three years old and since he was born I always brought food for him prepared if we went away even on the daily trip. He also has routine eating and sleeping during the day, and I can see how much sometimes he gets tired when we disturb his routine. Saying that, to introduce him to travelling we only do day travels, and when he is older may be then we can take a bit longer trip.
    Excellent info, thanks again for sharing.


    • Meredith on August 21, 2011 at 9:30 am

      You are most welcome, Anna. Thank you for writing.

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