School’s out for the summer and that means time for family vacations! Amusement parks are great places to take the family for a trip they are sure to remember. However, let’s not forget sound nutrition while you are there. It can be stressful to some thinking that their children are going to be chowing down on greasy nachos and hotdogs, giant pillows of cotton candy, and downing everything with an icy sugar water beverage. The good news is that good nutrition doesn’t have to get off track, even at amusement parks.
Below are a few easy tips to have your family enjoying the rides and avoiding the sugar crashes:
Pack snacks – If you’re traveling a few hours in the car before reaching the park, please read my Spring Break article on travel snacks. There you will find helpful hints on what to nosh on. Don’t be afraid to bring a drawstring bag into the park filled with granola bars, trail mix, mix nuts or seeds, and a water bottle. It’s best to check the park’s website to ensure it’s allowed, prior to entering the park.
Scope out the area – If snacks aren’t allowed in the park, peruse the website before leaving. Check out what vendors are where in the park, and what they sell. Management at these places are becoming more attune with what people are wanting, and selling small bags of nuts and trail mix. If there’s a sandwich shop, try to pile on as many veggies as you can onto your sandwich, or look to see if they offer fruit for a side.
Hydrate, often – If you’re able to bring in a water bottle, do so! But, bring one you don’t mind if it gets left behind. Find a drinking fountain, and fill it up! If that’s not allowed, then I’d suggest purchasing a larger bottle, and refilling that often. The last thing you want is your family getting dehydrated at Disney World. #familyvacationfail. Also, staying hydrated can help keep you and your kids tempted from wanting a giant elephant ear.
Treats are meant to be treats – Speaking of elephant ears, I do always say, “Everything in moderation.” A treat is meant to be a treat, and attending a ride park for the day is a special occasion. If your child really wants an elephant ear, ask if there’s a smaller size, and then either share with the rest of the family or toss the remainder. No one, especially little ones, needs the entire thing. They still get what they want, or you do too, but not all the extra fat and calories. …OH, and perhaps wait to give them a treat until the end of the day. No mess on the rides is all I’m saying!