When you’re a kid, nothing ruins summer vacation faster than being sick.
I speak from experience. When I was 10 years old I got chicken pox five days after school let out for summer break.
Talk about a summer bummer.
Then again, taking care of a sick kid during summer vacation is no picnic for a parent either.
When you’re on summer break, staying up late, traveling to new and exciting places, and enjoying life minus a regular routine, it’s easy to forgo healthy eating habits, slack on regular hand washing and avoid other good habits. This, of course, can lead to children getting sick and/or hurt.
Fortunately, there are ways to resist the temptation of adopting unhealthy habits while on summer vacation. One of the easiest is to avoid eating every meal at fast-food places. While it may be convenient to hit up McDonald’s or Burger King when you are on a family road trip, by making a pit stop at a sit-down restaurant you can select from a full menu featuring healthier dining options.
If you’re short on funds and are forced to stop at a diner, drive-in or dive, ask your server about healthy menu options before ordering. Most eateries offer low-calorie, low-fat or heart-healthy dishes. If you don’t see them denoted on the menu, you can request margarine instead of butter, fruit rather than French fries, or have your salad dressing served on the side.
By being proactive about healthy eating while on the road, you can eliminate late-night bellyaches and back seat puking sessions. What’s more, you will be doing your entire family a favor in the long run by making sure they eat roasted, baked or steamed menu items rather than deep-fried ones when dining on the road.
Also, be mindful of the types of beverages your children consume on hot summer days. Kids should not be pounding soda after soda, and then chasing the carbonated drinks with sugary juices. Whether you are embarking on a 14-hour road trip to see Mickey Mouse and friends or you’re simply spending the day at the local pool, be sure to pack plenty of bottled water. If your kids refuse to quench their thirst with plain water, then squeeze some fresh lemon or lime juice into the bottle for added flavor.