Last time I mentioned how I loved school holidays because it gave me a holiday from making school lunches. I realised afterward that this is a double edged sword. A break from making lunches means a break from controlling what Hendrix (that’s his name – now that we know each other ‘my son’ sounds so formal !) puts into his tummy.
We’re very lucky that Jamie (my partner) works for Education and so the boys get to spend all of the school holidays together. They have a great time doing boy things (so much so that I sometimes feel left out of the boys club). From time to time though, especially if it’s a rainy, cold wintery day, I’ll come home from work to find them in a chip and chocolate coma on the couch. They’re both cranky and a bit sicky. Yuk! I need to get water and veges into them – STAT!
It seems to me that all those extra junk foody snacks you have on holidays can actually affect your quality holiday time. If you’re driving to your holiday spot, when you stop for petrol that bright shop full of chocolate and soft drinks beckons you like a sugary siren. You think to yourself, ‘what the heck, we’re on holidays’. So you grab a bag full of junk food and away you go. My particular junk food kryptonite is cheese and bacon balls. They are truly addictive, and once I eat one it’s all over for me – the phrase ‘what the heck, we’re on holidays’ becomes the leitmotif of our holiday.
The down side of the cheese and bacon ball ‘high’ is the cranky crash. Usually timed with Hendrixs’ whirring buzz from drinking half a bottle of Fanta in the space of an hour (what the heck, we’re on holidays!) and Jamie’s irritable snoring on the couch from a rocket fuel mix of cheese and bacon balls, fanta and chocolate. Great holiday.
If this sounds like you – don’t worry I have a plan! Before our next holiday I’m going to prepare some snacks that will protect us from the sugary sirens. I’ll let you know how we go.
Chicken Drumsticks – Hendrix has these cold in his school lunchbox and loves them! I love them because they’re cheap and easy to prepare. Grab a packet at the supermarket, find a sauce (we love mild Satay), chuck them in the oven and then pack them in your chilly bin. Goodbye cheese and bacon balls!
Boiled Eggs – OK. So they’re not the most glamourous of snacks. But they work. It’s easy to hard boil a few eggs in your apartment and cool them down in the fridge overnight. In the morning you can just pop a couple in your bag (shell and all) to hand out when tummies start grumbling.
Pick and Mix – This is a little more expensive, but a great way to get kids to ‘buy in’ to their snacks. Big health food stores like Mrs Flannery’s in Queensland have a huge range of healthy snacks. Nuts, Fruits, Carob, Grains – even chips made of peas! It might take some time to test what each member of your family likes, but once you have you can tailor little snack bags to each family member’s preference. I recommend the dark chocolate coated blueberries!
Cheese & Apple – One from my childhood. Quite simply grab an apple in one hand, a block of cheese in the other and take a bite of each. There is an art to ensuring you have the right amount of cheese to last your entire apple. It tastes really yummy – Colby cheese seems to hit the spot for kids.
Water Bottles – Isn’t it easier to just buy a bottle of water when you’re out sightseeing? Yes. But then you are open to temptation. A bottle of water is about the same price as a can of sugar water – so your extremely bright children will likely pester you for one until you give in. Invest in a good quality water bottle for everyone (and maybe a backpack for them to carry them in) and you won’t have this problem. I’m a huge advocate of water for kids (and adults for that matter). It’s unbelievable the difference in Hendrix when we let him have soft drink – he’s like a different kid.
Hopefully this plan works. I’m hoping that at least if we start this way, we’ll set the tone for our holiday. Then the occasional block of chocolate will be the treat it should be, rather than the norm. I’ll just have to be strong with the cheese and bacon balls.
What do you think? Do you have any healthy holiday snack hints?
If you’re interested in food, and how it affects behaviour and health, check out Additive Free Pantry – Lots of insights into what goes into the food we consume!