HEALTHY HOL­I­DAY HABITS

IT’S TOUGH STICK­ING TO YOUR MEAL ROU­TINES WHEN TRAV­EL­LING, BUT SMARTER FOOD CHOICES MAKE IT POS­SI­BLE TO STAY ON TRACK

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Gold Coast Eye - - FEA­TURE - KARLA GILBERT Cham­pion iron­woman and ocean ath­lete Karla Gilbert is an ac­cred­ited nu­tri­tion and health coach and cer­ti­fied Level III and IV Fit­ness Trainer, with cer­tifi­cates in Child Nu­tri­tion and Nu­tri­tion. She has just re­leased her first ebook, Naked H

One of the joys of go­ing on hol­i­days with the fam­ily is es­cap­ing rou­tine and not hav­ing to worry about be­ing a slave to the stove. How­ever, rou­tine re­mains our best friend when it comes to main­tain­ing healthy eat­ing pat­terns. Trav­el­ling makes this tough — one minute you have a happy, calm child, the next a cranky, hun­gry child. So, what’s the back-up plan and what healthy eat­ing ideas can you use when you’re en­joy­ing time away?

1. BOOK AN APART­MENT WITH A KITCHEN

Even as my chil­dren grow older, we still make sure we have kitchen fa­cil­i­ties to pre­pare healthy break­fasts and lunches. We tend to find a healthy restau­rant for din­ner to em­brace the hol­i­day fully (and who wants to cook on hol­i­days?), but it makes life so much eas­ier to at least have two fa­mil­iar meals that are nu­tri­tion­ally bal­anced. Make a bee­line for the near­est gro­cery shop and stock up on fruits, snacks, ce­re­als, milk, eggs, bread and sal­ads and you will save a heap of money in the process.

2. KEEP THE BAL­ANCE

We like to in­dulge our­selves when trav­el­ling by en­joy­ing the lo­cal cui­sine. Many chil­dren will wel­come the change, but try to in­cor­po­rate the colours of the rain­bow in your choice of sal­ads and veg­eta­bles. Fish and chips ev­ery night won’t pro­vide the en­ergy to keep up a hol­i­day pace. Per­haps ask for the fish not to be crumbed, po­ta­toes in­stead of chips, add a side of salad or veg­eta­bles or in­clude a healthy smoothie with an ar­ray of fruits and veg­eta­bles. This will en­sure im­mune sys­tems stay strong and make it eas­ier to re­turn to your healthy eat­ing pat­terns at home.

3. SET THE EX­AM­PLE

The only nor­mal our chil­dren know is the nor­mal they see. Even though you may be trav­el­ling, it doesn’t mean that healthy eat­ing goes out the win­dow. Bring some of your own fa­mil­iar­ity and val­ues to the ta­ble and this will help ease any for­eign food an­guish.

4. PACK YOUR OWN SNACKS

Air­line food can be quite un­ap­peal­ing to the best of us, let alone our fussy chil­dren. The sim­ple an­swer is to pack your own. Throw in some healthy snacks to make life eas­ier when you’re on the road, in the air or stuck in tran­sit.

5. MAKE SMART CHOICES

When eat­ing out here’s what to look for: Sushi: Gen­er­ally a good op­tion but be wary of mayo and soy sauce due to the high fat and salt. Thai/Chi­nese: Stir-fries are a great op­tion served with steamed rice. Chicken sa­tay sticks, steamed rice pa­per rolls and sal­ads are also good choices. Avoid pad Thai (which is noo­dles fried in oil) or creamy cur­ries. Bat­tered meats such as sweet and sour pork and lemon chicken will def­i­nitely go straight to your hips. Burg­ers: I love a good burger, but it has to be healthy. Choose crumb-free chicken and have the bun made out of let­tuce cups. Avoid fried eggs, cheese, ba­con and may­on­naise or crumbed pat­ties and you can’t go wrong. Mex­i­can: Tra­di­tion­ally Mex­i­can is a light, healthy meal served with lots of salad. Un­for­tu­nately, as it has been west­ern­ised and evolved into a po­ten­tial mine­field. Ask to go lightly on the cheese and sour cream, choose flat­bread in­stead of crunchy tor­tilla or tacos and fill up on salad and salsa. Pizza: Ask for a thin base or choose a veg­e­tar­ian op­tion with added chicken, beef or seafood. Ask to go easy on the cheese (cue strange looks) and stay away from salty meats such as salami.

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