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Tips for Eating Well During Spring Break

Page Medically Reviewed and Edited by Cyrus Khambatta, PhD

Tips for Eating Well During Spring Break

Spring Break is a time to relax and take a break from the stress of life and school; however, some families may struggle to eat a healthy diet, especially if you are traveling. Being healthy as a family sets a good example for your children to live a healthy and active lifestyle and is a great way to spend quality time together.

How to Eat Healthier - The Spring Break Version

Eating healthy while traveling will ensure you feel energized and engaged in all the activities you are doing. A hearty breakfast and nutritious lunch will help you avoid the dreaded mid-afternoon energy slump. Whether you’re traveling by plane or taking a road trip, we have some easy tips for you to follow!

Plan Ahead

Before going on a trip, make an eating plan. Think about where you’ll be staying, what meals and snacks you’ll need, how long you’ll be there, and the types of foods you’ll have available.

  • Will you have access to a fridge or microwave, or even a full kitchen?
  • Will you have a lot of restaurants nearby, or is the selection really limited?
  • Will you need food for an airplane ride, or perhaps a lengthy road trip?

Your eating plan doesn’t necessarily need to be a minute-by-minute menu, but having a rough idea of the types of food, and where you’ll get them, goes a long way to healthier eating.

Stay Hydrated

First and foremost, make water your drink of choice. This calorie-free beverage is essential for numerous metabolic processes and helps prevent false hunger. Bring a reusable water bottle with you on your travels and set a goal to consume your daily fluid needs each and every day of your trip.

For a tropical twist and added flavor, infuse water with fresh fruit and herb combos like cucumber and mint or mango pineapple. And remember: Tea hydrates too. Add a scoop of Amla Green to your first bottle of the day to help get your metabolism going.

Prevent Hunger by Bringing Healthful Travel Snacks

Whenever you are about to hit the road and you may not have access to any decent food options, bring your own. Head to the grocery store before/during your trip with an extensive list of healthy snack options. Stash them in your carry-on, your purse, your backpack, etc. and you’ll be ready for any delay or missed mealtime that comes your way.

If you are taking a road trip, keep a small cooler stocked with ice packs and a variety of easy to grab snacks. This will help keep you from grabbing a less healthy snack when you make pit stops.

As for how many snacks you should bring, it depends on how long you'll be traveling for. Plan accordingly, and divide big bags of things into single servings so that you don't accidentally eat through your stash before the trip is over. Or, if you'd rather not carry around a bunch of snacks, swing by the local supermarket right when you arrive.

Ideas for Healthy, Portable Snacks:

  • Fresh fruit (bananas, grapes, strawberries and oranges are easy to carry along)
  • Celery or sliced apples spread with peanut butter
  • Sliced veggies (baby carrots, cauliflower florets, bell peppers and snap peas are easy to eat)
  • Single-serving containers of almond butter, hummus or guacamole for dipping
  • Dried fruit, like raisins, cranberries, bananas, apples, apricots
  • Nuts and seeds (almonds, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, etc.) or homemade trail mix

Plan Your Splurges Wisely

Traveling is going to offer you a lot of food options. Not allowing yourself to try or eat something because it’s technically not the healthiest option will only make you crave it more and will deny you of an opportunity to try something new.

If you plan to splurge on vacation, make sure it's worth it. For instance, pass on a generic blueberry muffin from the hotel's continental breakfast, but splurge on a pastry from a local bakery later in the day. Instead of just regular fare that doesn't mean much, carefully pick your splurges, so they include some lasting memories from your vacation and, of course, so you can fully enjoy them without guilt!

If sweets are your downfall, consider picking up some local fruit to help satisfy your cravings. Enjoying some fruit will help you get through the cravings and keep you from overindulging later on.

Don’t Skip Meals

When you’re on vacation, it’s easy to get caught up in whatever activity you are doing, but be sure to make the time to eat. If you’re drinking alcohol, skipping meals can be especially harmful; drinking on an empty stomach is never a good idea.

Keep snacks with you so that if you find yourself hungry while you’re out, you’ll have something to hold you over. Healthy snacks such as an apple, nuts or carrots are perfect to keep with you in your purse. Whether it be a restaurant meal or food you bring, make sure you’re eating during the day.

Cook for Yourself When Possible

Part of traveling is dining out and trying new foods. By no means is this discouraged, but chances are, you’ll be consuming unnecessary calories and spending more money when you’re dining out in comparison to eating at home. When you have the ability to cook for yourself, you have more control over what you’re consuming and have the option to prepare something healthy.

Stay Active

Chances are, if you’re on vacation, you’re eating and drinking a bit more than usual. Balance out the extra treats by making the most of your new surroundings and go explore. Take a walk, rent a bicycle, go for a swim or take a hike. Enjoy all aspects of your trip, the food, the sights and the activities. After all, going on holiday is all about balance.

Keep it All in Balance!

Eat, drink, and be happy! Spring break might seem like an easy time to throw out all the rules but try to keep it in balance. Add a fruit or vegetable to every meal and mindfully eat on your break. Mindful eating involves paying attention to the experience of eating and drinking. Pay attention to colors, smells, textures, flavors, temperatures, and even sounds (crunch!) of your food. Eat when you’re hungry and stop when you’re full.

The benefits of taking a vacation are numerous — just don’t let your vacation affect your health goals. Your body will thank you after you return home to your normal routine.

Page Medically Reviewed and Edited by
Cyrus Khambatta, PhD

Cyrus Khambatta, PhD, is a cofounder of Mastering Diabetes and Amla Green is an internationally recognized nutrition and fitness coach who has been living with type 1 diabetes since 2002. Using an evidence-based approach to nutrition and fitness, he first reduced his own insulin usage by more than 40%, and has educated thousands of people with all forms of diabetes how to reverse insulin resistance using food as medicine. Cyrus earned a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University in 2003, then earned a PhD in Nutritional Biochemistry from the University of California at Berkeley in 2012. He is the co-host of the annual Mastering Diabetes Online Summit, a featured speaker at the Plant-Based Nutrition and Healthcare Conference (PBNHC), the American College of Lifestyle Medicine (ACLM) Conference, Plant Stock, and has been featured on Forks Over Knives, NPR, PBS, KQED, Fast Company, and is the author of the upcoming book Mastering Diabetes.

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