Quick tips to give you the healthiest family vacation
Plan ahead, travel buffs say. Knowing what supplements to take and what foods to eat while you’re away can make a big difference, whether it’s a trip to Disneyworld, a tour of Europe or a week at the cottage. Here are some quick and effective tips:
Keep a strong stomach with probiotic supplements
There’s nothing worse than getting to your long-awaited destination only to say hello to a bad case of diarrhea. Prevention is key, so be sure your family takes a quality probiotic with active cultures at least two weeks before your trip and continues taking it throughout. These good bacteria will help to provide the proper balance of good flora and combat foreign bacteria from the water and food you may encounter on your vacation.
Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate
No matter if you’re flying or taking a road trip, make sure to continually drink either plain water or water with an added electrolyte replacement. These supplements contain vitamins B and C, and contain electrolytes such as sodium, potassium, calcium and magnesium, which can help your whole family stay energized and feeling 100 per cent. Once you’re in full-on vacation mode, pack a water bottle for each person when you’re out enjoying the sights, especially when travelling in hot weather. The combination of heat and sun can be extremely dehydrating, particularly for young children; getting plenty of fluids will eliminate this risk.
Be prepared for the sun
Sunburns are always a risk when travelling. It’s important to choose a sunscreen that contains zinc-oxide and titanium-dioxide in the ingredient list, especially when it comes to kids. When applied, these metals lay on the surface of the skin without being absorbed, and reflect potentially damaging UVA and UVB rays.
If anyone gets sunburnt, you can help to heal the delicate layers of the skin with either aloe vera, vitamin E cream or a calendula-based spray. Then, follow up with a natural moisturizer. When a sunburn does occur, more water is sent to the skin, so it’s important to lock in that water with moisturizer to avoid dehydration. Coconut oil is an excellent moisturizer and a great option to add to your summer skin care regime.
Curb those cravings
The most common words you’ll hear from your kid on vacation are “I’m hungry”. A treat or two on vacation is expected, but salty snacks and sugary drinks shouldn’t be the all they eat and drink. Keep bags of healthy snacks in your bag or backpack to curb these cravings while waiting in line to see an attraction or when in between meals.
Dehydrated or baked kelp chips contain the goodness of a whole serving of veggies and are a much healthier alternative to potato chips. You can also make your own trail mix with nuts, dried fruit and dark chocolate. Consuming 25 to 40 grams of dark chocolate can improve blood flow, while nuts are packed with protein, fibre and essential fats to keep your little ones full until dinner.
For those who are allergic to nuts or just avoiding them, hemp is an excellent source of protein and a great vegan alternative. This superfood has an ideal balance of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids and is high in polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs). It’s also rich in vitamin E and minerals such as phosphorus, potassium, sodium, magnesium and zinc. Hemp can be added to trail mix, or you can find hemp bites and bars at your local CHFA Member health food store. It’s a helpful place to stock up on healthy snacks before hitting the road. To find a designated store near you, visit the Canadian Health Food Association website at chfa.ca.
You may not know the answer to the question, “Are we there yet?” but when it comes to staying healthy on vacation, you’ll know how to respond to any situation that may arise.