There are two critical things to keep in mind when traveling with kids and food restrictions. Ditch the guilt and focus on the fun you are having. The snacks you bring with won't differ greatly from the healthy snacks most families bring, the traps are in the desire to compensate for the traveling time or keeping them quiet when you are trying to orient yourself in a new place. Trip food for kids serves two purposes: to feed and to calm.
A vegan family has no problem feeding their kids on vacation. You will provide them with all of the healthy snacks that all moms do. Start with fresh cut up vegetables and fruits, like sugar snap peas, cherry tomato halves, cucumber sticks and apple slices. You can add filling snacks, like nut butter sandwiches with raw honey on sourdough bread to keep them satisfied in between meals. A bit more work can also provide a complete meal for the whole family when you're spending an entire day on the plane, train or car. You can bring sweet potato red lentil patties or a simple quinoa and garbanzo bean pilafs. Even pleasurable snacks for salty cravings like popcorn can be easily popped at home before go. Try adding some different seasonings like brewer's yeast for a "vegan popcorn parmesan" or hot paprika with BBQ seasonings for a more adult snack.
Snacks, sustaining foods and satisfying ones are all easy enough to find while traveling with your vegan family. The challenge is in the treats. Don't worry, you can find a Trader Joe's in almost any city nationwide. They have a wonderful organic vegan ice cream that's their store brand and whose taste equals any famous creamery. Just buy a package of plastic bowls and spoons, and reward your whole family for a successful trip. If you can't find a Trader Joe's, the nationwide brand SoDelicious is an organic vegan ice cream that is incredibly creamy and as its name implies, delicious. It even comes in a coconut base so you can moderate your soy intake, if necessary.
You can travel without fear of hunger and maintain your vegan values and your parental calm. The key to successful adventures with any special dietary consideration is preparation. Bring a cooler bag to restock your perishables as you go, and accept that eating ice cream in a park in a plastic bowl is a gift worth appreciating for your whole family. When we travel, we give our kids a glimpse into our truest selves -- their parents under pressure and stress on display 24/7. When you show them that your values matter even on vacation, you are feeding them a valuable gift as well as giving them food and fun.
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