Traveling is a challenge for many. You may be eagerly looking forward to flying half-way across the world to an exotic destination, but will your body take kindly to it? More importantly, how do you think your children will cope?
Now we don’t want you to end up being overprotective and keep your kids away from adventure in the name of safety, but we do want you to keep a few very important things in mind to make sure that your kids remain healthy as ever even when exposed to a drastically different climate than they are used to, and enjoy their trip to the fullest.
Here are some reliable tips to safeguard your children’s health when traveling abroad.
Go Easy on the Junk
Junk is no good. That might sound like stating the obvious but going by the number of people who indulge in junk food when they are traveling, it seems like the obvious isn’t obvious to everybody.
What do we mean by junk though?
The usual definition is anything that is made in a factory, laden with preservatives, and full of empty calories.
This, however, is a very first-world kind of definition, very fast food-centric. Not all countries have such an entrenched culture of eating out regularly in global fast food chains. Especially when you travel to developing countries, you will find a much lesser prevalence of the type of fast food we are used to here in the West.
Over there, junk equates to anything that is dipped in grease and made in unhygienic conditions. Street food, while a great hit with tourists everywhere, is known to cause major stomach problems to those who aren’t used to it. These are roadside eateries that may not necessarily subscribe to the highest levels of hygiene.
For the sake of your kids and your trip, keep them away from street food as much as you can. This might sound like a kill joy, but as a smart parent you should pass on a plate of fried noodles and prawns, tasty but made in questionable hygiene, in favor of something far less exciting but safe. Discovering new food is fun, but you shouldn’t let it throw your entire trip off the rail.
As far as eating the ‘right’ kind of food is concerned, ask the locals for the best tips regarding this. This is also the best way to keep allergies at bay.
Don’t Alter Their Diet Too Much
While it’s neither practical nor desirable to continue eating the same food when you’re in a brand new country, you want to make sure you don’t deviate too much from the food groups you are used to. Kids are more likely to react badly to a drastically different diet on top of a very different climate. For example, if you are used to consuming bread on a daily basis, switching to rice on a big level in Bahrain might not be a great idea. If your kids are used to eating peanut butter sandwiches for breakfast, there’s no harm in continuing that even when you are in a different country with very different foods for breakfast. Both brown bread and all kinds of butter are easily available everywhere.
Carry Your Own Healthy Snacks
Granola bars, protein bars, peanuts, instant porridge sachets, are some of your options for healthy snacking while traveling.
Oranges make for a great snack, especially if you are going to a hot or tropical country. Even in general, you can’t go wrong with fresh fruits, and especially local, seasonal fruits. (Don’t opt for juices, since they are either packaged, meaning soaked in preservatives, or made in unknown hygienic conditions.) Fruits are safer and better to eat than to gulp down juices.
Also insist on your kids eating yogurt every day (presuming they are lactose tolerant). This is one of the best ways to ensure a happy stomach over widely differing climates and time zones. For kids that are not lactose intolerant, regularly eating dairy food (which is rich in protein and calcium) is very advisable. Don’t overdo it though!
Stock up on Anti-Oxidants
Remember the acronym ACE – it refers to vitamins A, C, E. These are rich in anti-oxidants and good for overall immunity and recovery.
These are also easily available everywhere and inexpensive. If you can’t get your kids to take these in the form of supplements, make sure their diet leading up to the time of the trip, and throughout the trip, remains high in nutrients, and especially in the ACE vitamins.
You need good immunity when you are traveling to new places. You are not yet used to the microbes in the air over there, and you don’t have the necessary enzymes to break down the local, exotic food. All of this can easily lead to illnesses and upset stomachs. Hence, you want to play safe and considerably improve your family’s immunity before you set foot on foreign shores.
Avoid Extreme Temperatures
Don’t travel to warm countries in summers, cold countries in winter, and tropical nations in monsoons. Every country has an extreme season; you want to make sure you avoid going there at that time unless you and your kids both are used to it. A child raised in Ohio going to India at the height of summer? Avoid, if you can. Carry preventative medication and make your kids drink a lot of water (bottled water, not tap water).
- We realize that a lot of the above will sound boring to your children. They are, after all, kids and kids shouldn’t have to adhere to a long list of do’s and don’ts when it comes to food. But children are also very susceptible to illnesses and their bodies are usually the first to react to a changed environment. Acclimatization is also not easy for everybody, which is why we have given you suggestions to maximize your chances of eating the right kind of food and building strong immunity in the process. So what if good food is boring; it is also the only thing what will keep your kids healthy and in the condition to make the most of your trip.
Author Bio :
Kirsti Callen is a freelance writer and traveler. She loves to travel different places and likes to share her experiences with people to give them an idea about the best destinations and deals. She recommends buying flight tickets from Flight Network to get the best deals.