Vacation Tips: Encouraging Your Kids To Eat Healthfully

old orchard beach, maine

While it may be hard enough to get ourselves to maintain a healthy diet while on vacation, ensuring that our children stick to one can be quite the challenge. It is common for children to consume lots of processed snacks and restaurant comfort foods while on vacation. However, with some planning and creativity, a vacation can easily turn into a learning experience for kids to try new foods and gain an understanding of what healthy options they can choose from when they are away from home.

Follow these tips to promote a healthy family vacation:

  • Plan ahead. Look up restaurants online ahead of time and plan where you are going to eat. Going to restaurants that you know offer healthy options is more beneficial than driving around looking for places to eat.
  • Limit soda intake. Order water for everyone at the table. To make it more interesting, you can ask for lemon and lime slices on the side for kids to add to their glasses to make their own infused water. By allowing them to create their own drinks, they may be more encouraged to drink more water.
  • Pack your own travel snacks. Provide options for your children so they do not feel restricted with only one kind of snack. Giving them the power to choose between healthy snacks will give them more of a sense of satisfaction with the snacks you have provided.
  • If you have to stop somewhere to buy snacks, pick a few healthier options like nuts, fresh fruit, popcorn, and whole grain pretzels for them to choose from. That way, they won’t head straight for the potato chips, but will still be happy to have the opportunity to choose which snacks they would prefer.
  • Create some ground rules. Maybe a rule you set is that your children have one treat per day. Making the treat something specific to the locale you are in (like clam chowder bread bowls in San Francisco) makes the treat particularly special and not something they will be able to desire daily. Perhaps the rule could be ‘one sweet drink per day’. Instead of water, your children may be able to order a small serving of chocolate milk or juice during one meal. Setting up rules ahead of time lets your children know what to expect so they are not surprised if you put limits on what they are allowed to order.
  • Focus on new foods. Check out the lacl cuisine before you get to your destination. Children are more open to trying new foods while they are visiting new locations. Introducing them to new healthy foods (like kale or salmon) while on vacation can instill a lasting preference for those foods later on.

Family vacations are about enjoying time spent with loved ones and having fun. Though it won’t hurt to have a treat once in a while, setting good guidelines and examples for your children can instill good habits, whether they are on the beach or at home.

Lisa Stollman, MA, RDN, CDE, CDN was recently honored as the The 2015 Outstanding Dietitian of The Year by The New York Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. She is a speaker, blogger, entrepreneur and innovator who is passionate about spreading the message of healthy eating for optimal health. To help restaurants improve upon menu choices and food preparation, Lisa recently founded Eat Well Restaurant Nutrition where she collaborates with chefs to get healthy meals on the table. She is the author of the “The Trim Traveler: How to Eat Healthy and Stay Fit While Traveling Abroad,” (Nirvana Press 2014) and the widely-acclaimed “The Teen Eating Manifesto: The Ten Essential Steps to Losing Weight, Looking Great and Getting Healthy,” (Nirvana Press 2012). In her private practice, with offices in Huntington, NY and the Upper East Side of Manhattan, Lisa specializes in weight managment, travel nutrition and diabetes for teens and adults. For more info, contact Lisa via email or visit here. Special thanks to Social Media Intern Anita Renwick for writing this blog.

Staying Trim on Summer Vacation

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As the weather starts getting warmer, you may be looking to plan a summer getaway. Before you set off on your summer excursion, make sure to follow some of the tips below to stay fit and trim on your vacation. With the many options at restaurants and all of the snack temptations around, you may find that it may be easy to over-indulge. However, the key to staying trim and fit on vacation is to eat in moderation. When you get home, you will feel recharged and not have to worry about any of the decisions you made while you were away. Eating in moderation still allows you to enjoy the local foods but also helps you keep healthy habits!

Travel Tips:

  • Know your portion sizes. Don’t be afraid to ask to have a portion of the meal boxed up to take back to your room for later. You can also split an entree with a friend and save money at the same time!
  • Opt for healthy fats. Instead of eating deep-fried and buttery foods, order foods rich in unsaturated fats like nuts, olives, and local seafood.
  • Customize you meal orders. Request to change a side order of fries to a salad, order sauces on the side, and opt for whole wheat bread instead of white bread.
  • Exercise regularly. Walk to attractions whenever possible, go swimming, use the hotel gym, or go on a local hike. Find time every day to be active.
  • Drink enough water. Traveling may dehydrate you a little extra during the summer. Make sure to drink enough every day by keeping a refillable water bottle with you wherever you go.
  • Eat in. You don’t always have to go to restaurants to eat every meal. Visit local markets and buy breakfast supplies that you can toss together in your hotel room. Buy local fruits and vegetables for snacks to take with you throughout the day to satisfy your hunger.
  • Eat comfort-style foods in moderation. You do not have to cut yourself completely off from trying local rich foods, but limit your intake so you can still enjoy the foods, while staying trim in the process.
  • Drink Sparingly. Though it is expected that alcohol may be consumed, avoid consuming sugary alcoholic drinks, and limit consumption to one or two drinks. Wine or a wine spritzer are two good choices.
  • Make meals more satisfying by focusing on consuming fruits and vegetables. Adding at least five portions of fruits and vegetables per day will keep you feeling satisfied throughout the day and provide the fiber necessary to maintain digestive health.
  • Savor your meal time. Though you may be eating on the way to the next destination, try to eat a sit-down meal instead of eating fast food or eating while traveling. This way, you will enjoy your food more, and feel more satisfied throughout the day.

Keep these tips in mind on your summer trip to ensure a healthy getaway!

Lisa Stollman, MA, RDN, CDE, CDN was recently honored as the The 2015 Outstanding Dietitian of The Year by The New York Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. She is a speaker, blogger, entrepreneur and innovator who is passionate about spreading the message of healthy eating for optimal health. To help restaurants improve upon menu choices and food preparation, Lisa recently founded Eat Well Restaurant Nutrition where she collaborates with chefs to get healthy meals on the table. She is the author of the “The Trim Traveler: How to Eat Healthy and Stay Fit While Traveling Abroad,” (Nirvana Press 2014) and the widely-acclaimed “The Teen Eating Manifesto: The Ten Essential Steps to Losing Weight, Looking Great and Getting Healthy,” (Nirvana Press 2012). In her private practice, with offices in Huntington, NY and the Upper East Side of Manhattan, Lisa specializes in weight managment, travel nutrition and diabetes for teens and adults. For more info, contact Lisa via email or visit here. Special thanks to Social Media Intern Anita Renwick for writing this blog.

Eating Healthfully in Amsterdam

A beautiful city rich in history, art, culture, architecture and canals, Amsterdam, if you haven’t been, is a magical place you should add to your bucket list. Its a great walking city with so much to see and do. Try to visit in spring so you can catch the gorgeous tulips in full bloom. Walking along the canals and viewing the beautiful houseboats is a great way to spend an afternoon. It’s also a great way to build up an appetite. Amsterdam is a melting pot of ethnic  cuisine, with a lot of Asian influence, due to it’s history as a major trading port.

Amsterdam houseboats

Although never thought of as much of a food town, Amsterdam is slowly coming into it’s own. One of the wonderful things we noticed on our recent trip was the delicious variety of vegetable-laden dishes offered on many menus. Unlike many eating places, where vegetables take up just a small  spot on the plate, restaurants here placed the vegetable front and center. After a beautiful morning visiting the Rijksmuseum and Van Gogh Museum, a delicious lunch was had nearby at Warsteiner, a cute pub that dates from 1753. Order a vegetable omelette and be pleasantly surprised. Loaded with an abundance of fresh vegetables and salad, this glorious egg dish was a lovely light meal to fuel lots of walking.

veg omelette Amsterdam

For a delightful dinner, I highly recommend Humphrey’s, where the menu is heavy on plant-based fare. The Eggplant Sushi was terrific. We will definitely be going back there on our next trip.

Amsterdam eggplant sushi

There are also delicious ethnic places to choose from. Sir Hummus is a wonderful hummus and falafel spot and a great choice for lunch. Probably some of the best hummus I’ve ever tasted outside of Tel Aviv.

Amsterdam hummus

Stepping into a tavern to escape the afternoon rain was also another experience for another tasty lunch. Nieuwe Zijde is a cozy wine bar with great food. This delicious Grilled Vegetable Sandwich was a standout.

Amsterdam grilled veg sw

 

Last, but not least, do try to enjoy a favorite local Indonesian meal known as Rijsttefel, which literally means “rice table.” It’s approximately 44 courses (give or take) of small plates composed of Asian vegetable dishes with chicken, meat, fish or tofu. And served along with a bowl of steamed white rice. It can be quite spicy. If you love Asian food, don’t miss out. And a great place to give it a try is Sampurna.

 

Amsterdam rijsttafel

It was such a great experience, to not only explore all Amsterdam has to offer in art and history, but also to savor delicious cuisine. We will be back!

Lisa Stollman, MA, RDN, CDE, CDN was recently honored as the The 2015 Outstanding Dietitian of The Year by The New York Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. She is a speaker, blogger, entrepreneur and innovator who is passionate about spreading the message of healthy eating for optimal health. To help restaurants improve upon menu choices and food preparation, Lisa recently founded Eat Well Restaurant Nutrition where she collaborates with chefs to get healthy meals on the table. She is also the author of the ebook The Trim Traveler: How to Eat Healthy and Stay Fit While Traveling Abroad (Nirvana Press 2014) and the widely-acclaimed The Teen Eating Manifesto: The Ten Essential Steps to Losing Weight, Looking Great and Getting Healthy (Nirvana Press 2012). In her private practice, with offices in Huntington, NY and the Upper East Side of Manhattan, Lisa specializes in weight managment, travel nutrition and diabetes for teens and adults. For more info, contact Lisa via email or visit here.

 

Eating Trim and Staying Slim on Martha’s Vineyard

 

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If you’ve had the pleasure to visit this beautiful island nestled in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Rhode Island and Massachusetts, it’s an experience you’ll never forget. However, If you never chose this place as a vacation destination, you may want to rethink. Martha’s Vineyard is home to many gorgeous beaches and quaint towns, including Edgartown, Oak Bluffs, Chilmark and Vineyard Haven. Each town has its’ own New England flavor that makes it unique. And of course like many vacation spots, dining out is all part of the whole vacation relaxation package. Which is great if you don’t like to cook(!), but can add some girth to your waistline. Eating three meals daily in restaurants can definitely up the calories, so making wise food choices while you are vacationing will keep you feeling great (to look up calories–if you are so inclined, try the Calorie King app (free for iPhone). You want to enjoy meals that will fuel you up, but not add on the pounds or slow you down. Making smart food choices will you help you to return home with souvenirs, not unwanted extra pounds. In addition, you want to stay active while you’re away. Being active will not only help you to feel great but will also help you manage your weight while you vacation.

It’s important to have energy to hike, bike, swim and just walk throughout the towns. Having at least an hour of daily activity will keep you energized and relaxed as you explore new surroundings. Purchase a Jawbone or Fitbit pedometer before you leave home so you can track your daily activity.

Here are some healthy eating tips along with  restaurant suggestions which offer healthy meals that will keep you well-fueled.

5 Tips for Making Healthy Food Choices on Martha’s Vineyard

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1. Like many islands that have great seafood, fresh fish is a big part of many restaurant menus on Martha’s Vineyard. However many menus also are rich in  fried dishes. For a healthy choice, order fish grilled instead of fried. Or go vegetarian and opt for a veggie burger. In place of the accompanying French fries, ask for a side salad, vegetable or cole slaw.

2. If the portions are large, order a side salad and an appetizer. Or have a salad as an entree. Be wary of additions, such as cheese and bacon. Have only one or ask for them to both be deleted. Ask for salad dressing on the side.

3.  If you go out for breakfast, skip the home fries and bagel, and opt for whole grain toast. An omelette with vegetables will provide you with a good source of protein and fiber. Or order plain yogurt with fresh fruit for a calcium and Vitamin C boost.

4.  For lunch, sandwiches which include vegetables and salads, as long as they aren’t laden with meat and cheese, are a healthy choice.   Ask for whole grain bread instead of the refined white roll. Good sandwich choices include grilled fish or chicken with lettuce and tomato or hummus with vegetables. If French fries are part of the meal, ask for a side salad instead.

5. The best beverages to accompany your meal include water, seltzer, unsweetened iced tea and tomato juice. Though alcohol is commonly chosen while on vacation, keep in mind that alcoholic drinks tend to be high in calories and can increase your hunger. So go slow. Start you meal off with a non-alcoholic beverage such as a Virgin Mary or seltzer with lemon. If you desire a glass of wine, etc., wait until your meal is served to order your beverage. You should find you drink less alcohol when you heed this tactic.

Restaurant Suggestions: Each of these restaurants offer vegetable-based dishes and amazing salads, in addition to meat, fish and chicken.  I highly recommend all of them!

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Edgartown

The Port Hunter:  great food and live music

The Atlantic: recommend for lunch or dinner

Among the Flowers:  great for breakfast

Oak Bluffs                                                                                                                                                                                    The Lookout Tavern : beautiful view with great food, sushi too!

Nancy’s Snack Bar: excellent fish and Mediterranean food

Vineyard Haven                                                                                                                                                                         The Black Dog Grill: great fish dishes, salads and veggie burgers

Chilmark                                                                                                                                                                                                       The Chilmark Tavern: pricey but excellent local food that’s well-prepared

Lisa Stollman is the author of the new ebook The Trim Traveler: How to Eat Healthy and Stay Fit While Traveling Abroad (Nirvana Press June 2014) and The Teen Eating Manifesto: The Ten Essential Steps to Losing Weight, Looking Great and Getting Healthy (Nirvana Press 2012). She is the founder of Lisa Stollman Nutrition with offices in Huntington, New York and on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. Find out more about Lisa at www.lisastollmanrd.com.