We’ve only been in London for a week at this point, but if I eat another French Fry (or “chip,” or whatever you want to call those crispy demons), you might have to roll me down the stairs to catch the Tube.
Yes, traveling with kids is wonderful for a host of reasons. How this dad eats while vacationing with those little people definitely isn’t one of them.
My first problem is the food. Whether they’re munching on the aforementioned French Fries, chicken tenders, mozzarella sticks or tortilla chips, our little humans love consuming fried stuff. It’s the only thing they’ll devour every time. And when they’re “all done” (as R likes to say) with their dinners, the leftovers are just sitting there, staring at me, tormenting me, daring me to resist.
(I know there are some moms and dads out there who won’t let their children go near fried stuff. Powerwoman and I are not those people. The reality: We encourage healthy options whenever viable, but turn to fried stuff in a pinch because we have found that during meals in unfamiliar restaurants, the goals are to order something a) we know they like, b) we know they’ll eat, and c) we assume will arrive relatively fast.)
The second problem is my own guilt.
If you’re like me, wasted food equals wasted money. This mindset comes in handy when we’re cooking at home—I reuse everything, including turkey carcasses on holidays. On the road, however, I can’t help but assign a value to every uneaten chicken strip and half-finished side of peas. Once this happens, the only way to feel like I’m getting my money’s worth is to eat the scraps—even if I’m no longer hungry.
Case in point: One dinner this week comprised a bowl of red curry, two pieces of fish from L’s fish ‘n’ chips, and two-thirds of R’s mashed potatoes. I’m not bragging here, folks; I felt gross when all was said and done. One thing I didn’t feel was wasteful.
(In other news, I know other moms and dads may not admit it, but lots of traveling parents suffer from this affliction. Maybe as a follow-up to my reality television show in which Dads compete to see who can schlep the most stuff through an airport, I can produce a show that pits pops in a contest to see who can eat the most kids’ meal leftovers. Joey Chestnut and Juan More Bite, you have been served.)
Thankfully, at least for me, both of these poor habits usually are offset by a good run (which I try to squeeze in every day). Still, I acknowledge that they’re not the best habits to have, for me or my waistline.
How do you manage to eat healthy food (in modest portions) when you travel with your kids?