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No Need To Topple The Food Pyramid While Vacationing At Walt Disney World

Posted Dec 13 2013 11:00am

By Michelle Rise

kidseatinghealthy With childhood obesity rates climbing to an all time high in recent years, we’ve become aware of the importance of good food choices in a child’s life. While on vacation, it’s easy to give in to temptation and be lazy where food choices are concerned. The temptation factor rises exponentially in the magical theme park land of Walt Disney World. With tempting treats all around such as ice cream, candy of every imaginable kind and generously portioned desserts, gaining a few pounds is simply an expected part of the vacation. However, if you don’t want to come home bloated or spend vacation time with an upset stomach, there are ways to enjoy snacking and dining without toppling the food pyramid.

WHAT’S IN THE FRIDGE

Most hotel rooms have a mini-fridge and many have full kitchens. Find one with a grocery delivery service and have your room stocked with healthy food options such as bananas, grapes, granola bars and yogurt. With healthy options within reach, you won’t be tempted to run to the lobby store and buy junk food.

LEAD BY EXAMPLE

We all know children imitate the adults in their lives. If you want your children to eat right, you need to eat good foods in front of them. If you are enjoying your fruit salad and low-fat yogurt as much as you would chocolate ice cream; the kids will do the same.

SHARING MEALS

If asked, most children will insist they’re starving and can’t possibly share a meal with a sibling. What they really mean is they don’t want to share anything with a sibling. Instead of asking in the first place, simply order and dole out food as you see fit. If they’re still hungry and want more, you’ll soon know it. But chances are, in the excitement of theme park surroundings or sitting poolside at the hotel, they’re simply not going to be still long enough to eat a lot. Remember, portions at restaurants and snack bars are generous, often much more than you would serve at home. By sharing meals, you’ll save money as well as calories.

CHOOSE WISELY

Most snack bars and restaurants have an abundance of healthy options. Many children’s meals in theme parks have the option of applesauce and grapes instead of french fries and cookies. Choose the healthier options most of the time and the fries and cookie option sparingly.

INVOLVE THE KIDS

kids Kids love to choose for themselves and some even enjoy the process of ordering, plus you don’t want total deprivation of fun foods. Use stickers or hand drawn pictures on card stock and hand out snack or meal vouchers daily. The kids will start to notice what’s around and choose according to their vouchers. Disney theme parks have plenty of high calorie treats but there is often an abundance of fruits as well, with fresh bananas and apples easily found. Apple slices with caramel dip is the perfect combination of necessary fruit plus that sweet treat kids crave.

ALL THINGS IN MODERATION

All things in moderation is a good adage for eating right on vacation. After all, you’re supposed to be relaxing and having fun. Good meals, new foods and snacks are part of the fun. So indulge a little but do so with moderation and return home with fun souvenirs such as t-shirts and mugs instead of extra pounds.

- Michelle Rise is a homemaker and Mother of 5 and travel enthusiast. With many years of experience trekking through Disney parks with her Family, Michelle has become an expert on navigating families through Disney. She also enjoys travel to most other destinations worldwide and when not writing about her experiences or teaching her children to drive, Michelle can be found chasing the family dog up rainbow mountain with her husband of over 25 years, Ben. You can follow Michelle on Twitter, @Rise7Up, for all of her latest writings.

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