Think healthy when dining abroad this summer

Cara Cunningham, MINDI, Community Dietitian

Going on a holiday abroad can be an exciting experience but also challenging especially if you throw in kids and an aeroplane journey into the mix. With a little bit of planning you can make sure that everyone remains well fed and watered, ready for an adventure overseas.

On long journeys, flights often include meals, which in general are not that ‘child friendly’. This is where you need to be prepared to take a supply of snacks to either ‘top up’ or replace the meals provided. These snacks can be healthy; think small roll and sandwiches that can be easily carried on board.

Long hours travelling can upset any tummy especially the little ones, this is further disturbed as most of us sweat a bit more due to the humidity of the aircraft.

To minimise any constipation it is important to remember to ask for plenty of drinks (non-alcoholic! ) and to eat some foods rich in fibre; a small lunchbox can be filled with dried fruits and nuts for the journey.

Make sure to walk around the cabin a bit during the flight, this has the advantage of getting you moving (can prevent DVTs ). Moving your body keeps it all working and stops your gut getting sluggish and lets face it, a change of scene, even a minor one, passes the time!

The one drink to avoid would be those rich in caffeine (cola, coffee ) especially on long flights as all that caffeine will only serve to keep you and the children alert. Sleeping can often be the best way to pass time so best not to disturb this.

When you get to your destination if you have crossed time zones it is a good idea to adopt the eating times of your destination as this will help your body clock adjust to the new time.

Be super careful regarding personal and food hygiene as a new destination has a new set of bugs that your body has not been exposed to previously, so avoid eating from local stalls and markets, if you have concerns over the water supply stick to bottled water (making sure it is ‘sealed’ when you open it ).

With some planning and precautions the journey and your holiday will be a great experience for all the family – Have a good one!

For more information on any of the issues discussed above or for more information on diet and nutrition, please contact Maria at;The Community Nutrition and Dietetic Service, HSE CHO Midlands by telephone on (044 ) 9395518 or email [email protected].


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