This weekend my husband and I loaded up a suitcase and headed for the States with our children to do a little shopping, replace tires and have some work done on one of our vehicles.
Road trips, even relatively short ones, can be trying on the patience even with the conveniences of modern vehicles. We have a DVD player, CD player, iPod, DS, DSi, blah, blah, blah. These are more than enough with a couple of books for colouring and reading that our children are more than taken care of for the ride.
One of the keys to our travels…as we do it regularly is to balance the children as well as possible. Now I don’t mean the two smaller ones on one side and the bigger on the other side. I mean…snacks are on the healthy side and for drinks it’s always water.
We have found this helps the travels greatly. We’ve made the mistake of having junk food as a traveler for the children and the people who pay for that one are deservedly us! It was spectacular when the three were sitting within inches of each other all with a sugar rush slamming through their bodies and all they could move was feet and arms…just the instruments of irritation that were perfect for causing Armageddon to break out two feet behind your head!
Sandwiches, veggie sticks, a little fruit does wonders for filling the hunger gap without creating the sugar highs and lows associated to the, “For the love of God, take this is and be quiet!” Gummy Bears, Smarties and Glazed Donuts.
This morning as we ate breakfast, our children had egg, whole grain toast, some fruit and water, while we watched child after
child with Fruit Loops, giant cups of apple and orange juice, waffles with strawberry sauce whip cream, syrup and white bread. I’m sure some parents thought, “It’s only once in a while.” or “Just this one time.” There might be some truth to that, but judging by the size of the little porkers running wild after about 20 minutes of a good old fashioned sugar fix…I’m willing to bet a piece of whole grain bread with some fresh berries or an omelet with some spinach and mushrooms would be the real rare thing.
How has it paid off for us to be a little more careful about what we feed our kids? Their teachers have never complained they are lethargic in class. They come home from school and are very willing to play outside and don’t drag their butts all over the place. A two or three hour car ride doesn’t leave me or my husband pulling out our hair, frustrated by poor behavior because of the sugar rush and ensuing crash.
It’s so very true that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but if it is a cornucopia of sugar, glucose, fructose and all other ‘o-ses’, you are sending your child into their day at a serious disadvantage.
Any thoughts or opinions? I would love to hear if you have changed your child’s diet and noticed a change in their behavior or energy levels.