(to see the other posts in this series, check out On the Road with Healthy Kids Lunches)
Day 1: A Local Hike & A Picnic Lunch
Our first day excursion is a local one with some personal history for Auntie E. The plan: do a short hike with the kids and enjoy a picnic lunch in a beautiful, natural, outdoor setting. We have no other option than to pack our own food. To keep the kids excited about their snacks and lunches I employed one of my standard strategies: empower them with choice!
I set up two food packing stations: one for trail mix to eat while we hike, and one for lunch packing. When we hike it is almost always carry-in and carry-out so it made sense to use reusable items. I broke out my little cache of SnackTAXIs and let the girls choose their favorite patterns and build their own trail mixes. For lunches I pulled out a bunch of leftovers, fruits and veggies and let everyone pack their own EasyLunchboxes. EasyLunchboxes are so easy to use because they fit into all my different coolers. I packed them all into a small soft-sided cooler with some ice packs.
We have been hiking with the girls since they were babies. One of their favorite things about hiking is that they get to use their own hydration backpacks. The girls earned their hydration packs after completing a predetermined number of hikes (without whining!) in one summer. Stella, my 5yo, earned hers last summer after doing 10 hikes. She was so motivated and excited to complete those hikes and get a pack just like her big sister. I love these CamelBack packs because they really encourage the girls to drink more water. (Side note: Kids should NOT be drinking adult “sports” drinks, such as gatorade. They are LOADED with sugar and artificial ingredients.) Sometimes they wear them when they are just playing outside. They use them to collect all their treasures and have easy access to lots of water.
We did a short hike this time around but the trail mix and hydration packs were key to its success. After the hike we ate lunch picnic style on some log benches. With Day 1’s activities complete, it’s time to go home and pack up. Tomorrow we head to the Big Apple. Stay tuned to see what I brought on the train ride and what we enjoyed in the city! Here’s a sneak peek…