Tips for traveling with kids July 26 2013

We are getting ready to go on a road trip so you'll be seeing some posts pertaining to traveling since It is always been a challenge with my boy. We have tried everything, giving in with treats, bribery with toys, anything to not have our fellow passengers hate us. Since we are doing an actual road trip the only people who he'll be torturing is family and we're willing to take the hit however I am determine to take in some of tips for maybe, just maybe we'll have a great road-trip experience.

Here are some great tips I found on  from a few parent experts:

David Robert Hogg

Publisher of Samkip Hotel Guides for Families

My number one transportation trick is Make It Fun. Travel should be exciting, interesting, unique, and maybe even a little challenging. Don't put the emphasis on making it easy. Put the emphasis on making it memorable. Don't wake up on the day of a flight and say, "Oh jeez, how are we going to get through today?" Think: "We're going to have fun today, let's make this awesome." Watching movies on iPads and laptops is no way to make any day unique and memorable.

Amie O’Shaughnessy

Founder and Editor of Ciao Bambino

Flight: New entertainment (books, toys, movies) that can only be accessed on the plane helps ensure the ride will be a treat instead of a chore.

Car ride: Listening to audio books is a wonderful way to pass time together as a family on the road.

Cruises: Cruises offer an endless supply of sugary treats to guests. To avoid the inevitable pleading for sweets, set expectations ahead of time around consumption times.

Deborah Dubrow

Founder of Delicious Baby (and contributor)

Flight: In the hustle to get out the door, it’s easy to forget that kids need to move. Take them to the park, break out the Xbox, or have a jumping contest, but by all means get those jiggles out before you get on the plane.

Car ride: Pack each child a busy bag complete with a water bottle and a few snacks. Having control helps most kids keep going in the car a little bit longer.

Eileen Ogintz

Creator of Taking the Kids and syndicated columnist

Flight: Buy a seat for baby and use your safety seat! FAA says it is safer in turbulent skies; You will also be more comfortable.

Car ride: Let the kids help plan the route with stops for a picnic or places to see something fun along the way.

Cruise: Use a travel agent who is a cruise expert and can help you choose the right ship for your family. The Cruise Lines International Association can help you find one.

Kim-Marie Evans

Founder and editor of Luxury Travel Mom

Flight: Fly at a time when they aren't likely to be cranky. Middle of the day is the best time to travel with kids. Never take the last flight of the day, it is almost always delayed, and flying at night is a surefire recipe for cranky kids—and stressed-out parents.

Car ride: The opposite of flying, long car rides are best done when children are sleeping. I got this advice from Barbara Bush; she would start her road trips in the wee hours with sleeping children, drive until they were all exhausted mid-day and then throw them in the pool at the motel. We drive 14 hours between Connecticut and South Carolina every summer and have had great luck with her advice.

Cruise: Book a Disney cruise. We were skeptical, my husband (who never likes anything), my teens, tweens and little ones all loved the Disney cruise. (Disclosure: We paid full boat (ha ha) for our cruise—not even a free set of ears.)



Posted by Donna

Learning To Feed a Gluten-Free Toddler December 27 2012



My husband and I have been slowly changing up our son’s diet to be gluten free or to be fair mostly gluten free. Charlie doesn’t have Celiac disease although most gluten free diets I have looked up seem to be geared towards Celiac disease. What he has is extreme energy that gets to the point where he is out of control and we can not get him to focus his attention on one task. He also has eczema which can be diet related. Jessica had recommended some advice she had heard that changing up an overly active child’s diet while  young can be very helpful. I’m pretty new to learning how to do this however I have been surprised at the results I have already seen. I have noticed that when I gear my son’s meals at being 90% gluten free he is much calmer. Look, I want my child to have fun and be who he is but I know from his teachers that his energy needs to be managed especially as he gets older and will be in more structure environments that do not have the tolerance such as a preschool classroom. As I mentioned I am pretty new to buying gluten free and have been pleasantly surprised at all the gluten free products out there especially at Trader Joes. My biggest challenge is in the snack department, as he hates the gluten free cookies so I am on the hunt on how to make some gluten free snacks. I’ll be posting more on my gluten free findings, challenges and recipes in the new year so stay tune. Meanwhile here is an article I found to be helpful.

Feeding A Gluten Free Toddler: An NFCA exclusive! Get a list of quick and easy gluten-free foods that will please a toddler or preschooler’s palate.

By Alice DeLuca of GF-Zing!

Parents of gluten-free toddlers are faced with double trouble: Parents seek to delight and nourish their little ones at the table, yet toddlers can be picky eaters. On top of that, the food has to be gluten-free! What can be done?

For feeding the gluten-free toddler, it is very important to consult with your child’s doctor and ask about seeing a nutritionist. The gluten-free diet can be tricky, and it is not always easy to balance the diet, especially in terms of vitamins.  There is a new book: Real Life with Celiac Disease: Troubleshooting and Thriving Gluten Free by Melinda Dennis, MS, RD, LDN, and Daniel Leffler, MD, MS, which can point you in the right direction and help with finding resources.

For toddlers, it’s also important to avoid foods that pose a choking hazard. You know the drill – don’t offer grapes, hot dogs, or any other foods that may “go down the wrong way” and get stuck. Also, check with your doctor before offering any of the foods described here, to avoid allergies and health issues.

Gluten-Free Foods for Toddlers:

Consider the possibility of using “naturally mushy” foods, such as bananas, avocadoes, cooked sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, etc.  These foods have a lot of curb appeal for the under-5 set. Of course, choose those foods that work for you and your family.

Make a breakfast smoothie in the blender, using frozen orange juice, frozen strawberries, banana, honey or sugar, silken tofu and gluten-free yogurt or gluten-free non-dairy yogurt. Adjust the ingredients to suit your child’s tastes and nutritional needs.

Cream of Rice is your friend at breakfast! Try making this for breakfast, mixing in some raisins or other dried fruit, and serving with maple syrup, or butter and brown sugar.

Silly, animal-shaped gluten-free pancakes are fun for the cook and the eater, too.

Apple sauce is quick to make. Just cook peeled, cored apples in a little water until mushy. Mash and season to taste with sugar, brown sugar or maple syrup. Add just a touch of cinnamon if your toddler likes that flavor. Chill and serve in a separate little dish on the side. Use other winter fruits such as pears, or try summer fruits like apricots and peaches.  All of these fruits can make a “sauce.”

Gluten-free pizza is a favorite. Try cooking a gluten-free pizza, cut it in to smaller pieces and freeze the individual pieces so they can be reheated later.

Eggs can be scrambled, soft-boiled, poached or served as egg salad. You can even beat the eggs up until they are soupy and fry the egg like a pancake.

Gluten-free pumpkin, carrot or zucchini muffins have the added benefit of containing vegetables. These are even more attractive if made in mini-muffin pans with tiny paper liners. A regular recipe for 12 muffins will make at least 24 mini-muffins. Try these pumpkin muffins.

Gluten-free mac and cheese may be pleasing to gluten-free toddlers who eat milk products.  Make your own so it is not over-salted. 

Gluten-free spaghetti with homemade meat sauce is a perennial favorite with children, albeit somewhat messy.

Creamed soup is easy to make. Just make a simple vegetable soup and carefully whir it with a stick blender.

Tomato soup is a popular accompaniment to the best childhood sandwiches. Fry a diced onion in a teaspoon of oil, add a little salt and 14-15 ounces of canned tomatoes, a pinch of dry thyme, a half teaspoon of sugar and a little pepper. Cook for 10 minutes, then blend up. Serve with an egg salad or grilled cheese sandwich made with gluten-free bread (cut off the crusts if that’s what your child prefers.)

For a “sandwich” try making musubi – see the instructions here. Use fillings and accompaniments that your child can eat.

Use one of the fun popsicle making devices – like Zoku – for fast and fun gluten-free treats.  Many of the recipes for these popsicles are gluten-free and they only take 9 minutes to freeze up once you prepare the device. The company even manufactures storage containers to hold extra pops.

Rice pudding is an old-fashioned favorite that is sure to please.  If your toddler is lactose intolerant as well as gluten-free, make the rice pudding using rice milk or coconut milk.

Sticky Rice with Mango is an excellent Thai dessert that appeals to toddlers and adults too!

For children over 3, tiny “mini-mozz shish kebab” made from halved mini-mozzarella balls and halved sweet cherry tomatoes alternated on a toothpick. Easy-peasy, and tasty too! An enterprising pre-schooler can help to assemble these treats. If the child likes salad dressing, you can marinate the cheese and tomatoes before skewering.

Dress up the plate to make the meal fun!  Try making a bento box lunch box with compartments.  You can see how these Japanese lunches are made at this page: Cooking Cute. The author has many recipes for bento box fillers at the recipes link at the top of her page. Most can be easily made gluten-free by using only gluten-free products in the cooking.

Most importantly, make sure that the diet you are feeding your toddler is nutritionally appropriate for a growing child. Consult with your doctor, and ask him/her for a recommendation for a nutritionist as well.

Article Via Celiac Central.Org