Travelling with kids puts a new spin on "hangry".
I know in my last post I discussed why food shouldn't be the "cure all". I still stand by that. However, after a couple of long days of travel with some significant meltdowns I'm more aware of the signs of low blood sugar related tantrums. Experiencing them first hand gives me a new appreciation for teachers who work with these little balls of energy all day, every day.
Some common signs of blood-sugar related "hangriness" include:
Filling up with high glycemic foods (such as the above examples) doesn't keep them happy for long. These foods typically lack fibre, which means they digest quickly and can leave the person feeling worse than before. This is due to an insulin spke that occurs after ingesting foods that are high in refined carbohydrates- white flour and loaded with sugar are the usual suspects.
I'm writing this as much for me as for my readers. We had a long drive here, which means a long drive home. Avoiding similar hangry outbreaks will make a much more pleasant drive.
Some of the ways we can avoid these types of meltdowns begin with common sense. I did pack snacks for the kids between stops, but most of them began and ended with high-gi foods- I know better, but they're so much easier to pack and distribute in the car. I think there is room for easier snacks- let's be realistic about the trials of long car rides- but if we support those higher in refined carb foods with a good variety of healthier choices, the sugar spikes and insulin crashes will be significantly reduced.
My plan for the way back has shifted as I think about it. We'll probably follow the same path we took to get here, which means being on the road for about 7 hours the first day, and 10.5 the second- 9.5 of that is driving time, with a few breaks scattered throughout. We have a plug-in cooler, which we'll load up and store on the seat between the kids if we can. We will stock it with sliced whole-grain cheese and meat and plain old peanut butter and jam sandwiches, sliced apples, cheese strings, baby carrots, snap peas, and yogurt. We'll throw in some nuts and raisins, dry cheerios, and bottled water, too. For the less than stellar choices they can eat a granola bar, crackers, or snack bags of potato chips.
On our way down we stopped at whatever random town we were passing through when we were hungry, which meant we ate at Tim Hortons, Wendys, or McDonalds.
Hopefully the way back is more relaxed and less hangry than the way here! What have your experiences looked like?
Enjoy your weekend, friends.