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Last week our family packed up and headed to the happiest place on Earth. Well, that is until about 3pm when all the kids start melting down and all the parents start to look at each other like “Who idea was this?”
Okay, you probably guessed it.
Yes, I am talking about the wonderful world of Walt Disney World!
Let me tell you, before having kids we were those people who vowed to never indulge our children in the world of magical Disney.
I know, we were Scrooges.
Having kids has a very funny way of changing your mind about a lot of things one being Disney. We’ve only been a couple times in Piper and Londyn short lives, but I think we are hooked! We sing the songs, wave with excitement at Mickey and his friends, and get way too excited about riding Dumbo multiple times.
Okay, sorry, this post is supposed to be about food, not daydreaming about Cinderella Castle…
Supposedly Disney is known for its excellent food, hiring chefs from all over the world, but I was not going to chance it, so I decided to be prepared and bring all our food. We planned to leave the house at 7am, visit 3 different Disney Parks and head home around 10pm. (We tend to majorly overdo things in life! Remember those 45lbs of peaches!)
This meant I needed to have breakfast, lunch, snacks, and dinner packed for the entire day with no refrigeration or microwaves easily accessible.
With that mindset here is what I packed:
*Smoothies (homemade yogurt, berries, fresh OJ, spinach, flax seed)
*Toast with Real Butter
*Cheese sticks (Organic Valley)
*Kiwis cut into 1/4s
*Frozen Organic Apple Sauce in Push Pop molds…these were perfect as they kept our food cold and defrosted by snack time!
* Organic Popcorn (we popped ahead of time with our air popper and added Real Salt and Coconut Oil)
* Smoothies: I made extra smoothie from breakfast. The night before I put two thermos’ in the freezer. In the morning, I poured the smoothies in the frozen thermos’. We picked up a couple straws from one of the food kiosks in the Park and enjoyed refreshing, cold smoothies in the afternoon!
I know That is a lot of food so far. We did A LOT of walking…We got hungry!
* Homemade Pizza (Cut)
* Carrot Sticks and Hummus Dip
*Any leftovers from the snacks above
* Dessert: Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips and Walnuts
* 2 gallons of water (we brought along our own gallons and refilled our water bottles as needed)
* Organic Apple Juice Boxes (A special treat my children usually do not get to indulge in on a regular basis, which made them a special treat!)
So maybe these were not the most ideal real food meals. We were not dinning on homemade broths and big salads, but the choices we brought were a thousand times better than what we saw being sold in the Parks!
We also saved a ton of money! We only spent a whooping $4 all day!
And the added bonus: while many parents in the park were dealing with children wired on MSG and artificial ingredients our kids were still going strong and were not emotionally breaking down from a nutrient-void diet by the afternoon.
Tips for Real Food on the Go:
1. Be prepared: Plan ahead what you will bring with you! Eating real food at home takes lots of planning and takes just as much planning on the go. You can read more about how I plan real food here. Write down what you will be eating for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks then start shopping, cooking, and baking! We left for Disney on Friday which meant I started preparing Wednesday. On Wednesday I made Homemade Granola Bars and Hummus Dip. On Thursday I made homemade pizza (with the leftover sauce from our dinner), froze the thermos’, cut up veggies, prepared the sandwiches, and cooked the eggs. On Friday morning I packed everything up in our cooler bag, filled up our water bottles, and made smoothies!
2. Pack easy real food: The last thing you want to deal with is messy food. So think easy! Fruits like bananas, oranges, apples, and grapes are easy traveling foods. One reader said she likes to pack popcorn kernels in a brown lunch bag and pop her own popcorn in a microwave, if available. I chose to bring cheese sticks in place of cut cheese slices while not the most ideal they were easy and a hit with my husband and kids as they could eat them while standing in long lines! Dried fruit and nuts are also a great easy real food choice!
3. Use “on the go” tools: I packed our lunches and dinner in our Easy Lunchboxes which made eating easy and mess-free when we did not always have a place to sit down and enjoy a meal at a table. Thanks to our Push pop molds and Beaba Pouch we were able to easily enjoy applesauce without worrying about spoons and mess. Our frozen thermos’ perfectly kept our smoothies cold. A cooler bag with a ice chip kept our food nice and cold. Our water bottles meant we were not spending $4 on a small bottle of water every hour and avoiding all the sugary Park drinks.
Real Food is completely doable on the go. With planning, easy real foods, and the right traveling tools our trip was nourishing and inexpensive!
What are your favorite “on the go” real foods to pack?