Our family has been on the go a lot lately! From all of us heading out to east coast book signings to driving the near-coast-length Spring Break vacation road trip to Disney, there’s been a lot of car food eating. After 5 years of being Paleo, we’ve learned that despite “splurging on vacation” sounding fun, when our children are melting down and days are ruined because we ate a bunch of junk and didn’t sleep as well – it’s not actually a “splurge” at all. Instead, we’ve learned to strategically plan our meals and treats. For us that means we usual start with a healthy breakfast, plan to each picnic lunches or a series of snacks, and then we can find a paleo-friendly dinner restaurant since salads and bunless burgers can always be found. We will be blogging in detail about how we ate our way through Florida, but in the meantime here’s a post on how we survived Great Wolf Lodge without a bunch of junk.
It’s not just when traveling, of course. Even when we’re home we are often on-the-go meeting the demands of 3 small, busy humans. We love to pack picnics, stuff snacks in my purse, and keep emergency kits in the glovebox. One of the ways we’ve successfully done this is with Steve’s Paleo Goods, a brand we’ve used and loved for years. We love their business model of giving back to communities in need, and the boys happily devour so many of their foods – it’s a win, win for these Paleo Kids!
Shirt by Steve’s Paleo Goods, handsome boys by me (and Matt)
What We Recommend
For those kids that need a bit of convincing to eat meat, Berky is one of my boys’ absolute favorites – the meat is coated in the fruit mixture and it includes our family’s absolute favorite – dried strawberries. I’ve never seen my kids not try to bathe themselves in that naturally fruit-sweetened amazingness, but the down side is: prepare for the sticky by ensuring you have some wet wipes handy!
Our go-to absolute favorites are PaleoKits. The kids love that they include fruit, which naturally sweetens the meat, and we love that they get a well-rounded protein-packed snack, dense enough to replace meals. I also LOVE their new PaleoStix kits, which are now made with sticks instead of the jerky. Kids’ jaw muscles are often weaker than adults’, and the texture of the sticks are softer – making your little one much more likely to actually each the meat out of a kit instead of just picking out the fruit and nuts!
Our two favorite flavor combinations are the Mango and Apple Kits.
If you’re packing a picnic and already have some other fruit packed, or just looking for a way to get protein quickly, easily, and without all the mess (like post-work-0ut) then PaleoStix are what you’re looking for. The Honey Beef Stix and Grass-fed Spinach versions are our family’s favorites, and like I noted above, the texture of these are often much more pleasing for kids.
Alright, on to the fun stuff. Not that meat isn’t fun, because it is. It’s the building block for muscle, and my boys’ love being strong… but they love fruit even more. In fact, they love Steve’s dried fruit more than any other dried fruit we’ve ever bought. Steve’s Dried Strawberries was the food we used to finally kick our fruit snack habit; they’re like gummy candy – we even take them to the movies as our “candy”!
Steve’s now offers many of the fruits in individual servings, which is perfect for portion control and packing lunches – but I’d recommend you buy the variety pack first to try them all out if you haven’t yet. The dried blueberries are one of Wesley’s favorite foods, he’d probably even give up a Batman action figure in exchange for a bag. And the dried cranberries are the only brand we’ve ever found to be both refined sugar and processed oil-free. So go ahead, get the variety, pick your favorites, and enjoy!
Lasts but not least, we highly recommend you check out the sauces from Steve’s Paleo Goods. Kids love dips and sauces, and processed versions are often based on processed oils and high fructose corn syrup. If you keep a bottle or two of your favorites with you, eating out can be easily adapted without having to use your “20%” on things that aren’t what you really want. our boys’ favorites are the Wild Berry and Caesar salad dressings and… of course, the ketchup!
We hope you don’t feel like you need to be a perfectionist when on the go, but planning ahead and having good, healthy options will ensure no one’s ever clinging to your leg telling you “Daddy, my battery is empty. I need energies!” in an attempt to convince you ice cream is a necessity. Or at the very least, if someone is melting down, you can instantly solve the problem by pulling some quality snacks and meals out of your backpack!
Mama loves Steve’s too. I’ve arm wrestled (and won) my boys for dried strawberries more than once.