I'm not going to deny that as we embarked on our first flight ever with our wiley one-year-old, I had the fear. Sure, I was white knuckling it as we settled into our tight economy seats on the giant steel potential death machine. I didn't tell him that. No, I tried to be cool and cucumber calm, hoping my fake zen energy would seep into his, and that he'd snuggle in and nurse for the short hour-and-a-half flight up into the mountains. And my wee little angel, took this as his que to scream, kick, and wail at previously unpenetrated altitudes. We were suddenly that family, those people, who brought the screaming little germ bag onto the plane. The clouds now know his wrath. The horizon is henceforth familiar with his cranky-ass work. Perhaps the gods will carry that in their hearts now, and have mercy on me. I don't know. I try to stay positive.
My point here is this: no matter who you are, traveling with a toddler is tough. Throw into the mix that I think it's muy importante to feed my kid organic, vegan food as we weave our way, and you've really upped the ante. It turns out that parenting with intention isn't for the weak of heart. So it goes. I was, however, pretty damn lucky to have a shoulder bag full of amazingly healthy and travel-awesome snacks with me, so dear sweet vegan mamas-- here are a few of my suggestions based on my "I wish I was Rocky Mountain High" experience.
RAW SUPERFOOD PRO-BARS: Not only are these tasty, they're super minimally processed and nutrient dense. Putting it mildly, it's unwise for me to strap my kid into a car or plane seat, or take him into any establishment whatsoever, with actual fruit. Sure, at home, if the produce drawer is stocked, or there are raspberries on our bushes, I give the kid fruit, fresh and unaltered-- before anything in a wrapper. But if I walk onto a plane or into a business with my kid wielding a pear, I might as well give everyone there (including myself) the finger, while I'm at it. Juice everywhere. Sticky, drooly, grossness, and possibly someone gets nailed in the head with a peach pit. These bars, though, are gluten free, vegan, and full of natural superfoods. The packaging is minimal and they pack a great protein punch. It's a little difficult to accept that something this easy can be this full of goodness, but I'll take it.
NAVITAS TRAIL MIXES: Sure, I often go for the bulk trail mix at our local grocer, particularly for packaging purposes, but I've got to say-- it's hard to find anything that stacks up to what Navitas Naturals has got going on with their trail mixes, like the Antioxidant Superfood mix that we toted toward the end of our vacay. This stuff rocks goji berries, cacao nibs, cashews, mulberries, and goldenberries and is a great source of antioxidants, iron, and protein. It's feel real good food, especially on a hike or day trip.
RAWKIN RAW BLONDE MACAROON: Rawkin calls their macaroons "Superfood" and this one was my favorite. While they also have an agave free macaroon, I must admit this one had me at hello. You sort of feel like you're having a cookie monster moment, but wait, cookie monster's processed sugar infused cells would probably implode if he knew he was getting maca, mesquite, and tocotrenials (an essential nutrient for the body, and a member of the vitamin E family). I wouldn't mind indulging my little monster in this kind of treat from time to time.
NAVITAS BITE-SIZED POWER SNACKS: Our fave is the Cacao Goji Superfood. And yes, this one's a little messier than others because of the cacao, but isn't chocolat-esque bliss always worth it? Certified organic and raw, these little chunks of energy are totally legit for use by my little chunk of energy. It doesn't hurt that his dad loves the stuff.
In a world where food conscious parents are up against a wall at every turn, it's good to know there are truly thoughtful vegan producers out there who are in our corner, creating beautiful food products that we can feel good about. We're back in the corn belt now, where I've got to read almost every label, and question practically every dish, and it's nice to know that when I look at my grossly oversized shoulder satchel in the corner, I can rest assured that even when I can't tote a watermelon, or prep an avocado, I've always got something nutritious and wholesome for him right there in the bag.
Safe travels everyone.
*Image courtesy Flickr creative commons.