5 family survival kits to get you through the summer

A little bit of preparation goes a long way when it comes to staying healthy during the summer months.

Whether you are visiting the beach or going away for a day trip, health expert, Andrea Donsky has got a summer bag filled with healthy essentials for you. Check out her five ultimate summer survival kits that will make eating healthy on the road feel easy breezy.

1. Day Trip Bag

The key to eating healthy on a day trip is to plan ahead. It is important to stay organized because there aren’t many healthy meal options available when you’re out and about. Prepare your own lunch and go for healthier foods like sandwiches, veggies, and salads – that’s one less drive-through you’ll have to visit.

While packing, give everyone their own cooler bag so they can get what they want and there’ll be less food waste at the end of the day.

When it comes to snacks, it’s good to have a variety of options on hand. You can make it fun by using a reusable container with dividers. Stash it with fruits, trail mix, bite-sized crackers, and some sweet treats (I use the smallest space for those). You can even fill up one container with veggies that the whole family can share. Always make sure to bring extra snacks as backups.

The important thing to look for when it comes to healthier snacks is to make sure that they don’t have anything artificial like food coloring and look for clean ingredients.

2. Kid’s Sports Bag

In the summer, the kids are spending more time on outdoor sports fields. It can get really hot so it is important to make sure that they are properly hydrated.

We usually give our kids popular sports drinks for their hydrating benefits, but many of them are actually filled with sugar, food coloring, and even artificial sweeteners. For a healthier alternative, why not make your own electrolyte sports drink? You can add powdered electrolytes to plain water or simply put fruits that contain naturally occurring electrolytes – like oranges and lemons – into your kid’s water bottle.

A cool and healthy snack idea to prepare for your kid’s sports team is DIY fruit freezies – you can easily make your own ones with fresh fruit juices. They taste just as delicious as store-bought freezies but are way healthier and don’t contain any artificial coloring.

It’s also good idea to pack a bag with some first aid items in the event of small injuries. Bring medical tape, bandages and Arnica cream because it’s good for bruises, aches and sprains. You can also pack a bottle of peppermint oil so you can add a few drops to your kid’s insoles when they’re done so they don’t get stinky shoes!

3. Beach Bag

When it comes to packing a beach bag, there are 3 things that I never leave the home without: Sunscreen, food and baking soda.

  • Sunscreen: It’s essential to buy mineral-based brands that don’t contain harsh chemicals like oxybenzone and homosalate. These chemicals have been linked to allergic reactions and hormone disruption.
  • Food: I like to bring frozen fruits because they’re refreshing. If you have little kids, you can pack bite-sized portions so if they drop their food in the sand their whole meal isn’t ruined. Chips are really popular snacks at the beach, just make sure to look for brands that don’t contain any monosodium glutamate or artificial flavours.
  • Baking Soda: At the end of the day, instead of using a towel to take off the sand from your feet, sprinkle some baking soda onto your body and wipe it off with a microfiber mitt. It removes the moisture from your skin making it easier to take off, and the best part is you’re not dragging home a wet sandy towel that you’d have to wash.

4. Picnic Basket

Picnics are a great family activity because you’re spending time together in nature. I recommend packing an assortment of salads – like a pasta salad, a fruit salad, and a green salad. Bring salad dressing on the side and extra bagged veggies in case you run out.

Since you’re in nature, be prepared to deal with some uninvited guests at your picnic. It is a good idea to bring along a bug repellent. You can also use fresh herbs and flowers to either repel or attract certain insects. For example, basil, mint and thyme are good mosquito repellents so you can pack them in your picnic basket and set them up around the blanket. When you get to the park, try and sit near flowers that attract butterflies like butterfly bushes, daylilies, and sage.

5. Gym Bag

Always keep energy bars in your bag in case you’re hungry before or after you workout.

Wipes are handy because they can remove your make-up before you workout, wipe off your sweat, and cleanse your skin after you’re done. The key when buying make-up wipes is to read the ingredients to make sure they don’t contain parabens.

One thing many of us don’t think about when it comes to packing our gym bag is feminine hygiene products like tampons and pads. Try to avoid using the ones in the dispensers at the gym because they contain rayon, artificial fragrances and pesticides. I highly recommend to buy organic products because we use them on and in very delicate areas that is highly absorbent.