"Are we there yet?"
Long car journeys with children are often exhausting, boring and take their toll on your nerves. But this does not have to be the case. With a bit of preparation and our ideas and suggestions, which are guaranteed to be gluten free, bad moods need never be an issue when you are on the way to your holiday destination.
- Small children in particular often react sensitively if you disturb their routine. You should therefore consider your little ones’ sleeping and eating habits even when you are en route. On no account should you take the children out of their car seats when they are asleep; your offspring should never be in the car without their seat belts on.
- Even though you have air conditioning, consider that the little ones need protection from the sun: The sun shades that can be attached to the windows using a suction cup are amusing to look at and keep the worst of the heat at bay.
- One thing that is really important is provisions. Fruit is great to take on a trip because it is easy to digest and does not sit heavily in the stomach. Lovingly prepared gluten free bread rolls, such as Ciabatta or Deli Style from Schar, which can be filled with all kinds of delicious ingredients, are also ideal.
- In order to ensure that things are not too “healthy”, think about taking something sweet as well – which, of course, can be gluten free; unfilled biscuits such as Shortbread cookies may be crumbly, but they do not leave behind any greasy marks so they are safe to take with you in the car. Lightly salted gluten free snacks such as Schar Table Crackers also work well.
- You must always make sure you have enough drinks with you on longer journeys; diluted fruit juices and lightly sugared tea are better than sweet fizzy drinks. Really cold drinks should not be given to children because they have sensitive stomachs.
- Make sure that you keep having breaks along the way; before you set off find out which service stations and restaurants along your route serve gluten free food. Also, children can let off steam much better in the play area of the nearest town than they can at a crowded motorway service station. And a break for a bit of movement is good for the adults as well.
- Ensure that the children have plenty to keep them occupied with reading, drawing, writing or listening. A tape recorder with audio books is ideal for younger children (and even easier on the nerves if they use headphones), and the older ones could bring along their DS or MP3 player. But be careful not to go overboard with playing on the iPad or reading in the car, because children can easily start feeling sick. A good idea would be to get a few surprises before the journey and give them to the children along the way. This will be sure to bring a smile to their faces.
- Guessing games and puzzles that the whole family can take part in are also great, for example number plate games, counting cars of specific colors or from certain countries, making words from the letters on number plates etc. Older children often enjoy following the route themselves on their own map.
- If younger travelers really start to feel ill then travel sickness medication that you can buy from the pharmacy before you leave should do the trick. But it is best to have a bag ready in case of an emergency…
- If you are really at your wit’s end then try swapping places, visit the youngsters on the back seat to chat, cuddle and play games or sing a little song – this will relax you all and is great for stopping bad moods.