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Healthy happy family travel

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Posted: Sunday, January 5, 2014 4:00 pm | Updated: 1:33 am, Mon Jan 13, 2014.

(BPT) - Looking to take a road trip but dread hearing the infamous “Are we there yet?” or “Can we please, please stop for fast food?” questions.

Never fear, Registered Dietitian, author and mother, Pamela Nisevich Bede, offers creative ways to keep your family (and you) satisfied and entertained while traveling.

* Who cares if we’re there yet? Avoid hearing “Are we there yet?” by packing plenty of entertaining options for little travelers. In addition to today’s technological offerings, think back to what kept you occupied while sitting in the backseat. Equip your pint-sized passengers with books and travel board games, and play no-equipment-needed games, such as license plate bingo, I spy, or 20 questions.

* Energy to burn. You’ve got their minds exercised now, but what about their bodies? Do a little research ahead of time and plot your stops at rest areas that have green space. When you get there, do a quick round of family jumping jacks or a 10-minute game of tag. It might feel silly, but releasing pent up energy will definitely make the car ride more peaceful.

* Plan ahead. There’s nothing worse than being buckled in the car for hours with nothing healthy to snack on. For your next trip, avoid feeling trapped by packing all-natural, healthful snacks such as those from Gourmet Nut. They combine great flavor and healthy ingredients in a line of Gourmet On the Go snack mixes, such as Mega Omega and Almond Cranberry Crunch. They are full of protein-containing nuts and antioxidant-packed, fiber-filled dried fruits sure to please the pickiest passenger.

* Drink up. Make sure you and your family stay hydrated during road trips by packing refillable water bottles for the long ride. Visit your local dollar store to stock up on different colored water bottles to assign to each person. If you’re feeling crafty, have your kids decorate their own bottles with markers, stickers, puffy paint and anything creative from the craft store. Your family will not only enjoy drinking water from their own personalized bottle, but everyone will be proud of their handiwork.

* Don’t fight it. As the saying goes, timing is everything. When planning your next road trip, work with your child’s schedule and not against it. Put them to bed at their regular time and feed them breakfast as you always would. For example, leave before the sun comes up so your child is still able to sleep during part of the ride. Once it’s time for a rest stop, you’ll be able to gas up and give your kids a proper, healthy breakfast at their regular time. You’ll be grateful for the quiet moments at the start of your trip and for happier children as the ride continues.

For more information on the snacks listed above, visit GourmetNut.com.

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Should graduations return to the Grape Bowl?

Lodi Unified leaders are moving Lodi and Tokay high school graduations from the Grape Bowl to the Spanos Center at UOP in Stockton. They cite limited seating, costs and unpredictable weather at the Grape Bowl. But others say graduations at the Grape Bowl are an important Lodi tradition, and one reason many supported renovating the stadium. What do you think?

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