The world is a big place & eating is the perfect way to take it in.

[caption id="attachment_15258" align="aligncenter" width="560" caption="The boys at a Parmesan dairy in Italy"][/caption] I can't help but end travel week with a few thoughts on why I think travel—near or far, luxe or on a budget, by plane, train or automobile—is so important. And, yes, I realize that the timing for this may seem strange, but I wanted to reflect on travel at a time when you're not likely to be busy traveling. Hopefully you have time to consider what you want travel to mean for your family before gearing up for the holiday travel season, when travel will mean decisions, logistics, and planning. Difference is a big concept for little ones. It takes years for young children to understand that not every home is like their own. Friends and neighbors are our children’s first exposure to differences, but imagining diversity on a global scale isn't something that children can start to do until they are at least 8- or 9-years-old. Travel is an amazing way to help young children picture the world's many peoples, places, and cultures. It makes difference concrete and relatable, but it can also feel strange. That's where food comes in. Food is universal. It connects us all and, even when foreign food feels strange, it's always a comfort to be fed. The food of another place or culture may be unfamiliar, but the drive to nourish and be nourished is a shared experience that connects us all; it is a reminder that we are more the same than we are different. (more after the jump)

Travel Eats: To greener pastures (of organic salad) with Earthbound Farm

It's travel week here at One Hungry Mama! Travel and eating go so well together, but there can be more to it than just experiencing new flavors. Our family trip to a Parmesan dairy in Italy this summer was a wonderful reminder of how powerful it is to connect with how our food is grown and made. Day to day, meals can feel like a chore but—take just one moment to stop and think about this—the food that we put on the table is the stuff that goes inside our bodies and our kids' bodies. What we feed ourselves and our family is the fuel that powers our day and our children through learning, growing, and playing. I know how easy it is to get lured in by processed food shortcuts that make kid-friendly dinners easy breezy, especially during the school year, but it's a scary slippery slope. One look at most ingredients labels is proof. The good news—no, the great news—is that there are a lot of socially-minded companies making delicious, wholesome food products that help make dinner fast and healthy. Earthbound Farm Organic is one of them. The company that revolutionized salad (they were the first to sell pre-washed greens!), is on the forefront of making organic produce accessible; their products are available in 75% of markets in America! From greens that you can eat straight out of the package, to salad kits that save me from my lunch-avoidant ways on weekly basis, and frozen fruit that make it possible for my kids' smoothies to be organic, Earthbound Farm Organic has been leading the sustainable charge for years.  So, yea, I'd say that I was pretty excited to be invited to visit Earthbound Farm Organic to see and learn more about how they are growing and making so many of the the products that I love using in my kitchen everyday. (more after the jump)

Travel eats: Feeding my Parmesan cheese obsession in Italy

I love cheese: stinky, mild, runny, or sharp, it's all good with me. In fact, before my older son spent a year off of dairy, I would have been hard pressed to choose a favorite. After being deprived, though, my cheese allegiances became clear. I still love all cheese, but I'd missed some cheeses more than others and Parmesan was number one. Not only did I crave the taste, but I realized just how much I use it. Thankfully, my son can tolerate dairy again—Parmesan, in particular (thanks to a different lactose protein in Italian milk and also that Parmesan is naturally low in the proteins that irritate lactose intolerant tummies)—and just in time for us to tour a Parmesan dairy outside of Bologna, Italy. Yes, seriously. And it was as amazing as it sounds. (lots more after the jump!)

5 easy ways to eat healthy while traveling with kids (plus healthy travel snack recipes galore)

Traveling often means not knowing where your next meal is coming from or whether it will be healthy. And even healthy (or healthy sounding) restaurant options can be deceptive. Taking control of snacks and finding easy ways to boost the nutrition of restaurant or room service meals is the best way to keep it healthy while traveling. And also not stressing too much about it, but more on that in a minute. Here are my 5 favorite tricks for making smart family food choices while traveling, along with tons of delicious, money-saving travel snack recipes. (more after the jump)

Will travel for food: Chicago-Style Hot Dogs

During our Thanksgiving travels, we were lucky enough to fit in a 24-hour stay in Chicago. We attempted a trip to Shedd Aquarium but, alas, the line was too long to brave, even for my intrepid New York family. So, instead, we took a long walk along Lake Michigan (It's as big as an ocean!!) and ate. A lot. Our food adventure started with a Chicago-style dog. Now—cue laughing at Stacie—I haven't had a mystery hot dog in at least two years. I don't eat dogs much but, when I do, I nosh on the organic, local, humane, artisanal variety. Yup, hot dogs for assholes. What can I say? I live in Brooklyn and spend a lot of time in the Hudson River Valley. It's easy to avoid mass produced hot dogs, which I'm inclined to do. But I haven't completely lost my edge folks: I ate a hot dog out of a cart! I'd be lying if I didn't admit that I stood in the cold, Chicago wind whipping around me and my family, madly looking for a place to get the Chicago version of the asshole hot dog—because I did. I would have found the spot, too, had it not been for the big hungry boy. "There's a food cart right there. It says Chicago-style hot dogs!" Damn his burgeoning reading skills. I was promptly overruled and, before I could quote Portlandia, 4 dogs were ordered, 3 Chicago-style and 1, of course, plain. (more after the jump)

2013 Back-to-School Lunch Gear Guide

I'm thrilled to share with you the annual One Hungry Mama Back-to-School Lunch Gear Guide for the best non-toxic lunch boxes, containers, baggies, bottles, and accessories for the 2013/14 school year. I can hardly believe that school has started for many of you and that it will be starting for my hungry boys—both of them!—in just 3 weeks. This will be my first year packing TWO school lunches day after day. So, more than ever, it's important to have the right school lunch ingredients on hand, a lot of school lunch inspiration and, of course, the right school lunch gear. Whether you make a lunch every day or just need a few things to cover field trips, I've got everything you need to pack fabulous, fun, and nutritious school lunches all year long. Don't forget to LIKE One Hungry Mama on Facebook so that you can get daily school lunch ideas. I'll be posting every single school lunch of the year starting on Sept 9th! And also check out the 2012 Back-to-School Lunch Gear Guide; there are many things on that list that I still love. (get the guide after the jump)

Traveling with Kids: Healthy Food Options While on the Road

Every year I find myself struggling to feed my family well while on summer vacations—or even just while on day trips. I used to think it would get easier as my kids got older. Though it has in some ways, I hadn't anticipated the pressure to give into junk food. Even my big kid, who likes to declare that McDonald's—which he's never tried—has "very terrible food," has a penchant for friend chicken fingers and insatiable appetite for restaurant burgers. I've shared my favorite tips for how to eat well while traveling and even put together a list of the best travel snacks for kids, but today I've asked my friends at The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) to weigh in. CSPI recently released a report on kids meals that every parent should read. (Or at least skim, busy mamas and papas!) Even if you only succumb to fast food the few times a year that you're on the road, you should know what's on your kids plate, and have other healthier options in your back pocket. (more after the jump)

{video} Best travel snacks for kids + Very Berry Oatmeal Muffins

Summer travel season has begun and I've got three healthy snack tips, a snack shopping list and one killer muffin recipe that will save the travel day. Check out today's video covering the best healthy travel snacks for kids, including my favorite store-bought snacks and my hearty, freezer-friendly Very Berry Oatmeal Muffins. Grab the muffin recipe after the jump and then give a shout: What are your favorite healthy travel snacks for kids? (More after the jump)

Home cooked meals and the books that make them easy

Why, hello! I'm back. Did I forget to mention that I'd be gone? I did, didn't I? But I managed to pop in for a Mother's Day wish and slice of strawberry rhubarb upside down cake. That's something, right?! I'll take time out of any vacation to have a slice of cake with you. Doing so is one of my favorite things. As much as I missed you, Spain was wonderful. I've been before, but never to Barcelona. Have you? Have you seen la Sagrada Familia?! I've traveled quite a bit and have been lucky enough to see some truly amazing sights. Massive, golden Buddhas in Thailand, Angkor Wat in Cambodia, the Parthenon in Greece, but there was something about Sagrada Familia that took my breathe away like nothing else. Perhaps the two glasses of wine with lunch played a role, but nevertheless, it brought me to tears. Just look! (more and my favorite family cookbook picks after the jump)

Freak-Out Good Chicken (aka Thai Khao Man Gai)

Nearly every August, the Hungry Papa and I pack up the boys and head to the Oregon coast for an annual family reunion. Without fail, we plan the trip reluctantly; a lot goes into dragging two small kids cross country. And also without fail, we return blissfully. Partly because it's always better than we remember to see family, but also because we reunite with one of our favorite cities. The Hungry Papa and I have a special connection to Portland, Oregon. Ours is a long tale set on the streets of NYC—the sordid details of which seem humdrum 15 years and 2 kids later—but sparks first flew in the City of Roses. We still feel the jolt of new love electricity when we visit and it makes laid back Portland instantly thrilling. Psh, who needs Paris? (more after the jump)

{parenting} Eating While Away From Home

Well, hello there! The hungry family and I are just back from another vacation. This time we were away for 15 days—4 of them unplanned thanks to hurricane Irene. I've barely been back for 24 hours, but have tons to share with you starting with these thoughts on eating while away from home. I know, I know. We're coming to the end of vacation time, but I thought this might be useful if you're going away this holiday weekend. I was just reminded of how hard it is to stay healthy while traveling, but a little creativity—and time for food shopping—make a big difference. It may sound nuts, but I hit the supermarket about every three days while we were away. I took my time, but you don't have to linger. A quick 10-minute trip can make the difference between being at the mercy of restaurants and room service and eating healthily. (more after the jump)

{parenting} TONIGHT! Chat About Eating Healthy While Traveling

Summer is officially here and the kids are out of school... time for a family getaway! Are you planning a trip this summer? Will you fly, drive or sail? Whether you’re traveling by planes, trains or automobiles, making healthy choices when you’re away from home can be a challenge. Join me on Twitter TONIGHT (Thursday July 7th) at 6pm PST/9pm EST where I'll be talking healthy eating tips while on vacation with Healthy Child Healthy World and other smart (and hungry!) mamas and papas, hopefully including you. We’ll chat about your traveling experiences, best foods to eat on the go and more! Check out the full list of panelists and get more info after the jump!

{recipe} Spaghetti Carbonara with Peas & How To Stock Your Kitchen BEFORE Vacation

We’re on Day 4. Still tan. No groceries. Okay. I’m lying about being tan. I should be, but I’m a freak about sunscreen. I hate feeling sunburned. But I digress. It’s been 4 days since we returned from vacation and I still haven’t found time to do a serious shop. I was able to pick […]

{kitchen aids} Tiny Bites Food Shears

When I was contacted by Anila Nitekman, creator and designer of Tiny Bites Food Shears, I was immediately skeptical. I gave her my spiel: I don’t accept free product in exchange for product reviews; she was welcome to send a pair, but I would only mention them if I absolutely loved them. I usually leave […]

{parenting} Stroller Traffic Goes Picnicking with One Hungry Mama

Whoa. It’s been a crazy week. Slow here, which means fast and furious in all other parts of my life. As a result, I haven’t spent much time in the kitchen. I mean, I’ve made dinner, but I haven’t really cooked. Always a bummer. Just when I was starting to feel bad about it, I […]

{green your eats} The Eat Well Guide

Here’s one to bookmark! The Eat Well Guide is a comprehensive directory that allows anyone in the US or Canada to search for local, sustainable and organic food in their area. You can search by keyword, city/state or within a certain radius—up to 200 mi or km—of your zip code. The results list everything from […]