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With the holiday craziness in full force, families will be on the go, and there will be no time for meltdowns. We all want to avoid them, but sometimes that seems so much easier said than done. Whether you're doing your Christmas shopping or you're driving halfway across the world to be with friends and family, I want to share some of my favorite tips to help you survive the holidays with your toddler.
1. Keep a hangry emergency kit in your vehicle while on the road holiday shopping or visiting family. We keep RITZ Peanut Butter and RITZ Cheese Filled Sandwich Crackers in our kit, and they are such an easy and convenient snack for kids (and me after all that shopping!) Keep reading for an easy little emergency kit tutorial.
2. Keep an activity kit in your vehicle also. A bored kid is a whiny and unhappy kid, so don't let it come to that. Try to stay one step ahead by packing a good variety of different small toys and activities that will keep your child busy while on the road or even busy during down time at grandma's house after Christmas lunch.
3. Lead by example. If you're stressed, your child will most likely see that and become somewhat tense or aggravated too. Try to stay calm and relax, and be prepared as best as you can so you're not running around all over the place at the last minute to get gifts or groceries to cook Christmas dinner.
4. Have a game plan. Whether you're driving 10 hours to grandma's house or 1 hour, have all your travel arrangements booked ahead of time, everything packed days before along with a list of things to pack and an itinerary. Sure you'll stray from it, but just seeing it and knowing that you have a plan can sometimes help to relax you so much. And be realistic. Know that you will need to stop every hour or two for a toddler to stretch, potty and just unwind a bit.
5. Keep gift giving simple. Now that you have a kid, one of the best (and easiest) gifts to give in my opinion is to buy a nice frame and put a family picture of picture of your little one in it. This is perfect for close family members. It also helps to save a little money. Or have some arts and craft time and have your toddler make gifts for those special grandparents.
When you're out shopping for your holiday gifts and food items, make sure you pick up RITZ Filled Sandwich Crackers at Kroger stores. You can find them in the lunchbox section. I love shopping at Kroger because it's only a few miles from my house, it isn't too crowded, they have everything I need, and it's organized very well. Oh yeah, and they even give Leighton balloons when they me toting her around the store with her bawling saying that she wants (insert almost anything here like toy, food, etc.) ☺
I don't know about your toddler, but mine snacks all day long so being prepared is a must! To create your own hangry emergency kit:
1. Choose a bag that you want to use for your kit. I used an adorable little machine washable pouch that is easy to wipe clean too, but you can even just use plastic bags or machine washable storage bags and stick them in a large bag or a little storage bin to keep in your car.
2. Decide what type of snack foods you want to keep in your emergency kit. It really depends on whether you are just taking one with you each day or if you want to leave it in your vehicle for a couple days. I also keep RITZ Filled Sandwich Crackers in my vehicle, but when I know we will be gone for an entire day, I like to pack a much larger hangry emergency kit for Leighton.
3. Cut up cheese, meats, fruit, veggies and any other snacks and section off and put in plastic baggies along with your RITZ Filled Sandwich Crackers. Voila, you have a hangry emergency kit. I keep one in the fridge and just grab it and take with me whenever we are going on long road trips like Thanksgiving last week or even Black Friday shopping.
Not only are RITZ Filled Sandwich Crackers guaranteed to keep the hangry away, they're the ideal on-the-go snack for whatever the season throws your way. Have you tried RITZ Filled Sandwich Crackers? What is the hardest part of the holidays with a toddler? What is the best? ☺