Travel tips

Top Tips for Holiday Nutrition

Last updated 7th June 2017

Mike Snader, nutritionist at St Lucia’s all-inclusive resort, TheBodyHoliday, gives us his top tips on holiday nutrition for the whole family, so you don’t arrive home to find you’ve all piled on the pounds.

The all-inclusive St Lucia resort, The Body Holiday, dedicated to health and well-being is this summer opening a summer bootcamp, WellFit Families. The resort is working with inspiring sportsmen and women to encourage teens and young adults to be more active, while – of course – spending time in the beautiful beach resort.

When? Olympic Gold Medallists and England Rugby players are flying out to join the bootcamp from 6 July to 31 August 2014. 

Activities: Daily activities include Beach Camp, touch rugby and beach volley ball, as well as training talks on nutrition and fitness. 

Top tips on staying healthy on holiday

Mike Snader, nutritionist at TheBodyHoliday, gives us his top tips on holiday nutrition for the whole family, so you don’t arrive home to find you’ve all piled on the pounds.

How do we keep a balanced diet?

Everyone wants to enjoy their holiday and yes it’s okay to really enjoy the food. However, that does not mean you need to have three courses for each meal. For instance maybe we treat ourselves to one dessert per day. You could try a breakfast dessert one day, lunch dessert the next, and then dinner dessert the following day.

Make sure to keep your protein intake relatively high, enjoy some of the healthy fats that are readily available such as fish, nuts, and seeds, and finally, adjust your carbohydrate intake depending on the amount of physical activity you have planned for that day.

Physical activity, making smart food choices, and enjoying high calorie foods and drinks in moderation are the keys to keeping you balanced on your holiday.

What should parents pack if there’s no local supermarket?

A must-have in your bag is nature’s Gatorade, also known as coconut water. In the tropical climate it’s important to keep hydrated and coconut water will do just that while also topping up your electrolytes which you lose from sweating. If you are planning on being active during your day you could also pack some plantain chips (in the banana family) which are a good carbohydrate source to fuel your activity.

 What local dishes should we try?

I’m going to be a bit biased here and throw in my favorite local meal. Lambi, also known as it’s fantastic grilled with a garlic sauce. Add in a side of rice with lentils, green fig salad, roasted breadfruit, and you have a truly authentic Caribbean meal!

Which foods provide energy but don’t make the kids too hyperactive?

A great tool to provide children is to build your own yogurt station. It’s just like building your own ice cream sundae but instead you provide yogurt and various other toppings instead. Examples of toppings would be fresh blueberries, strawberries, chopped almonds, sunflower seeds, sliced walnuts, flax seeds, raisins, and the list goes on. Think outside the box and be creative. Put each topping into a bowl and start them with around 1/2 cup of plain yogurt. Letthem use the spoons to add each ingredient to their yogurt masterpiece.

Should the kids finish everything on their plate?

The most important thing is to teach children what an appropriate portion size really is. Work with your children and allow them to place the food onto their own plate. It’s important that we place an emphasis on not being wastefuland we should only put on our plate what we intend to eat. So, if we are emphasising healthy portion sizes and encouraging our children to only consume what they intend to eat, we will not have to battle with them to finish everything that is on their plate.

What should we feed a fussy eater? 

This is a tough question and it really depends on what someone’s food preferences are. I would encourage anyone visiting St. Lucia to be open minded and try some of the local cuisine. It really is some of the best food that I have ever tasted. Don’t be judgmental about a certain dish or an ingredient in a certain dish before giving it a try. The Caribbean is known for its amazing cuisine and unique preparation methods that spice up foods and give themunique flavor. My advice is when in doubt give it a try. You just might be missing out on some amazing food!

 What foods will revive us after a long flight?

I think we should not only focus on food but water as well after a long flight. Most people on a long flight are not hydrating properly and then being dropped off in a tropical climate is the recipe for dehydration. You may feel lethargic, have headaches, and on top of that a feeling of being jet lagged. Do yourself a favour and stay well hydrated while on your trip.

As for food there are many germs floating around in airports and planes. Make sure to keep your vitamin C levels up with a local fruit juice or grab a guava which has around 200% of your daily value of vitamin C in one fruit!

What recipes can we try before going away?

There are so many great recipes to choose from but I would suggest a fish like red snapper seasoned with a little bit of onion, mincedgarlic, grated ginger, black pepper, a dash of red capsicum pepper, a dash of soy sauce, and around a tablespoon of sesame oil. Preparation should either be baked or grilled. Couple that with a refreshing fruit gazpacho as a starter and it’s sure to satisfy the taste buds and leave you wanting more on your holiday.

What activities are there that will help the kids get excited about cooking and nutrition?

A great activity for children or anyone for that matter to participate in would be cooking with the chef. The BodyHoliday’s very own chef demonstrates how to prepare and make various tasty dishes. A great experience to get the creative cooking juices flowing.

In addition, there are weekly nutritional seminars that explain some of the fundamentals and important facts about nutrition.

How many ice creams or treats should we limit the kids to?

The main point to remember is that ice cream or any other sweet or overly sugary food should be a treat, and not something that happens every day. You are not doing your children any favors by allowing them to consume an abundance of sugar every single day. It’s no secret that childhood obesity is on the rise and high calorie sugary treats with lack of physical activity are to blame.

Limiting your children to a sweet treat or ice cream once or twice a week is not being mean. It’s being a good parent by instilling proper nutritional habits and caring about your children’s health.

How can we make the most of the menus at Thebodyholiday without putting on weight?

I think this question not only applies to The BodyHoliday, but anywhere for that matter. How can we make nutritional choices from a menu and maintain our health and current weight? The answer is by being smart about our food choices while balancing the right amount of physical activity. If you plan on indulging in an abundance of food and drinks while on holiday you have to be willing to balance that out with exercise. The good news is that there is no shortage of options for you to choose from at TheBodyHoliday.

Personal training, morning walks, runs, boxing, biking, spin class, beach fit, and the list goes on. Now if you don’t over indulge in an abundance of food and drinks and make smart choices at most meals you can get away with a little less activity. However, we should all aim for around 30-60 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity each day for optimal health.

Thebodyholiday, St Lucia

For more information on The Body Holiday in St Lucia visit


For a family of two adults and one child sharing one room: Kuoni (01306 747008) offers seven nights on all inclusive basis at the 5-star Body Holiday, St Lucia, in a luxury room, including flights with Virgin Atlantic from Gatwick with group transfers in resort.

Prices for August 2014 are from £6,000 per family.

To book quote: CL0046.

For a family of two adults and two children sharing two rooms: Kuoni (01306 747008) offers seven nights on all inclusive basis at the 5-star Body Holiday, St Lucia in a luxury room, including flights with Virgin Atlantic from Gatwick with group transfers in resort.

Prices for August 2014 are from £7,950 per family.

To book quote: CL0046.