It’s a problem every trade show and event manager with children faces: making sure your family is properly fed while you’re out on the road. So we thought we’d offer a method that works for many of the parents at our agency. Funny, but like any good marketing plan, their approach includes three basic steps: strategy (plan it), execution (prepare it) and reaching your audience (label it):
Every important event needs a master plan and keeping the kiddies nourished is no exception. So sit down and figure out in advance what your family should have meal-by-meal and day-by-day. Plan holistically; by doing it all at once, you’ll be able to prepare a small group of food building blocks that can be quickly assembled into a variety of meals, just like many restaurants do. Plus, preplanning gets you down to one clear shopping list that you can efficiently work from.
The key here is to make all the meals in one session, say a two-hour period on a Sunday afternoon. Ideally this should be a family affair where everyone plays a role, has fun and gets to spend quality time together. Maybe dad plays sous chef and does the chopping. Little kids can do things like putting carrot sticks in baggies; older kids can stir the sauce or layer the lasagna. And everyone shares with cleanup. One session like this and you should be good for your whole trip.
Don’t skip this step! That system of meals you’ve carefully planned must be clearly communicated to all members of your family or everything is for naught. You can label containers using post-its, scrawl the plan on a chalk board, put it on an iPad or stick it to the refrigerator. Just be sure you’re clear or things will surely get jumbled, only the favorites will get eaten, etc.
Some people even go so far as to use plastic EasyLunchboxes. These have little sections that you put each food item into, sort of like the TV dinners of old. Perfect for school lunches. Another tip from one of our marketing managers is to use a hangable shoe organizer for placing snacks. This helps with portion control and adds a little fun to the process.
That pretty much sums up the way the traveling parents around here get it done. We’d love to hear some of your tips. Happy travels!