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Flying with kids? Don't leave without these

In less that 24 hours I will be on 747 with two kids under the age of six. Parents, you know what that means: the breakdowns, the bribes, the threats to restrain in a baggage cart (OK not really but, let's be honest, we've all considered something like that). Yep, it's time for "vacation." How will I get through the four-and-a-half-hour flight? A parent I know picked up a Valium prescription for his 3-year-old. We resort to laptop movies. But, short of that, there are some great options available at your natural product store.

Bach's Rescue Remedy for Kids. The alcohol-free kids' version of this flower-essence tincture helps calm and soothe without sedating. A good choice for kids who don't like change or abrupt transitions, or who can't seem to settle down from all of the excitement. (Try some on yourself; it's great for shredded nerves.) Use before you leave for the airport, once you get there, and then as needed on the flight and at your destination. (Note: It comes in a small 10 ml bottle so should clear security.)

Justin's Nut Butter Packets. Sweetened with just enough honey, maple syrup, or cinnamon to taste like a real treat. Plus, the protein and fats are great for thwarting low blood-sugar issues, particularly if you are eating typical carb-loaded airport fare like bagels. My 2-year-old calls these "squeezies" and lights up any time I whip one out of my purse. I figure they're a lot better than bribing with candy.

Pure Bars. Originally created by a mom for her daughter, these are tasty kid-friendly energy snacks. Plus they're raw, gluten-free, and made with organic dried fruits and nuts. Flavors include Apple Cinnamon, Wild Blueberry, Chocolate Brownie, Cherry Cashew (my personal favorite), Cranberry Orange, and Choc Chip Trail Mix. Great to supplement other wholesome snacks like apples, baby carrots, or whole-grain crackers. And they won't melt in your carry-on like some other bars.

Spry Gum. The xylitol-sweetened gum can do three things: 1. Alleviate air pressure build-up in the ears. 2. Fight plaque formation during a long day away from the toothbrush. And 3. It might help prevent infection from airport germs. (Many infections start in the mucosa of the throat, and xylitol makes it harder for germs to adhere.) Chew after meals, snacks, and as needed to relieve pressure in the ears.

Also, check out tips on staying healthy while you travel, what to put in your travel kit, and how to combat jet-lag naturally. Bon voyage!

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