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Time4Learning Demos

Avoiding Hotel Food

How to survive at a homeschool conference with starving children in a hotel room where all the food is way too expensive for your budget.

By Nancy Friedland


  • Ice chest (refill with the hotel ice)
  • Paper goods: plates, bowls, cups, forks, spoons, knives, napkins and/or paper towels.
  • Serving bowls to hold things like fresh fruit and other snacks so they are available for easy grazing

Main course type foods

  • Salad fixings and dressings
  • Veggies: red peppers, carrots, cucumber etc for dips, plain snacking, or add to salads
  • Bagels and cream cheese
  • Box cereal and milk
  • Peanut butter and jelly (or honey or whatever)
  • Cheeses (Babybels or string cheese come individually wrapped for easy snacking)
  • Hard boiled eggs
  • Cold leftover pizza (or get take-out)
  • Trader Joe’s Just Chicken/Shrimp
  • Tuna salad, or egg, chicken, or ham salads as an alternative (can pre-make at home)
  • Cottage cheese
  • Yogurt
  • Add-ons for yogurt or cottage cheese: Honey, jam, cinnamon (can also be a dessert fruit dip)
  • Pasta salads: add bagged greens, fruit. Or tuna, diced chicken or ham, or grated cheese for protein, and you have a near-complete meal.
  • Take some good brown mustard and a bit of curry powder too. Either one in plain yogurt (or mayo) makes a spread, dip or salad dressing (really jazzes up hardboiled eggs).
  • Cold cooked chicken
  • Fruit
  • Dried fruit–raisins, apricots, cherries, mango, pineapple, etc. (Trader Joe’s has a great assortment)

Cook with hot water (from hotel coffeemaker or bring an electric teapot)

  • Ramen or other things you can pour hot water on
  • Couscous and cracked wheat (bulgur) are ready in about 5 minutes after pouring hot (near boiling) water on.
  • Indian food entrees in foil pouches could sit in hot water
  • Oatmeal packets

Bring a toaster oven for:

  • Frozen waffles
  • Gardenburgers
  • Leftover pizza


  • Juice boxes, or larger bottles plus paper cups
  • Bottled water
  • Instant hot chocolate
  • Instant shakes


  • Granola bars
  • Trail mix
  • Nuts: add sunflower seeds, almonds, pumpkin seeds etc. to salads, cereals, yogurt or eat plain.
  • Cereal bars
  • Trader Joe’s Soy and Flax chips
  • Your favorite crackers
  • Breads
  • Chips and other junk food
  • Protein bars
  • Packaged sweet rolls
  • Crackers and humus


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