After a full day river rafting on the Colorado River, we were always more than happy when our Grand Canyon Expeditions https://gcex.wpengine.com/ guides pulled over to a little beach to make dinner. Last summer my aunt Luisa, 10-year-old cousin Ethan and I (14 years old) had a great time munching our way down the Colorado River even though we were hands-down, the picky-eating family of our trip!
So, what’s for dinner? Cheese quesadilla? Oops – my aunt is allergic to dairy. Beef stew? Oops again – I’m a vegetarian. Salad? Oops again – Ethan can’t stand anything green! Don’t worry, no matter what your food issue (be it a food sensitivity or just that certain food, such as fish, makes you squirm), there will ALWAYS be something for you to eat on a Grand Canyon Expeditions (GCEX) river rafting trip. There always was for us, the picky-eating family!
Breakfast is the easiest meal to accommodate everyone. Some mornings there are eggs, while other days there are pancakes, waffles, and hash browns. Some of the sides include English muffins and some type of breakfast meat (bacon, sausage, ham), hot cereal and ALWAYS fruit. Other staples also include peanut butter, jelly, and honey for waffles and English muffins. For beverages, we enjoyed hot coffee, hot chocolate, and tea.
While there is usually something for everyone, if you do have food allergy or diet restriction, make sure you tell GCEX’s main office at least a month ahead of time; also inform your guides once you’re on your family vacation. For example, my aunt can’t have milk, yeast or eggs so the office packed our rafts with plenty of soy and rice milk as well as cold cereal to accommodate her. And, hey, don’t be embarrassed because I bet you can’t top our needs: vegetarian; yeast, egg, and dairy allergies; and an EXTREMELY picky ten-year-old!
Lunch is usually pretty simple. By that I mean a classic favorite: sandwiches. With lots of choices in bread (including wraps), meat, veggie, and extras (don’t forget the chips!), you won’t be disappointed. One day there was even an Asian peanut wrap. I couldn’t believe we were in the middle of the Grand Canyon yet we were having some really great ethnic food! Don’t worry, there’s the daily option of peanut butter and jelly for fussy eaters like Ethan. What was amazing too was that our guides simply erected a long, high table and created a really good cold lunch within minutes of docking our rafts!
And now, ladies and gentlemen for the main event: DINNER. The guides toil long and hard to create such an extravagant meal for you after a long day of navigating your raft and you forever owe them your eternal gratitude! Okay, let’s cut the drama. But seriously, the GCEX dinners are AWESOME and, of course, so is the rest of the food. There are usually a ton of dishes, creating lots of options if one dish doesn’t suit you. And this time I mean it: there is ALWAYS something for everyone. Chicken for the non-fish-eaters, veggies for the vegetarians (and altogether health nuts), meat for the protein maniacs, you name it!
Don’t worry about getting hungry between meals either since there is a plentiful supply of fruit (apples and oranges) and chips on board your raft. However, if you happen to be anemic, diabetic, vegetarian, or have some other diet restriction that limits your supply of certain nutrients, I HIGHLY suggest bringing along some granola or energy bars in your ammo can (waterproof tin to keep your camera and other valuables in) on a daily basis. You may need them if your nutrients run low and it also helps in keeping squirmy whining kids quiet. Haha!
So there you have it: no matter HOW crazy, restricted, or just plain unadventurous your diet is, your guides will always have something to satisfy your needs, your hunger, AND your sense of adventure – even if you’re in the middle of the beautiful Grand Canyon!