Now that we’ve officially stepped into summer, what better way to celebrate than by taking a road trip?
Many of us already have trips and summer vacations planned, meaning that we’ll be away from home and unlikely to be eating many home-cooked meals. Do you and your family have a plan for eating nutrient-dense meals while you’re on the go? If not, I have a few tips that may come in handy during this season of traveling.
Plan ahead. Having a plan is key to staying on track with your personal health goals. Decide right away if you are packing your own meals for the road, or if you will instead be stopping to eat. Knowing what you’re packing and where you’re planning on stopping can prevent you from making unhealthier choices.
Stock up on nutrient-dense snacks. Even if you are planning on stopping to eat, it’s always a good idea to carry a few healthy snack options in your car or bag. Dried fruit, granola bars and whole-wheat crackers are all shelf-stable and travel well. Tuna or salmon packets are also a great, flavorful way to fill you up for your journey.
Carry a cooler. When traveling for long distances, you can really up your meal game if you bring along a cooler to carry cold food. Yogurt, cheese, sandwiches, fruits, vegetables and milk all become fair game when bringing along an insulated cooler; just remember to keep it stocked with ice. Without a cooler, your take-along options are limited to shelf-stable items.
Rethink fast food. Fast-food restaurants are convenient for travelers, which is why they are so popular. Consider skipping the fries and soft drink and supplying your own sides of fruit or vegetables and unsweetened beverage. (This is where bringing your cooler may also come in handy.)
Make your own snacks. Trail mix is one of those snacks that is versatile and easy to make. Start with a base of nuts and dried fruit, and add seeds, chocolate chips, popcorn or even seasonings to it. It can make a great, filling snack! Below I have provided a simple trail mix recipe to try.