Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Road Trip (snacking)!

On the road for a recent trip, I was reminded of the few and far between healthy choices for meals and snacks on the road.  To avoid calorie overload and multiple sugar bombs, a little planning ahead is crucial for eating well while traveling.

Snacking on the road can pass the time and keep passengers happy for the long haul, but convenience store foods often leave much to be desired nutritionally.  Instead of opting for gas station junk foods, pack some snacks that will curb hunger and prevent over-indulgence.

Snack bars (such as Kashi), apples, oranges, bananas, single servings of peanut butter with whole grain crackers, or trail mix are all great options to keep stocked in the car.  These snacks provide protein to help keep hungry passengers full until the next stop, and complex carbohydrates to prevent the dreaded sugar rush.  For longer trips, pack a small ice chest with string cheese, berries, hummus or Greek yogurt to add some variety to snacking.

Plan times to stop for meals ahead of time, so you are never going too long without eating something.  When we try to stretch it out "just a few more miles", by the time you finally stop, resolve is weak, and you may be tempted to grab a fatty, sugary, salty fast food meal. Plan ahead and try to find information about restaurants on your route where you can find healthy options If you must go the fast food route, maintain your portion control, choose a restaurant that offers sides other than fries, and order water or unsweetened tea to drink.  A better choice for long trips is to pack some sandwiches or wraps to tide you over until you reach your destination.