Healthy Tip: Good Food for Car Travel

Before you head out over the hills and through the woods, check out our “Eating on the Holiday Go” series. Whether you’re traveling by plane, train or automobile, we’ve got suggestions to help you eat well along the way and once you arrive.

Does your holiday vacation land you in a car on the road again? No problem! You can stay alert and satisfied with healthy snacks you pack in a sack or in a cooler. Let’s face it: Your chances of finding healthy food along a highway are pretty slim! But with a little pre-planning, you can make the trip a whole lot tastier. Essential for your car: A large cooler! With our ideas, you can ditch the junk, can the chips and skip the soda.And remember, whether you’re traveling by plane, train or automobile, we’ve gathered our best tips for a 3-part “Eating on the Holiday Go” series. It’s a darn shame, but most airports, train stations and roadside stops offer little more than the standard American junk food fare. The good news is you can bring your own food, and it doesn’t have to be complicated!Today we’re focusing on car food travel tips. Yesterday we tackled plane and train travel opens in a new tab and tomorrow we’re covering tips for when you are at your destination. Enjoy and please share your favorite tips too!Good Food Tips for Car Travel

  • Pack sandwiches, assorted cheeses, cold drinks, sliced deli meats, hard-boiled eggs and fresh fruits in your car-cooler.

  • Make-ahead snacks are perfect: Whole grain dishes such as pasta, brown rice or quinoa salads, prepared with veggies, nuts, tofu or tempeh are delicious at room temperature or straight out of your car-cooler. Here’s an idea for a Crunchy Fusilli Salad opens in a new tab.

  • Small containers of organic or Greek yogurt make terrific travel companions. So do small packages of unsweetened applesauce. Just don’t forget to pack reusable spoons!

  • Cut up carrots, celery, radish, bell peppers and cucumbers. Take along some hummus for dipping!

  • All natural cup-o-soups made from legumes, grains and dehydrated veggies are easy to pack. They’re light-weight and don’t need refrigeration. Just add hot water and stir. A large insulated thermos keeps water piping hot for hours. This works for the soups as well as for a cup of tea … just don’t forget the teabags!

  • Got a passion for pretzels? Pack some all-natural whole grain pretzels to please your pallet. Oh, and you might throw in some whole grain crackers, too, such as whole wheat, spelt or whole rye crackers. Spread on some nut butter to turn them in to cracker sandwiches before heading out the door.

  • Think fruit bars, nut bars, natural protein bars and other shelf-stable goodies! These are perfect to have on hand.

  • Pack individual baggies of trail mix, either one that you purchase, or one that you make yourself. Here’s a favorite crunchy Granola Trail Mix opens in a new tab.

  • Don’t forget some healthy additions of special treats such as natural oatmeal cookies, whole wheat graham crackers, and a bar of delicious dark chocolate! Start with these amazing Oatmeal, Coconut and Sunflower Seed Cookies opens in a new tab.

  • If you stop at a roadside restaurant, choose oatmeal or cream of wheat over pastry for breakfast. Another good option is a vegetable omelet. Choose a side of fresh fruit over hash browns and toast.

  • At a convenience store, look for whole grain cereals, low fat milk, packaged nuts or any fresh fruit – they may even have a bran muffin or a protein bar. This is much better than pastry, donuts, sweet rolls or chips.

If you think it’s too difficult to eat and drive at the same time, simplify your choices. Perfect for you would be some string cheese or a natural nut, fruit or protein bar, or a ready-made smoothie you can keep in your cup holder.Are you headed on the road again this holiday? Got a favorite take-along snack or meal? I’d love to hear. Happy Trails!

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