Road travel is a slower way to travel than flying. With most of the day spent in the car, you can easily lose track of time and what you’ve been eating. So, if you plan on snacking, fill up on whole foods with nutritional value— berries, bananas, and pistachios are a great place to start.
Plan Ahead: Long car rides are peppered with pit stops. But your choices for food aren’t limited to cheeseburgers and fries. Bringing along a picnic lunch helps you take control of your travel nutrition to help you eat healthy while you travel.
Pack snacks and meals that are easy for your body to digest. This will help you feel satisfied without the bloating and bellyache caused by fast food. Baby carrots, apples, grapes, and turkey are examples of healthy snacks to bring on the road. Full of fiber, complex carbohydrates and protein, they provide a sustained source of energy and will keep your blood sugar from crashing later in the day. Making a meal ahead of time will help you avoid the temptation to stop for something greasy.
Picnic lunches don’t need to be eaten in the car, either. Find a rest stop or park along your route. Getting out of the car to eat and stretch your legs will break up long periods of driving with some fresh air and exercise. Walking after eating helps your body process your meal. So, stop and enjoy some time outside to ward off boredom and help digestion.
At a Gas Station or Fast Food Restaurant: Stopping at a gas station to fill your car’s tank and use the restroom doesn’t need to end with soda and candy. There are several healthy choices for snacks inside. Walk past the chocolate bars and pick up some trail mix instead. A bottle of unsweetened iced tea is a better selection than soda—regular or even diet.
Many gas stations have refrigerator boxes with pre-prepared salads, yogurt, fruit, and vegetables. These whole foods offer valuable nutrition and will keep you focused and alert on the road.
Should you find yourself in line at a drive-thru, order your meal strategically:
- Choose an entrée with grilled chicken, rather than fried.
- Exercise portion control and order off the kids’ menu.
- Skip the soda and have ice water instead.