With the arrival of summer comes a season of fun, sun, and… road trips!! But while all-day car trips can be adventurous, if you're not prepared, they can often turn into food disasters. Here's Joy's recipe for a healthy road trip:
Keep Food Cool
Invest in an insulated cooler to keep perishables cool for your trip. Load in sandwiches, salads, low-fat dairy products, fresh fruits, cut vegetables and water bottles. Other, non-perishable foods, like pretzels, crackers, and snack bars, can be held at room temperature during the trip.
Prepare Healthy Meals In Advance
Keep all your food in containers that are easily accessible and spill proof. Sandwiches can be kept in baggies, and fresh cut fruits/veggies in Ziplocs or Tupperware containers
Choose Mess-less Snacks
When it comes to snack foods, finger foods are the easiest option for a car ride. Try to choose foods that are gone once you eat them.
Eat When Hungry… Not When Bored
Many people fall into the trap of eating too much during a LONG, boring trip. That said, do not pack excessive amounts of anything (with the exception of veggies). Set aside specific portions in small containers or buy prepackaged food items. For your kids; bring games, iPods, drawing pads, word finds, coloring books, books on tape, etc.
Water and Unsweetened Iced Tea (with floating fruit): Avoid sodas, sports drinks and flavored sugar water. Go for pop tops that are easily opened and closed, and control the amount of the drink that comes out.Freeze water bottles the night before your trip. They'll stay cold for hours…and you won't have to use up room in your cooler
Peanut Butter Waffles: Go for toast two whole grain waffles, spread natural peanut butter on one and top with the other. Cut in half or in fours.
Hard Boiled Egg & Bag of dry whole grain cereal
Toasted Whole grain English Muffin with Canadian bacon in the middle
Lean Wraps: Turkey, chicken, ham or tofu wrapped with a variety of vegetables in a whole wheat tortilla. Reduced fat mayo, hummus, mustard, ketchup or bbq sauce.
PB and Jelly Sandwich: Whole wheat bread with natural peanut butter (or almonds butter) and low sugar jelly. For kids cut in fours, or cut out fun shapes with a cookie cutter.
Sabra® Hummus To Go: This pre-packaged product consists of two small containers. One holds hummus, available in a wide array of flavors, and the other holds crackers. The containers lock back together to save leftovers and the bite-sized crackers cause minimal crumbs.
Whole Wheat Pasta Salad with julienne vegetables/shredded chicken and light Italian dressing.
Pre-portion snack food into single serving bags - it will save you calories, fat, sugar… and car mess.
Car friendly fruit: Prewash and slice… easy to eat and tend to be less messy; red/purple grapes, bananas, sliced apple, sliced mango, berries (blueberries, raspberries, blackberries and strawberries). Fruits with dark, staining juice or messy leftover pits are not the best pick for a car ride. And whether you have kids or not… don't forget the wipes!
Raw vegetables: Baby carrots, sugar snap peas, cherry tomatoes, sticks of celery, red, yellow and green peppers.
Nuts: Pre-packed bags of 20 raw almonds, cashews, or walnuts.
Seapoint Farms Dry Roasted Edamame: Lightly salted and Wasabi
Whole grain cereal: Pre-packed "one cup" bags of Barbara's Puffins, Multigrain Cheerios, Quaker Corn bran, Kashi Heart to Heart.
Yogurt: Dannon Light & Fit makes a yogurt smoothie that contains only 60 calories per bottle. Other brands include Yo Baby and Stonyfield Farm (opt for the Stonyfield 'light' smoothie to save unnecessary excess calories). Both Horizon Organic and Stonyfield Farm both make yogurt squeeze tubes, which are easy and fun snacks for kids to eat.
Stacy's Pita Chips: Tasty baked pita chips available in a 6-pack of individual bags with 130 calories each to aid in portion control.
FruitaBü: Available in both fruit flats and fruit twirls - 100% organic, all natural (no sugar added), these treats provide the sweetness of candy while offering one serving of fruit per twirl.
100 calorie packs: O'Coco's Organic Baked Chocolate Crisps, Snyder's of Hanover Pretzels, Nabisco (varieties), South Beach (varieties), Keebler "Right Bites" (varieties), Entenmann's "Little Bites" (varieties), Special K Snack Bites and Cereal Bars
Newton Minis: These "whole grain" cookies are available in Fig and Strawberry Flavors and each bag contains only 130 calories.
CocoaVia: These portion controlled healthy chocolates are perfect for a guiltless indulgence.
Joy Bauer is the author of “Food Cures.”
For more information on healthy eating, check out Joy’s Web site at www.joybauernutrition.com.