Sunday, August 05, 2007

Healthy Eating on the Road

My family and I have been spending a lot of time in the car this summer - to and from family reunions, family parties and an (almost) family vacation (without Daddy because he has to work).

I found an article in the Daily Herald about healthy eating while traveling and found it very helpful. Here are a few of the hints they shared - with a few of my own thrown in for good measure.

When taking a cooler:
  • use block ice - it'll melt more slowly. Look for it at campgrounds and truck stops.
  • double-bag your ice in a watertight bag so you don't find your food swimming in melt water.
  • reusable ice packs can keep items cool for day trips, and can be refrozen in some hotel mini-fridges
  • secure your cooler with a seat belt or snuggly on the floor so it doesn't become a hazard during a sudden stop or a collision
Healthy snacks for in the car:
  • cut-up veggies like baby carrots, grape tomatoes, sugar snap peas, pepper strips
  • string cheese
  • fruits easy to eat like blueberries (prewashed), apples, plums, pears
  • granola bars or other snack bars. I particularly like these snack bars - they're a great, inexpensive, light lunch too.
  • crackers, chips, and/or pretzels
  • if you're sleepy and need to stay awake - make some "Rocket Fuel" - a mixture of an energizing tea and rehydration powder - in either hot or cold water. It's tastes great and will keep you awake without a sugar or caffeine crash from soda pop.
I really like this idea from Sandra Nissenberg: allow each family member create their own trail mix from a choice of raisins, mini-pretzels, nuts, seeds, goldfish or teddy bear crackers, dried fruit, cereal and M&M's. Put them in self-closing bags or in plastic cups with lids and put them in the car's cup holders.

Inexpensive, healthy hotel meals:
  • pouches of chicken or tuna salad with crackers
  • bowls of dried soup or noodle cups to which you can add hot water (made in the hotel's in-room coffee maker)
  • instant oatmeal in a disposable bowl
  • meal replacement shakes made in a shaker & milk - these shakes taste great.
Ways to save money when eating out:
  • check out for restaurants where you're going in which kids eat free.
  • choose an appetizer for dinner, or split an entree between two people
  • eat dinner at breakfast restaurants as a special treat

No comments: