Healthy Eating on the Go!
Summer is just around the corner and so are summer vacations! Whether your vacation involves car, plane, bus, or train travel, eating healthy can be a challenge. What about endless highways of fast food restaurants, beaches with stands that serve soda and French fries, or in-flight meals that are either nonexistent or inedible? The good news is if you plan ahead you can address these challenges head on and come out eating healthy! So if it’s a road trip, plane ride, afternoon at the beach or at a theme park, here are some healthy eating ideas while on the go: On the Plane Bring plenty of nourishing snacks, and include some that can be used as a meal on longer flights or in the event of a delay.
- Enjoy fruit. Bananas, oranges, and tangerines come prepackaged in their own peels; bring these inside a zipper-lock bag, which does double-duty as fruit protector and peel receptacle. Dried fruit travels well and can satisfy any sweet tooth.
- Vary veggies. Baby carrots are the obvious choice, but you can also try edamame, radishes, sticks of jicama, celery or bell peppers. (If you pack a disposable tub of dip or dressing, remember the TSA's 3.4 ounces-and-under rule.)
- Go crackers. Crunchy whole wheat crackers like Ak-Mak or four-ingredient Finn Crisps (whole-rye flour, water, salt, and yeast) are especially satisfying. For toppings, think protein: Bring along wrapped single-serving cheeses, such as string cheese or Mini Babybels.
- With kids, play “I Spy” Healthy Snacks! When you stop for snacks on the road, make a game out of finding healthy snacks. Show kids how to locate the most nutritious options: whole foods (nuts, seeds, some trail mix, fruit, hard-boiled eggs), wholesome foods (yogurt, cheese sticks, some types of energy bars), less bad foods (whole-grain tortilla chips, cheese popcorn, jerky, smoothies), and better drink options (coconut water, flavored seltzer, milk).
- Mix to make healthier drinks. One of our favorites is lemonade mixed with bubbly water. It has the feel of a soda but is healthier. You can do the same with any fruit juice, e.g. orange juice, cranberry juice, etc.
- Choose healthier menu choices. The majority of Fast Food restaurants, including McDonalds now offer salads, apple slices and yogurt parfaits. Even a grilled chicken sandwich is better than burgers and fries!
- Travel with energy bars and nuts. A great way to stave off hunger and get a little protein too! Look for bars made entirely of nuts and dried fruit, such as Larabars, or with added whole grains, such as Kind bars, or, if anybody's fading, with loads of protein, such as Clif Bars or Powerbars. Almonds, mixed nuts, and trail mix also do the job.
- Easy-eating fruit. Think small and sturdy: Cherries, bananas, and grapes make for fuss-free munching, as does a cut-up melon or pineapple. Avoid any fruit that will turn to mush beneath a heavy water bottle like peaches or nectarines.
- Food on sticks. The less you touch it, the less sandy it's going to get. Plus, putting it on a stick turns everything into an ice pop—or just makes it as much fun as one. Spear tomatoes, cucumber, and cheese for a light snack or chunks of fruit on wooden child-safe skewer.
- Wrapped wraps. A foil-covered wrap means that you can peel as you go! Hummus, sliced cheese, garlicky goat cheese, or reduced-sodium lunch meats all make good fillings, and be sure to add something crunchy: sliced cucumber, bell peppers, or shredded cabbage, which will resist limpness longer than lettuce.
- Pack plenty of drinks. We like to add a splash of juice to bottles of water, and then freeze these overnight, so delicious. Fruity iced teas, also with a splash of juice, make another good beachside quencher.
- Hail to the kale. Kale chips are salty and actually more satisfying than grain chips.
- Add variety. Roasted chick peas, sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds are fun to eat, are easy to carry, and full of nutrients.
- Get poppin'. Popcorn is a great snack and it's full of fiber! Stick with a sprinkle of salt; add your favorite spices or herbs such as cinnamon or curry powder to vary it up.
- Fruits & vegies. Portable fruits and vegies that can be put in baggies or leakproof containers balance out the mix and are equally satisfying.