Healthy Food for the Road

Daily Health Solutions, Healthy Living, Healthy Travel, Nutrition
on July 1, 2011

Car Cuisine

Long stretches on the open road can limit your options, so think creatively.

  • Be prepared. Bring a cooler with yogurts, cheese minis (like prepackaged ones from Cabot or Babybel), hummus, fresh fruit and cut-up veggies. Also, pack peanut butter, whole grain crackers, dry cereal, instant oatmeal, individual applesauce, nuts and dried fruit.
  • Make healthy pit stops. If the supermarket isn’t an option, convenience stores often have nutritious staples like whole grain cereal, nuts, hard-boiled eggs and lowfat milk. Hit farmers markets or roadside stands for fresh and seasonal produce.
  • Order smart. Choose a salad with grilled chicken or a small hamburger at McDonald’s or Burger King, chili or baked potato from Wendy’s, or Taco Bell’s Fresco selections. At the local diner, stick to all-day-breakfast menus that usually feature oatmeal, fresh fruit, egg sandwiches and veggie omelets. Or go for salads with protein, sandwiches on whole wheat with extra tomato and lettuce or vegetable-based soups.

Plane Fare

In-flight meals are no more, but there’s no need to go hungry in the air.

  • Carry on. Staples like high-protein energy bars, such as Snickers Marathon Bar, trail mix and mini cheeses will keep you satisfied en route. Buy bottled water post-security to stay hydrated.
  • Consider the food court. Airport restaurants frequently offer decent sit-down meals, such as veggie pizza; cheese, fruit and meat plates from Au Bon Pain; or white meat chicken tenders and apple fries at Burger King. Grab-and-go options like a yogurt parfait or precut veggies with dip are often available at snack kiosks.
  • Be wise about in-flight food. If you’re lucky to score a snack once you’re on board, choose peanuts over pretzels for extra nutrients. On long flights, you may have the option to purchase foods. If so, go for the fruit and cheese tray over chips or sweets.

Destination Dining

No matter where you’re going, once you get there you can stay on track with some simple tips.

  • Eat one meal in. Try to eat one meal a day from packed staples—or at least fit in some exercise so you’ll feel better when indulging.
  • Do as the locals do. On the coast, enjoy fresh seafood and fish. In the tropics, take advantage of the native fruit selection. Ask the concierge what local eating spots have a reputation for healthier food.
  • Be wise about beverages. Vacation often means enjoying a cocktail or summertime smoothie—perfectly OK, but keep tabs on what you are drinking. Choose libations made with 100 percent fruit or vegetable juices or whole fruit, and alternate alcoholic drinks with glasses of water.