It’s that time of year again. Families near and far are shuffling kids, moms, dads, aunts, uncles and grannies into the car for the illustrious family road trip vacation. But when your vacay – and your family – crams into one car, it’s hard to find something portable that you can also feel good about giving your family.
Below are 5 tips to help stay healthy for this summer’s road trip! They’re fit for tots, teens, and parents alike. And most importantly, they’ll withstand 70 miles per hour, potty pit-stops, and backseat fights.
Healthy snacks on the road:
1) Plan, Plan, Plan!
By planning your meals and scheduled stops, and bringing along healthy beverages and snacks, you will save time, money and a lot of excess fat and sugar calories! Sit down and make a plan on when you will stop for meals.
First in that cooler needs to be water and 100% fruit juice boxes. This way, your family will stay hydrated during your road trip. Stay away from pop, sugary juice, tea, sports and energy drinks. Along with saving a lot of excess calories, you will save a lot of money avoiding gas stations and vending machines!
3) Pack healthy snacks.
By packing healthy snacks, you can decrease the excess fries and chips and the “I’m hungry” whines in between meal stops! I recommend packing snacks into smaller snack bags so people can grab individual portions from the cooler. (Sidenote: Eating in the car does increase the choking factor especially for very small kids. Be mindful of this when choosing what snacks to bring).
-Hummus and whole-wheat pitas (Now sold in little packs at the store!)
-String cheese sticks
-Fruit and Veggie Snack Packs, bag of apples
-Sunflower seeds and nuts/trailmix
-Animal crackers, pretzels, Goldfish, etc
4.) Stop and eat meals.
Sometimes it may seem like it’s easier to power through your drive by utilizing fast food restaurants and not stopping to eat, but that may backfire. Take the time to stop and eat, stretch your legs and move around a bit before you continue on your trip. Add a side salad or a fruit to your meal instead of the usual fries and chips. If you want to go the fast food route, try and order sandwiches but supplement the meal with the snacks you have packed in the car. This is a HUGE cost saver on road trips!
Take the time on your potty breaks to move your legs a bit, especially if you have young kids in the car. If the tensions are getting high in the back seat, it may be time for some fresh air! Many rest stops have trails and playgrounds now. A great app to download is USA Rest stops which will help you find what rest areas are closest to you.
Now that you’ve got your summer road trip snack pack prepared, you’re ready to head out on a road-bound vacation you can truly feel good about.
Happy Trails to you!
Kelly Devine Rickert MS RDN LDN