Summer Travel Food Essentials
By Kelly Springer, MS, RD, CDN
How many road trips have you taken so far this summer? And how many of those trips involved low-quality food consumption? You very well may not have craved those types of foods (you know: fast-food burgers, candy bars, greasy potato chips, gas station pizza), but you didn’t have much choice in the matter. Believe me, I have been there. When you travel, healthy eating is totally possible with preparation. Here’s what I recommend.
Instead of soda or sugary sports drinks…
Your best bet is a lot of pure water.
Bring along a BPA-Free water bottle and fill it to the brim with ice and water. You can flavor your water with lemon, lime, orange, mint, or try more gourmet combos like strawberry basil.
Electrolytes are important too of course! I love Motive Pure. Motive Pure minis are these little bottles of electrolyte concentrate that you mix with water; they are sweetened with stevia and calorie-free. How awesome is that?! And they come in five great flavors; my favorites are berry and pink lemonade.
Instead of greasy potato chips…
Air pop a lot of popcorn and season it with sea salt.
I even bring my air popper and popcorn kernels to hotels. It’s quick and easy if I have a snack attack---and get this, popcorn is a whole grain and it’s so tasty even without the butter you may typically have on it.
Instead of pizza or fast-food meals…
Pack sandwiches and get creative with them.
Choose a whole grain bread. Add your protein: tuna, egg salad, nitrate-free deli meat, or hummus (a great choice for vegans). Load up the veggies. Lettuce and tomato are not your only veggie options. Try sliced cucumbers, alfalfa sprouts, or roasted red pepper—yum!!! Add your spread. You can get more original than mayo or mustard here too! I love using mashed avocado, hummus or a low-fat Goddess dressing for a sandwich spread.
Instead of candy…
Bring your own trail mix and fruit.
Mix raw nuts and seeds with dried fruit and maybe some dark chocolate chips. A few of my favorite combos are cashews, pumpkin seeds and dried cranberries; Dried pineapple, walnuts, sunflower seeds, unsweetened coconut flakes, and dried papaya; and almonds, raisins, and dark chocolate chips. Summer is a great time for cubed cantaloupe, honeydew and watermelon. Bananas, apples, grapes, and cherries are also great options to pack.
Make your road trips extra special this summer by not sabotaging your healthy eating habits! With just a little preparation, you can have healthy meals and snacks to satisfy any craving!
Kelly Springer is the founder of Kelly’s Choice, offering virtual nutrition counseling and nutrition education. For more nutrition education, visit kellyschoice.org and be sure to follow her on Instagram and Facebook!