Road trip!!! Whether it’s an epic cross-country journey or a few hours’ drive down to the coast, road trips are a great way to explore the country. All you really need is a tank of gas, a map app, and some good tunes. But being on the road can have its set of challenges when it comes to healthy eating. Fast-food restaurants. Rest stop vending machines. Convenience stores. You know the drill. However, with a bit of planning, you can eat better while travelling. So, before you call shotgun, read our six tips for healthy eating on the road.
#1: Make a healthy eating plan and prepare a “survival kit”
Eating healthily on the road can be a challenge. No matter how much we swear we won’t eat poorly, we almost inevitably end up eating junk. After all, it’s convenient, fast and readily available. However, eating poorly usually leads to fatigue, headaches, grumpiness and an upset stomach. With a bit of planning, healthy eating is easier than you think. Think about travel-friendly snacks and meals. Buy things that are easy to pack, aren’t messy (especially if you have kids) and fit into a cooler. Prepare snacks and meals the night before so you are ready to go in the morning.
????Tip: put a sticky note on your luggage so you don’t forget your food.
You will also need to pack a “survival kit”. This includes essentials like a picnic blanket, utensils, napkins or wet wipes, a proper knife and hand sanitizer.
#2: A few snack and meal ideas for healthy eating on the road
Pack fruits, veggies, hummus, nuts, hard-boiled eggs, single serve cheeses, trail mix, granola. There are many snacks options to help keep you full and energized on your travels. Plus, these snacks are also good for your oral health so your teeth will thank you later!
????Tip: stop at roadside fruit and vegetable stands, they are great for purchasing fresh, local and healthy snacks.
For meals, sandwiches are our go-to as they are the easiest to prepare and pack. However, we recommend avoiding soft sandwich bread as it tends to get soggy. Instead, choose heartier varieties like baguettes, Kaiser rolls, or even tortilla wraps. Check out these five-ingredient road trip-friendly sandwich ideas.
#3: Drink plenty of water and avoid too much caffeine
While long trips will likely leave you tired, try to limit your caffeine intake. Of course, a good cup of coffee can help you stay alert. But do not overdo it, as coffee can make you jittery and stressed out. Staying hydrated is also key to staying healthy and feeling good. Water will help you digest, stay energized and prevent headaches caused by dehydration.
????Tip: electric coolers are a great way to keep plenty of fresh cool drinks on hand.
#4: Crossing the border? Check what you can bring.
Healthy eating is important but not all foods can be brought across the border. If you are travelling to the United States or into Canada, consult their border protection agencies to see which foods are prohibited.
#5: Make healthier choices at restaurants
Your commitment to healthy eating should not stop you from enjoying a meal out. After all diners, roadside restaurants or even fast-food chains are part of the North American road trip experience. Here are a few tips to help you make better choices:
- Check the calorie count on the menu and order accordingly
- Order a side salad or baked potato instead of fries
- Pick lighter salad dressings such as vinaigrette or Italian dressing
- Choose foods that are grilled or baked not fried
- Skip the mayonnaise on your burger
- Avoid the high sugar sodas and drink water instead
#6: Move around and don’t neglect your oral health
Travelling can definitely take its toll on your health. If you spend long periods in the car, it’s important to move around and stretch out your legs every so often. Keep blood flowing with these easy to do exercises. And do not forget about your oral health. Chew sugarless gum and eat foods that are good for your teeth. Don’t forget to pack a travel toothbrush, toothpaste and a mini floss dispenser. After all proper oral hygiene is important for your overall health.
Healthy eating on the road is easier than you may think. With a bit of planning, you can be well on your way to eating better, feeling better and sleeping better while away. Remember there are many foods that are not only good for your health but also your oral health. For your oral health, don’t forget to visit your dentist for a complete exam of your teeth,gums and mouth. Make an appointment today with one of our dentists. In the meantime, safe travels!