Wellness Club — Tips for Eating Healthier on (Socially Distant) Vacations

Wellness Club — Tips for Eating Healthier on (Socially Distant) Vacations
Abingdon, VA. - Wednesday, Jul 1, 2020.

Written by: Elizabeth Hall, MS, RDN, LDN, Food City Registered Dietitian

Although traveling looks different now, many are hitting the road for a socially distant vacation. When it comes to maintaining a healthful eating plan, you can still enjoy new, exciting, and convenient foods that come with traveling without feeling bad about eating differently than normal. With a little planning, your meals and snacks can stay delicious and balanced to make sure you get the nutrients and energy that are often lacking during a road trip. Try these tips for eating healthier on the road.

Focus on Fruits and Vegetables
Produce is often underrepresented at meals during vacation. To get your fruits and vegetables in, try packing a cooler with cut broccoli florets, carrot or celery sticks, and apple and orange slices for snacks. All forms of fruits and vegetables count, so if a cooler is inconvenient, try boxed 100-percent fruit juice, canned tomato juice, or boxes of raisins and other dried fruits.

Pack Balanced Snacks
Don’t forget about other food groups too, like high fiber carbohydrates and lean proteins. Pack nutrient-dense, shelf-stable options like whole grain cereal, trail mix, popcorn, single-serve applesauce, nuts, and seeds.

Stop at the Supermarket
For healthier meals, stop by the supermarket for grab and go items from the Deli. Pick up a pre-made salad, along with some deli meat, whole wheat bread, and sliced cheese for making sandwiches. Grab a yogurt parfait or hummus cup for a snack or side dish. Preparing your own meals with these whole ingredients allows you to have more control over added sodium and fat, which is often much higher in fast food options. Stay hydrated too by keeping plenty of bottled water in the car and limiting sugary beverages.

Remember Food Safety
If you do pack a cooler, be sure to keep your treats safe by not letting perishable food sit unrefrigerated for more than two hours. Remember your cooler should stay at or below 40 degrees Fahrenheit. If it’s hot outside, place coolers and lunch bags in the back seat instead of the trunk, since the environment tends to be cooler in the car with the air conditioning.