When you hit the road for a cross-town drive or weekend jaunt, chances are you’ll forget to pack one of the most important things of all: your lunch!
That’s why stopping for food along the way often means loading up on sodas, sugary snacks and high-fat meals. On your next road trip, don’t let nutrition fly out the window. You can eat well while on the go; just think before you eat.
When selecting snacks at the convenience store, forgo the bag of chips, candy bar or sweetened soda and look for healthier choices. Grab some pretzels or whole-wheat crackers. At home, pack a baggie of cereal along with small amounts of nuts and dried fruits. Wash it down with water, 100 percent juice, or nonfat or low-fat milk.
To limit the times you stop for meals, plan ahead. Pack a small cooler with foods that are easy to eat in the car. You also can stop at a roadside park and enjoy them picnic-style. Here are some ideas:
* Peanut butter or almond butter and jelly sandwiches made with whole-wheat bread.
* Sliced apples, peaches, baby carrots and cucumbers.
* Fat-free or reduced fat yogurts.
* Reduced fat string cheese.
* Hummus-filled pita bread.
* Peeled hard-boiled eggs.
* Turkey and tomato sandwiches.
Can’t resist stopping at those roadside diners or fast food restaurants? Follow these tips for ordering food that is quick and good for you, too:
* Skip “value-sized meals.” Opt for a grilled chicken sandwich or a plain, small burger and order the smallest size offered.
* Use mustard, ketchup or hot sauce instead of mayonnaise.
* Avoid fried foods or remove breading from fried chicken, which can cut half the fat.
* Order garden or grilled chicken salads with light or reduced calorie dressings.
* Choose water, nonfat or low-fat milk, or a small glass of 100 percent juice instead of soda.