This is the first part of a series on eating well while traveling. Today segment will revolve around eating well while in the car. In other segments I’ll discuss eating well in hotels, restaurants, etc.
Do you struggle to eat well while traveling? It can be difficult but it isn’t impossible even while navigating multiple food allergies and eating a plant-based diet.
Eating Well on the Road Part 1
With proper planning you can eat well while on the road. I’m not saying that you have to eat 100% healthy, we tend to buy special snacks for road trips but you don’t have to hit every drive-thru and gas station for food along the way.
I highly recommend a cooler or two if you have the room. We typically have a small cooler and a box for non-perishable snacks that we can easily reach. I also like to keep small cups that can be filled and refilled to pass back to my kids.
Fresh Fruit and Veggies
It may sound boring but fresh fruit and veggies can help with the car ride munchies. I prefer to buy pre-sliced or bite-sized options when possible. On our most recent road trip we packed blueberries, cherries (only for adults because the pits are choking hazards), apples, oranges, peaches, nectarines, grapes, and broccoli. Carrots and bananas are other easy options but my little guy can’t handle those right now. I was too busy to slice up cucumbers and bell peppers but those would have been great options.
Don’t underestimate the power of sandwiches. If you are traveling 100s of miles without real food a sandwich can be your best friend. We used to freeze sandwiches before a trip and let them thaw as we traveled. Now I usually just make them right before we leave. This time I used GF bread for my 2 year old and whole wheat bread for the rest of us along with sunflower seed butter with jelly. You could make a good ol PB&J if you prefer.
If you are already packing sliced veggies you might as well pack some tortillas too. With tortillas you can make a quick wrap. I’ve seen (but haven’t tried) small packages of hummus that is doesn’t need to be refrigerated.
We are snackers when we travel. We alternate between sweet and salty often. I’m not condoning this behavior I’m just admitting it. To keep us from buying Doritos and Little Debbie’s I made sure we had a full box of “healthier” snacks. I had applesauce pouches, every variety of granola bar I could find, air popped pop corn, fruit strips, lollipops, tortilla chips, roasted chickpeas and dried fruit. I’m sure there were other snacks as well but these are the ones I remember. Normally I’d throw in some chocolate too but I didn’t want it to melt.
We also drink a lot while we travel. I always carry a reusable water bottle (it isn’t pretty but I need my water) for me and my boys. I also bought a large pack of water bottles because I’m quite the water snob and can’t handle yucky tasting water. We also brought a few Zevia Soda’s in case we needed an extra boost. My husband loves them but I still haven’t found a flavor I love yet. Of course coffee is highly sought after by me so we packed a coffee creamer in our cooler.
Do you have a favorite food to eat in the car (or on a long plane ride)? In the coming weeks I’ll offer tips for eating well in the hotel and how to search for restaurants that will cater to your needs.