Healthy Food Choices for When You're on the Road

Summer is here, the kids are out of school, and it's time for a road trip. Fun! But what about your diet? Or just your health in general? When traveling, we're often only left with fast food and convenience stores for meal options, and we all know how notoriously unhealthy they can be. But it doesn't have to be! Even the 7-11 in the middle of the desert will likely have at least one healthy(ish) option, and you can always bring food from home! 

Travel Snacks From Home

When deciding what to bring from home, you not only want healthy options, but foods that are temperature and "squish" resistant. A hot mushy banana that's been sitting in the car all day may be nutritious, but no one is going to want to eat it! Here are some healthy options that you can pack on your next road trip:

  • Fresh fruits and veggies (baby carrots, oranges, apples, sugar snap peas etc.)
  • Dried and freeze dried fruits
  • Nuts and seeds, or trail mix without chocolate (delicious, but a mess if it melts!)
  • string cheese (they sometimes have a tendency to "sweat", but they're still good)
  • Pretzels and whole grain crackers 
  • Individual peanut butter and/or hummus cups
  • Applesauce pouches
  • and of course..WATER

Convenience Store Options

Most convenience stores are actually getting much better with providing healthier snack options. Many gas stations have began offering fresh fruits, veggies, and many of the other snacks listed above. Obviously if you can bring them from home, you will likely save a lot of money, but it's nice knowing that there are still options! Plus, for longer road trips, you can stop in for refrigerated items and eat them right away, without worrying about them going bad or getting hot from sitting in the car.

  • any of the snacks listed above
  • jerky (not the healthiest snack, but high in protein and filling!)
  • greek yogurt
  • protein bars and other whole grain snack bars
  • hard boiled eggs
  • coffee for those long, late night trips ;)
  • and again...WATER

Fast Food Options

Obviously fast food is not the ideal choice, but when you're on the road, sometimes its the only option for a real meal. Don't fret though, there are still plenty of relatively healthy options at most fast food restaurants! And when in doubt, don't be afraid to custom order. Choose lean meats that are grilled vs fried, lots of (steamed) veggies if possible, and dressing/sauces on the side. Here are a few examples of healthier fast food options you can get while on the road:

  • McDonald's
    • Artisan Grilled Chicken Sandwich
    • Egg White Delight McMuffin
    • Fruit and Maple Oatmeal
    • apple slices, cuties, side salad
  • Denny's 
  • Burger King
    • TenderGrill Chicken Sandwich, no mayo
    • Morningstar Veggie Burger, no mayo
    • Garden Grilled Chicken Salad
  • Starbucks
    • Black coffee/unsweetened tea
    • Hearty Blueberry Oatmeal
    • Spinach and  Feta Breakfast Wrap
    • Zesty Chicken and Black Bean Salad Bowl

These are just a few of the many choices out there for healthy road trip foods. But as always, the trip is about having FUN. Don't stress about your diet too much, just enjoy the time you have with friends, family, and loved ones :)