Here are some tips for eating healthy and staying safe during your family vacation!
Pack a Cooler
The number 1 tip for eating healthy during travels is to pack a cooler for picnic lunches and healthy snacks. Rather than going to a fast food restaurant for your lunch, stop at a rest stop or scenic park and have a picnic! Pack whole grain bread, lean sliced meats, peanut butter, yogurt, veggies, hummus, fruits, etc. Picnicking not only provides a healthier lunch option but it allows adults and kids alike to stretch and play.
Be sure to keep fresh ice in your cooler so everything stays nice and cold!
Healthy Car Snacks
Rather than buying the usual chips and candy bars for car snacks, pack foods that are healthy and more filling. Grapes, dried fruit & nut trail mixes, yogurt, and whole grain crackers all make for easy and filling snacks. Items like potato chips and candy bars are easy to mindlessly snack on leading to an upset stomach. Road trip ruiner!
Have Frequent Stops
Every family seems to have that one person who needs to stop for the bathroom all the time. This is not a bad thing! Stopping every couple of hours allows everyone to get out of the car and move around. It’s easy to be sedentary during long trips, however, being active is still very important. Take frequent stops and take a walk around the rest stop, bring along a frisbee for a few minutes of play time, or even just do basic curb side stretches.
Indulge in Wise Choices
Being healthy on your vacation doesn’t mean you have to picnic for every meal. When eating out at restaurants, making healthy choices can be simple and equally as delicious! Some examples include ordering the local or fresh fish, choose seasonal veggies over fries, or share your favorite entree with a family member. If you decide to enjoy a dessert, ask for multiple spoons and share that amazing molten chocolate lava cake!
Stay Healthy Inside and Out!
Traveling in general can be hard on our systems. Getting sick during a vacation can happen whether it be a foodborne illness, travelers diarrhea, or a common cold. Here are some tips to avoid illness during your much needed vacation!
- Ensure all family members are washing hands after using public restrooms and prior to eating.
- Avoid buffets and salad bars as they tend to be common places to contract a foodborne illness.
- Keep fresh ice in your cooler to ensure all cold food stays below 41 degrees F.
- Wear sunblock daily and insect repellent as needed for skin protection.
- Take a daily probiotic before, during, and after traveling to avoid uncomfortable changes in bowel habits. Speak with your doctor or dietitian for recommendations on the best probiotic for you.
- Don’t forget to pack your regular prescription medications! Forgetting any regular medications will not only put a damper on the vacation but could be life threatening for some individuals with chronic medical conditions.
Post by: Abby Douglas, RD, LD