We are currently on the longest road trip we’ve ever been on (23 days). We are taking Trip 5 from my ebook, How to Visit All 50 States in 12 Trips and I’m writing this from the beautiful state of Utah. It will take a while for me to blog about all the amazing places we’ve visited, but for a preview, please follow my Facebook page where I’ve been posting pictures. Speaking of being too busy to blog right now, I am thrilled that Motoring.com.au supplied this sponsored post with some tips for eating well on the road, a subject that is very timely for me.
Tips for Eating Well on the Road
Requests for junk food are amplified when you’re travelling with kids on a cross-country road trip. At every rest stop, you’ll be bombarded with temptations like chips, candy, and soda on the way to the restroom. Not to mention traditional treats along the way like fried foods at county fairs! It’s fine to indulge a little, but if you load up on junk for days at a time you’ll end up with your children bouncing around the backseat on sugar highs and complaining of tummy aches later. It is more than possible to stick to your normal healthy diet on a road trip, with a combination of flexibility, creativity, and organization.
Let the whole family help plan snacks and meals.
A good way to encourage healthy eating on the road is to allow your kids to contribute to meal planning. Give each child a lunchbox of their own to fill with sensible snacks, including options like fresh fruit, veggies, crackers, dips, cheese, and granola bars. You can prepare larger meals in advance, such as sandwiches and potato salad for picnics. Pack some instant oatmeal or dehydrated soups to make use of hot water facilities in areas with not too many other options.
Research your route.
It’s one thing to stock up on healthy snacks before you leave, but you’ll also need to think about how to refuel along the way. Spend a bit of time researching what’s available in the way of grocery stores, restaurants, and cafes before you depart, so that you can plan to stop where healthy food will be available. This can be difficult in long stretches of highway in the west, but even small towns usually have a local café with a few fresh options to choose from.
Invest in a good cooler.
When you’re selecting a vehicle, don’t neglect to look at how much storage space is available. Cup holders and storage cubbies in the car can help keep the backseat tidy for days on end, but you should also make sure there’s room for a sizeable cooler to keep food fresh and cold. You can do your research by using sources like this Ford Ranger review with Motoring.com.au to see how storage space measures up in different vehicles.
Eat in the open air.
There’s nothing like the feeling of stretching your legs and breathing in the fresh air when you make a pit stop on a road trip. Let the kids burn off excess energy by planning on stopping at rest areas with picnic tables and play parks. Pack picnic-friendly fare like healthy sandwiches, salads, and fruit to make the most of the outdoor surroundings, and get a short walk in if you can. A bit of exercise will help you endure another couple of hours in the car.
Make the most of sit-down mealtimes.
If your budget allows it, aim to stop and have a real, sit-down meal at least once a day. There’s nothing like the restorative power of a good hot meal at the end of a long day of sight-seeing. Look for healthy alternatives to French fries and double cheeseburgers. Even at fast food restaurants you can usually choose a healthy side like a baked potato or cup of fruit, while grilled chicken and fish fill you up with protein.
Splurging on treats every now and then is all part of the fun of a road trip vacation. Yet with a bit of planning, you can enjoy your treats while staying on course with nutrient-rich, fresh, and healthy dining options!