Backseat shot of passenger in car with tomatoes in a tupperware on his lap, healthy road trip snack concept

From Sharp Health News, a publication of Sharp HealthCare

Do you have a family vacation or road trip coming up? If so, it’s possible to stay on track with your health goals while still enjoying your favorite foods — and your adventure.

Try these top tips for choosing healthy and filling snacks and meals while traveling.

Pack easy snacks for the car ride.

It takes very little time to pack a cooler with smart snacks. And you can save money by shopping ahead.

The key when picking your snacks is making sure it is a combination of a protein and either a fruit, veggie or carb — the protein and fiber will help you feel full for longer.

Try these tasty treats:

  • Peanut butter and jelly on a slice of whole-grain bread, and a banana
  • Hummus with bell peppers, cucumbers, carrots and any other favorite veggies
  • A handful of mixed nuts and an orange
  • An apple and peanut butter
  • Celery and peanut butter
  • Edamame seasoned with spices of your choice
  • String cheese and cherries
  • Tuna (if you have access to a cooler or will eat this within two to four hours) and crackers
  • Yogurt (if you have access to a cooler or will eat this within two to four hours) and berries

If you’re really craving something savory and crunchy, buy small, single-serving bags and eat just one with a piece of fruit. And don’t forget to drink lots of water to maintain hydration as you go.

Select healthier options when eating out.

It can be a challenge eating a healthy diet while on vacation. Choose these healthier alternatives — lower in fat and calories, and higher in fiber and nutrients — when eating at restaurants:

  • Pick a hamburger instead of a cheeseburger.
  • Choose broth-based soups rather than cream-based soups.
  • Select a dessert with fruit instead of high-sugar options — and ask for more fruit.
  • Ask for skinless chicken instead of chicken with skin.
  • Order grilled food instead of fried food.
  • Order pasta with a red sauce instead of a white sauce.
  • Add extra veggies instead of creamy sauces to sandwiches and burgers.
  • Ask for added butter, sauce and dressing on the side instead of on each item.
  • Order salad as an appetizer rather than bread or something fried, high-sodium or high-fat.
  • Choose water, coffee, tea, fruit juice, milk and low-calorie drinks over alcohol, especially when driving.

Remember, it’s all about moderation. What’s most important is focusing on the joy of being on vacation with your family and friends.

The VEBA Resource Center offers many Cooking & Nutrition Classes. Join us to learn how to blend the art of food and cooking with the science of medicine to optimize your overall health and wellness – all while having fun! Check out our calendar to sign up for an upcoming class.