Summer is the time to get out on the open road and travel. If you plan on embarking on a road trip this summer, then prepare with some healthy road trip food built for the open road.
Over the past few years, I have been lucky enough to set aside time to travel the continent (Toronto, Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, Texas, the Southeast and New England) by car. While I actually don’t own a car, nothing beats traveling the country in one.
One of the big problems that always arise for me on road trips is with road trip food. Too often, the best road trip food consists of fast food and gas station finds. Even for non healthy eaters, this diet gets burdensome by the end of a long trip. However, it doesn’t have to be this way! Here are some tips, tricks and recipes to ensure that you actually have healthy road trip food on hand.
Road Trip Snacks
Inevitably, if you are in a car for long periods of time getting from place to place, you’re going to want to snack. This is fine, so long as you’re smart about it. Either way, I like to prepare myself with healthy road trip food for snacking before I leave. For road trips, I like to stock up on roasted nuts (unsalted), no sugar added dried fruit and homemade granola (my personal favorite!). In a pinch, these healthy shelf stable snacks fill me up in the car or after a hike without excess sugar or salt. Of course, staying hydrated with plenty of water is a must on road trips, even if it means taking a few extra stops.
Make your own healthy road trip snacks with these recipes:
- Nut and Raisin Granola
- Quaker Oat Granola
- High Fiber Energy Bars
- Cranberry Pear Oatmeal Power Bars
Healthy Road Trip Ideas for Lunch
Depending on how far you are traveling, bringing healthy food for lunch is a snap. Road trips provide the perfect opportunity for picnicking! Whether at highway rest stop or somewhere further off the beaten path, finding a park or picnic area is a breeze. Pack along some portable lunch recipes, and complete your meal with some fruit, a salad and some cookies for dessert. The ultimate road trip sandwich, for me, is the old peanut butter and jelly, but canned tuna sandwiches are also great.
Healthy Road Trip Ideas for Dinner and Breakfast
This can be a little tricky, as it is often too easy to stop at a chain restaurant or a diner for a meal. These are tasty options, but be sure to read the menus carefully to make sure you know what you are eating. The best option is to do some research on the places you are traveling to in order to find some inexpensive restaurants and grocery stores with healthy options. Of course, you can always stick with some granola in the morning and some no cook meals at night to make sure you’re eating well on the road.
Since my road trips usually involve a lot of camping and hiking, I have more options for breakfast and dinner. I can cook burgers (or veggie burgers) or sausages over the campfire for dinner, and then I can whip up breakfast over a camping stove if desired as well. Here are some of my favorite recipes that are easy to make over a campfire:
- 10 Minute Beef Chili
- Potato and Cabbage Soup
- Chuckwagon Stew
- Whole Wheat Buttermilk Pancakes
Your turn: What are your tips and tricks for eating well when traveling?