Health Tripping: Convenient and Healthy Snacks for Your Summer Road Trip
There’s nothing quite like the experience of packing your bags into the car, getting the kids secured into the car seats and driving out to explore what undiscovered roads have to offer. A road trip can be an exciting part of your family’s summer vacation; however, your digestive system may not agree. While road trips are great for adventures, our bodies can often suffer. It is easy to choose convenience over health while on the road especially when the kids are tired and hungry. Many families rely on fast food, and unhealthy snacks to get through summer road travels, but these choices take a toll.
Popular processed snacks can be filled with saturated fat, which has been shown to increase the risk of cardiovascular disease and cause weight gain. Other common road snacks also have a tendency to be packed with processed sugars which are known to cause energy spikes and weight gain, leading to other unpleasant health effects and a loss in energy overall.
It’s important to enjoy and feel recharged by summer road trips, rather than feel unwell or tired and heavy because of them. The solution? Come prepared with convenient and healthy foods on your next trip.
Don’t Leave Home Without These Essentials
Before you pack up the car, take time to prepare to stay satiated and healthy on the road. A little preparation goes a long way in saving money, and having healthy options. Some things to consider bringing include:
Cooler and Ice - to keep perishable food cool and safe
Thermos - to keep cold liquids cold and hot liquids hot
Glass Jars and Containers - for storage and added insulation
Reusable Water Bottles (and reusable straws) – to fill up with water or other beverages
Sporks - you can eat anything with this ‘spoon and fork combo’ and they also save space
Bowls - likewise, you can eat anything out of a bowl, but not off a plate
Bento-boxes – a great way to pack snacks for the little ones in nice easy-to-eat compartments.
Antioxidant-Filled Iced Teas
Iced tea is loaded with antioxidants which have all kinds of health benefits and can help with energy boosting. Plus there’s nothing like sipping a drink on the road! Instead of loading up on soft drinks, or sugar-loaded specialty drinks, consider packing a thermos with your favorite iced tea to keep it cool!
Home Grown Leftovers
If what you’re eating at home is already healthy, you don’t have to leave it there. Store some of the kids’ favorite foods (especially if they can be enjoyed cold), and feast on them while on the road. Make sure you stop at parks along the way and have yourself a family-friendly picnic (cut up veggies, hummus, and sandwiches). Choose a spot somewhere the kids have never been before. Use a recipe of your own, or get inspiration from one of our recipes.
Yummy, Creamy Smoothies
Smoothies are the perfect way to take your fruits and veggies to go. A cold drink can be a great way to cool down on a summer day. Blend your favourite ingredients and store in a cooler. When you’re ready to drink, sprinkle in some chia seeds to add some omega-3.
Nuts. Grains. Seeds. Not Just for the Birds
A great alternative to unhealthy snacks are nuts, grains and seeds. Create your own trail mix by combining nuts, grains and dried fruit into a healthy snack you can eat while you drive. Cutting stopping time on your journey and giving you a health boost in the process.
If you need to stock up along the way, make note of farmer’s markets on your route so you can take time to enjoy. Not only is organic cleaner, it also reduces pollution and is healthier for local farming communities.
Finger foods are another way to get kids to enjoy nutritious snacks. Pack some veggies and hummus in a bento box reusable container so you can share the vitamin-packed goodness with the entire family.
Probiotics: The Good-for-You Bacteria
If you have room to bring a cooler along, be sure to pack it full of foods with probiotics, which are essential for a healthy gut. Your stomach is going to feel the negative effects of a road trip the most, so ensure it stays healthy with lots of good-bacteria. Pack some probiotic yogurt in the cooler or kombucha in the thermos. If your gut acts up, probiotics will be your best friend.
Just because you’re taking a vacation, doesn’t mean you need to skip out on your regular health habits. Keep up your energy and vitamin intake up with supplements. There are many options out there, so consult your doctor or naturopath before your next trip to make sure you will be covered.
Trust your gut and treat it nicely on your next road trip. That means taking a little extra time to pack your cooler and plan ahead with all these healthy options - so you can come back feeling satiated and just like your usual self. For more tips to give you the healthiest family vacation, you can read here! Visit your nearest local CHFA health food retailer for to stock up. Happy and healthy travels!