Eating healthy while on the road can be a challenge. With unfamiliar stops along the way and a destination on the horizon, healthy eating is often the last thing on our minds. Fortunately, with a little planning, prep, and research you can enjoy your trip and feel great!
1. Plan Ahead
There are three main items to consider when meal planning your meals for a road trip.
- The Length of Your Drive
Is your drive short enough that you’ll only need a few snacks to get you by, or are you planning to tough it out on the road for breakfast, lunch, and dinner?
- The Time of Day
Will there be any restaurants, grocery stores or cafe’s open during the hours your driving? Cause no one likes being stuck in a small town at 1 am with nothing to eat but day-old hot dogs from a 24-hour convenience store… yuck!
- The Route Your Planning to Take
What kind of stops will there be along the way? If you’re driving on a route that’s more remote you might need to pack all your snacks and meals. If you’re hopping between cities and towns you might want to check out some of the local watering holes, like cafes and farmers markets.
Say hello to Google Maps, your new best (foodie) friend. Knowing where to find healthy food and how to get there is the key to avoiding unhealthy fast food joints and convenience stores. Use it to research cafes, organic produce stands, and health food stores along the way. Taking some extra time to research where you can find healthy food in advance can be a real lifesaver when your body start to run low on fuel.
Taking 10 to 20-minutes to prep snacks and meals before you leave home is a great way to ensure your eating healthy throughout your trip. Whip up a quick salad, chop some veggies to dip into hummus, or pack the fixings for a tasty wrap or sandwich. Trust me it’s totally worth the effort. Not only will your food be car-ready (less potential for spills means a safer drive), but you’ll also have fresh, healthy food at your fingertips whenever hunger strikes.
Road Trip Friendly Meal Ideas:
- Hummus with veggies, sliced pitas or naan bread
- Chopped veggies – carrots, cucumber, celery, broccoli, cauliflower, grape/cherry tomatoes, pea pods. Wash and pre-cut your veggies then store them in easily accessible containers so you can eat them while driving.
- Fruit – cherries, grapes, apples, and bananas are all car friendly
- Granola bars (Hazelnut Mocha Granola Bars)
- Healthy homemade muffins and baked goods (Ginger Pear Muffins)
- Nuts or trail mix
- Tortilla chips or popcorn
Lunch & Dinner
- Hearty salads – Try layering your salad ingredients into mason jars with your salad dressing at the bottom to avoid a soggy mess.
- Wraps or sandwiches – Pack your ingredients separately and then assemble them when you’re ready to eat. This will ensure a fresh, un-soggy wrap/sandwich.
- Gazpacho (no warming needed), or soup (in a thermos)
- Homemade iced tea
- Tea bags – Most coffee shops and gas stations will fill your go-mug with hot water for free!
I hope you’ll find these tips helpful when planning your next road trip! Please feel free to share your favourite road trip snacks, meal ideas, and recipes in the comments below.