August is time for tank tops, tan lines, cookouts, slowing down, a lax schedule — and road trips! According to AAA, two-thirds of American adults will take the time to get away in summer. And, while car troubles definitely top the list of road trip fails, where and what to eat can be a cause for concern, too!
Here are three tips to tackle road trips without giving up on a balanced lifestyle.
Don't Settle for Unhealthy Options
Grabbing a big bag of munchies can make for an easy car snack, but it can also cause portions and calories to soar. Avoid this common bump in the road by opting for pre-portioned snacks and beverages. Single-serving options will keep the car clean and your calories in check. Look for 100-calorie snack bags of crackers or nuts, nut-based energy or granola bars, and plenty of water or portion-controlled sizes of your favorite flavored beverage.
Stock Your Cooler
Making homemade to-go munchies is easier than you think. Try some of the following ideas and stock your clean cooler (stored in the air-conditioned car, not the trunk) when necessary before you hit the road:
- Trail mix made with unsalted nuts and unsweetened dried fruit
- Frozen fruit with low-fat frozen yogurt
- Savory snack packs made with reduced-fat cheese cubes, whole-grain crackers and fresh-cut veggies
- Nut butter "crackers": make a nut butter sandwich between two apple slices and sprinkle with cinnamon
Not only are these choices nutrient-rich, their fiber and protein will also keep you feeling full until you reach your destination.
Pack fresh produce that already has been washed and cut for easy consumption. This way, if you make a pit stop to refuel (your car and your stomach), you can purchase a sandwich and pair it with a healthy side of fruit or vegetables instead of chips or fries.