Source: Courier Post.com
William Branch and Lori Jones take many road trips with their son, 10, and daughter, 3. Jones worries about the kids receiving proper nutrition while driving to their destination. “If we are going to be health-conscious while on a road trip, I have to be proactive.”
April Schetler, director of nutrition for Virtua, says, “I like to follow the 80/20 rule. Eighty percent of the time we should focus on eating whole, fresh, colorful foods, the other 20 percent of the time we can have fun.”
1. Bring snacks — Schetler advises families to bring their own healthy snacks to enjoy when the munchies strike while driving. She suggests apples, nuts, bottles of flavored seltzer water or plain water, and other foods that don’t need refrigeration but boost energy.
2. Share scrumptious sweets — “Enjoy a dessert together as a family,” she says. “If eating on the go, choose one dessert off the menu and share it. Everyone gets to enjoy a treat without packing on the extra calories and sugar found in most sweets.”
3. Keep exercising — Long hours in the car can lead to stiff joints and sleepy passengers (and drivers). Keep exercising and moving while having fun, by turning rest stops into a game. “Stop every 100 miles and do 10 jumping jacks. Stop every 50 miles and walk for five minutes to shake out those legs. It doesn’t have to be boring, getting everyone involved will make it fun.”
4. Be picky when ordering fast food — Choose lighter menu items to ward off the sluggishness that comes with fat- and salt-laden meals, says Schetler. Most chain restaurants offer grilled chicken or fish sandwiches, salads with lean proteins such as eggs or chicken, yogurt and fruit parfaits and more.
5. Watch portions — “When we are on road trips we naturally eat out a lot,” says Schetler. “Restaurants have many offerings that sound like a great deal – bottomless fries, over-sized sodas, desserts with meals, etc. While bottomless fries sound like a great idea, they won’t taste any better if you have 100 or 10. Enjoy some and move on. Keep portions in check by choosing normal/standard-size menu items and resist thinking that more is better.”
6. Say no to “extras” — Try to choose just one “extra” during meal time, she says. Instead of having an appetizer, cocktail and dessert with your meal, just select one of these items. “We probably don’t need all of them, but there’s nothing wrong with choosing one,” says Schetler.