When talking about road trips, perhaps Clark Griswold, Chevy Chase’s character in the movie “National Lampoon’s Vacation” said it best: “half the fun is getting there!” No question, road trips can be a wonderful family bonding experience, but they can also pose nutritional challenges as well.
For those of you getting ready for one last four-wheeled hurrah before sending the kids back to school, remember, you don’t have to eat at every roadside fast food restaurant just because you happen to be on the road. We recently corralled our troops and headed to Michigan to visit family and made a point to pack a cooler with plenty of healthy snacks. Not only did we save some money (and who doesn’t want to do that these days?), but we also ate pretty well.
With that, here are a few of the items you may want to pack prior to hitting the interstate:
- Apple Slices — Take a few minutes to split some apples and put the slices in a plastic baggie. Be sure to throw in some peanut butter as well and you’ve got a quick and healthy treat that the kids will enjoy.
- Individually Packaged Pretzels — Okay, I keep an eye on things like grams of fat, so I prefer pretzels to potato chips (although Baked Lays potato chips work as well. The key here is portion control. Pack enough to satisfy, but not so much that it will substitute a meal.
- Sandwiches — Seems we forget about these with the boom of fast food, but I’m a proponent of some good deli meat or even an old PBJ (peanut butter and jelly for those of you who may not remember!). Heaven knows once you get to your destination, there will probably be plenty of opportunities to eat burgers and fries.
- Fruit Roll Ups — Betty Crocker fruit roll ups are actually made with real fruit, with lots of vitamin C. They’re virtually fat free and sodium free.
- Bottled Water — It’s not that I’m a “no fun” mom, but let’s face it, kids loading up on a bunch of sugary drinks and sitting in a car for hours isn’t exactly complimentary!
Also, as a public service announcement, remember to buckle up and when the road gets bumpy, just remember to be thankful that “Aunt Edna” isn’t riding in your car.