Eating real food while on vacation to maintain a healthy lifestyle can be tricky – especially if you’re on a road trip. Eating out for every meal can be expensive, too. With a little preparation, eating real food wherever you’re traveling can keep health a priority and keep the costs down.
- core apples and slice for quick eating, dipping or spreading
- carrots and celery are always great for dipping and munching
- green beans, snap peas in still in their pods, and cucumbers are also good for packing
If you’ve got time and a cooler, here are some tasty and easy dips to make.
- Sour Cream Chipotle Sauce – chips, veggies, burritos or tacos – yum!
- Smoked Salmon Spread – perfect on crackers or bread – it’s a meal
- Cream Cheesy Garlic Spread – skip the store bought and try this super easy recipe!
- Cheddar Curry Spread – so tasty and garlicky
- Greek Yogurt Dill Dip – grab a spoon – you’ll want it!
- White Bean Dip with Roasted Garlic – little different than hummus and a good base for sandwiches
- Water: A water container and cups or water bottles for each person. When our kids were little, I’d keep a thermos of water in my backpack and carry small plastic cups. Small cups also help if kids haven’t mastered the drinking fountain if you’re traveling with young children.
- Peanut butter: Don’t leave home without it. Peanut butter (or your nut butter of choice) is an easy lunch with bread and fruit. It’s an instant picnic and no one will starve with a quick peanut butter sandwich. Don’t try to carry on peanut butter on an airplane. It doesn’t pass the TSA screening and I nearly cried when I watched my organic peanut butter jar get tossed into the garbage can on a trip not too long ago. (Local food banks should have a donation bins at every airport for just this reason!) If checking luggage, tuck it in there. If only bringing carry-on (very smart of you! ), just buy some when you arrive at your destination.
- Wooden knife: OK, it’s not really a knife but is more of a spreader but it works to cut most items or is it more of a dig into most items? Either way its useful when spreading peanut butter or for slicing soft cheeses. It also gets through security at the airport so let’s call it a spreader, shall we?
- Dried fruit: Dried fruit fills in for us if we’re camping and can’t hit a market and we need something from the fruit and vegetable food group. Be sure to check ingredients on the packaging if buying. Often times, sweeteners and preservatives are added.
That’s my routine for keeping my family fed on the go – and out of fast food joints or restaurants. Not always fancy but satisfying and healthy. We’re back on the go quickly, too.
What food do you always pack when traveling? How do you stay healthy on a road trip or vacation?
Go Gingham related links:
After school snacks that involve beans – and no small packages
Egg salad sandwiches – you’ll wish you had chickens
Homemade granola – easy – made with molasses
4 thoughts on “Real Food Eating While on the Go”
Great ideas! I know, because I use many of them. 😉 My in-laws live 8-10 hours away (depends on how bad traffic is through Chicago … ) and we have found that when we are hungry, we are surrounded by cornfields with nary a restaurant in sight. It’s sooo much easier and cheaper to bring healthy snacks and to pack a lunch. The other benefit to bringing dried fruit, besides not having to worry about spoilage, is that it doesn’t take up much room–important when space is at a premium!
Cheese and nuts are high-protein foods that I also like to bring. I frequently bring homemade granola bars as well–yes, these are higher in sugar, but they are sturdy, minimally messy, and made with oatmeal and peanut butter, so I feel like my family gets a fun snack that has sneaky health benefits to it.
Your road trips sound like ours! 🙂
Maybe you should share that granola bar recipe of yours here ~
plus, I’m quite sure anything homemade has less sugar than store bought! Pretty much anything made at home is better than pre-packaged – I think.
We eat a LOT of nuts and dried fruit here. Do you have a dehydrator? I found one at an estate sale and we love it! Talk about space saving – yes indeed.
Thanks for writing in, Kris. Happy summer travels to you ~
Great tips. My friends always laugh at me because I never go on a trip without snacks, but they usually end up sharing them, too! Having some snacks on hand no only saves money and is more healthy, it generally makes travel more fun for everyone because it prevents many a meltdown (and not just on the part of kids).
You are so right – everyone gets hungry and a quick healthy snack is just the ticket to prevent massive meltdowns with kids of all ages.
We roasted nuts yesterday (in the cool weather we had yesterday!) for bringing along on a hiking/biking/running trip we’re doing soon. I’ll be sharing that recipe soon 🙂
Happy travels to you and Jeff!!
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