Road Trip Tips from Meijer Dietitians

Tina Miller, MS RD Meijer Healthy Living Advisor, www.meijerhealthyliving.com

 

Tina Miller 2011 It’s vacation season; time to gather your family, pack up the car and hit the road to your vacation destination!  Stocking up at Meijer beforehand is an excellent way to spend less and ensure a healthy intake of fruits and veggies while on the road.  Stop in your Meijer store this Saturday, July 12 from 11:00am to 4:00 pm for the “Taste of Meijer: Summer Camping and Road Trips Event” for great tips and ideas to make your family vacation a huge success.

 

Plan Ahead

  1. Make sure to have enough ice to keep the perishable items from spoiling.
  2. Place snack items in an easy to reach part of the cooler or pack a smaller cooler for snacks.
  3. Pack napkins, paper plates, plastic utensils, and a table cover for a nice picnic.
  4. Hand sanitizer or hand wipes are a must for outdoor eating.
  5. Bring along garbage bags for trash and recyclables.

Road Trip Snacks

  • Fruits like bananas, apples, pears, oranges, peaches, plums, nectarines are already in ready-to-go packages – their skins.
  • Berries, cherries, and cherry tomatoes can easily be rinsed and put in a Ziploc bag.
  • Chopped veggies like peppers, zucchini, carrots, cucumbers, mushrooms, broccoli and cauliflower are perfect for the road. DIY or grab a veggie tray from the deli.
  • Make smoothies with frozen fruit, mixed greens, yogurt, and 100% fruit juice – store in plastic containers.
  • Add some protein to these fresh snacks like hard-boiled eggs or cheese.

Rest Stop Meals

  • Bring all the ‘fixins’ for ready-to-assemble sandwiches – whole grain bread or wraps, deli-meat, sliced cheese, and of course, sliced veggies like pickles, tomatoes, onion, and condiments.
  • Make it easy on yourself and pack ready to go salads from the Meijer deli (kale, broccoli crunch)
  • Pre-cut melon slices are a refreshing addition to any picnic.
  • Packaged guacamole with whole grain crackers and/or those chopped veggies you have for snacks is a great way to add more fiber and nutrition.
  • Fresh or frozen fruit added to yogurt is a great treat before you head back to the car.

The most important thing for a successful family road trip is spending time with your family. And, sometimes family memories are made while picnicking at the rest stop or a local state park along the way. Saving money and eating healthy are just the perks!

Thanks to Melissa Hehmann, RD CDE Meijer Healthy Living Advisor for contributions to this blog post.

 

Traveling Snacks:

Don’t be tempted to fill up on chips and soda when fueling up your car at gas stops while on your road trip.  Pack up these traveling snacks to keep your family on the road to being happy and healthy!

Snacks that travel well with a cooler:

*100 calorie packs of Wholly Guacamole and pre-portioned bags of tortilla chips.  Wash it down with individual cartons of low fat milk

*Make ahead yogurt parfaits (don’t forget to pack the spoons).  Layer Meijer Greek yogurt and fresh berries in to go cups with lids.  Pack individual portions (2 Tbsp.) granola in snack size zip lock bags to add when you’re ready to enjoy.

*Individual hummus cups, veggie sticks and whole grain pita chips.

No cooler necessary snacks:

*Trail mix – a no-hassle snack that is fast and nutritious.  Pre-mix your own blend of trail mix or pack ingredients in separate containers (bags) and let your kids build their trail mix on the road.  Try the morning munch blend:  2 cups mini shredded wheat squares, 1 cup dried fruit (cranberries, cherries, raisins, blueberries, or whatever you like), 1/2 to 1 cup nuts or seeds (peanuts or sunflower seeds).   For more trail mix ideas download the Meijer healthy living “Easy Meals Healthy Families” guidebook at www.meijerhealthyliving.com.

*Peanut butter cups (i.e., “Jiff to Go”) with whole grain crackers or pretzel twits and/or bananas. Use a plastic spoon to scoop a bit of peanut butter on your banana with each bite you enjoy.  Wash down with 100% juice boxes.

 

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