We’ve all done it. Tried to load up, get organized and on the road as fast as possible only to realize the one thing we’ve forgotten when snack time rolls around is something healthy to munch on. Life is busy – especially when you’re a parent – and maintaining my nutrition plan at home and on the road can be difficult (who hasn’t stopped for gas and been tempted by the salty bag of chips and bubbly pop..?).
But is it possible to take a road trip with healthy snacks? Of course it is! It just takes some planning.
Between family vacations and travelling to races, I often find myself in the car for long stretches of time. Most recently, my mom and I packed up my three kids — two 5-year-olds and one 7-year-old — for a seven and a half hour drive to Canmore, Alberta. I knew that if I wanted to stay on track with my nutrition, I would need to create a meal plan for each day of our trip. Along with packing healthy hotel room snacks, like yogurt, strawberries and raw veggies, I also included vehicle-friendly snacks – foods that travel easily, and can largely be eaten with one hand, like string cheese, applesauce squeeze pouches, and bananas.
The night before we left, I made up a snack container for each child in their Planet Box bento boxes and made sure to put a water bottle in each of their bags (can anyone leave home without water bottles?!). This is a staple for us, even for quick ten-minute drives. Someone will always get thirsty and having water on hand is a great way to ensure we’re all staying hydrated on hot summer days. Our kids also use bento boxes for their school lunches, which have been a lifesaver for summer day trips, long trips, and picnics. These segmented containers come along to barrel races, the park, swimming lessons, gymnastics, and even on errand days. They make healthy eating away from home so much easier for us all!
I’ve also learned that having a fridge in my hotel room is a must-have for me and my family when we’re away from home. While a cooler is great for keeping food chilled on the ride, an in-suite fridge where I can store our breakfast and lunch fixings and return trip snacks is both healthier and more cost-effective than eating out at every meal.
Being prepared, having everything washed and prepped ahead of time, and having a meal plan for our trips help us all be healthier on the road!