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Vacation Eating: The Healthy Way

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Vacation Eating: The Healthy Way

It's easy to pack a quick bag full of cookies, sodas and chips for a family road trip, but it's hard to work off these calories later. This year, learn fast and easy healthy options. You may be surprised to find delicious foods in our Cooper Clinic dietitian's list of on-the-go snacks.

Remember to pack your willpower–you will have more fun, be more alert and feel a lot healthier. If you are going on a road trip or flying somewhere, travel typically includes fast food, convenience store snacks and plenty of extra calories.

Here are five tips to help you stay on the road of good health:

  1. Avoid excess sugar. Too much sugar will eventually make you tired so it is better to choose carbohydrates that have fiber. Try an egg white omelet with veggies; a bowl of oatmeal with fruit; or a bran muffin or whole grain toast with a little jelly or jam. If you are just grabbing and going, look for single-serve whole grain cereals and low fat milk. A quick and easy option may be a breakfast bar that has fiber grams present and that is low in saturated fat. Choose a breakfast burrito with extra vegetables over a donut or sweet roll.
  2. Bring your own snacks. Pack a cooler if you are traveling by car. Load up on fresh-cut vegetables and fruit, plenty of water, individually wrapped string cheese and baked whole grain crackers. Pack sandwiches made with wholegrain bread and peanut butter or lean meats. Nuts are easy to take on a trip in individual bags for portion control. If you are out and about, carry a large purse or bag with healthy snack options. The key is to not go too long between your meals so you can control calories and make healthier choices all the time.
  3. Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water. Pack a different colored water bottle and keep them full for each family member to add some fun to the trip. Stay away from caffeine and alcohol which can be dehydrating.
  4. Stay active. Remember to take stretch breaks and enjoy the scenery. Vacationing often includes burning more calories with a lot of activities for everyone to enjoy.  Take advantage of them as extra calories from the local cuisines will balance out the calories expended.
  5. Choose healthy at restaurants. Healthy options can be found at most fast food and sit down restaurants. The main concerns are ordering healthier meals and controlling the portions. Try avoiding the fried items, cream and cheese sauces, and high saturated fat meats like sausage, bacon and marbled meats. Aim to balance your meals and eat from all the different food groups. Managing portions can happen by ordering the lunch portions or sharing a meal.

There is no need to undo your healthy eating habits during a vacation. The key is to find that happy medium between avoiding fatty foods and an occasional splurge. Remember to enjoy your vacation, and it is okay to indulge now and then if you make healthy decisions the rest of the time.     
For more information about Cooper Clinic Nutrition Services or to schedule a consultation, click here or call 972.560.2667.

Article provided by Cooper Clinic Nutrition Services.