Healthy Eating on the Road!

Eating well on the road is frequently easier said than done! I have a niece who is a dietician, I thought I’d ask her professional opinion and for some hints & tips I could share with my fellow phil&teds parents to help you adapt&survive the next family road trip. Take it away Elizabeth!

Nothing gets me more excited than looking forward to a summer vacation with the family. Whether it’s a trip to the beach, Disneyland, or grandma’s house I can always count on a good time. The preparation for these trips, on the other hand, can be quite daunting. Between the packing and cleaning it may seem easier to just forget about preparing healthy meals and snacks for your family while on the road. Fast food may seem like an easy way out in order to feed everyone. But when was the last time you felt great after eating fast food for breakfast, lunch, and dinner (with chips and candy in between)? When packing food for our family vacations I typically have three goals in mind. The first is to pack foods that will not leave my toddler and car sticky for our entire vacation. My second goal is to pack nutritious foods that will be satisfying and tasty, without overloading the sugar. Lastly, I try to plan ways to avoid eating a hamburger and fries at every meal. With these goals in mind, I want to share with you some more specific foods to eat while traveling with kids.

If taking a long road trip be sure to pack an accessible cooler in your car as many healthy foods require refrigeration. You may also want to establish designated eating times to avoid constant snacking all day.

Ideas for Healthy Snacks while on the Road:

• String cheese

• Trail mix

• Almonds or other nuts

• Baby carrots

• Celery sticks

• Snap peas

• Apples (whole or prepackaged and sliced)

• Blueberries

• Grapes

• Dried fruit (no sugar added)

• Wheat Thins

• Triscuits

• Water

For most families (mine included) it is unrealistic to never eat out while traveling. Many fast food restaurants offer healthy options to choose from. Most places will allow you to get fruit instead of fries in kid’s meals. When eating fast food, try to avoid ordering juices and sodas for your family and say “no” to large or super-sized meals.

Healthier Fast Food Options

•McDonald’s oatmeal or fruit parfait for breakfast

• Fruit smoothies for breakfast (make sure they are made with real fruit)

• McDonald’s grilled chicken wraps, light on the condiments

• Chick-Fil-A grilled chicken sandwiches or grilled chicken nuggets (U.S only)

• Chick-Fil-A fruit cups instead of fries (U.S only)

• Wendy’s small chili and baked potato

• Burger King veggie burger

If you are staying at a hotel try to get a room with a fridge so that you can keep your healthy snacks at a safe temperature. I would even recommend finding a grocery store close to your location to restock your supply. Finding a hotel with a continental breakfast is also a good way to avoid eating out at an extra meal. Just be careful to limit your family’s intake of muffins, donuts, and pastries for breakfast.

Healthy Breakfast Choices at Your Hotel

• Light yogurt

• Whole wheat toast with peanut butter or 1 T butter

• Eggs

• Fruit

• 1 slice of bacon or sausage

• Low sugar cereal such as Cheerios or Bran Flakes

• Oatmeal, light on added sugars

• Water or low fat milk to drink

With these tips you are on your way to a happy and healthier family vacation. Safe Travels! For more nutrition tips and healthy recipes for you and your family visit


About the author!

Learn more about Elizabeth here.

Elizabeth and her little guy in a familiar stroller!

And what about your family?  Any ideas for eating more nutritiously while traveling?  Share your tips!


About the author:

Prior to becoming a traveling opera wife and full-time mother, Ann Hinckley Stucki studied socio-cultural anthropology as an undergraduate and went on to receive her master’s degree in social work. She has worked in a variety of fields from health education, mental health/community/school social work, geriatrics, childbirth labor support, and disease prevention in Latin America. Her research pursuits have taken her from a Costa Rican/Nicaraguan border dispute to London, England to present graduate research at a Medical Anthropology conference. Additionally, she is an award-winning photographer and enjoys portrait work. She also teaches fire breathing. Brian Stucki has been singing professionally full-time for more than six years, taking his family on the road with him. He has sung with companies and orchestras from coast to coast and on three continents. Highlights include The Pearl Fishers with Seattle Opera, Così fan tutte with the New Israeli Opera, Haydn’s Creation, with Boston Baroque, The Barber of Seville with the Compaña Nacional de Mexico in Mexico City, and The Fall of the House of Usher with the Polish National Opera..

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