5 Fit and Fun Road Trip Meals

In our house, summer means one thing – road trips! There’s nothing better than packing the car with all of things (kids, anyone?), picking our favorite tunes, and hitting the open road. But when it comes to good nutrition while away from home, it can often seem like an impossible task to eat healthy. Although traveling is an easy excuse to overindulge, it does not have to derail your health and wellness goals. With a little planning and a well-stocked cooler, eating healthy on the road is totally doable!

To start, packing meals for your journey is a great way to ensure you get the nutritious foods you need to stay on track. Check out these five dietitian-approved meal ideas:

Five Road Trip Meals the Whole Family Will Enjoy

  1. Sandwich with lean meat and veggies, snack cheese, whole wheat crackers, almonds and an apple
  2. Boiled egg, yogurt sprinkled with granola (or nuts of choice), beef jerky, and fruit and cheese kabobs
  3. Turkey roll-up, string cheese, veggies and yogurt dip, and grapes
  4. Egg and cheese breakfast burrito and some mixed berries
  5. Yogurt smoothie drink and mini whole wheat bagel sandwich made with peanut butter and sliced bananas

Still unsure what to pack for the road? You can always help reduce food waste and pack up some mealtime leftovers from your refrigerator or food items that need to be eaten from your fridge and pantry.

Traveling with kids? Be sure to pack lots of nutritious snacks – after all, my kids could survive on snacks alone! Here is a list of our family favorites:

  • String cheese
  • Apple sauce squeeze pouches
  • Trail mix
  • Drinkable yogurts
  • Veggies – carrot sticks, snack peas, baby tomatoes
  • Fresh fruit – bananas, apples, clementines
  • Pretzels
  • Dry cereal
  • Single-serve milk

A Few Helpful Tips to Keep in Mind

  • Make a list of the foods you want to pack, then head to the grocery store to put your plan into action.
  • Make sure you have a big cooler and some ice packs to keep all of those perishable items cold.
  • Don’t forget healthy beverages. Calories in drinks can really add up. Stick to water, seltzer water or single-serving white and chocolate milk.
  • Consider fitting in a quick workout at your hotel or at a scenic stop along the way. Try a quick hike followed by a picnic – a great way to stretch your legs and split up the long hours in the car.

Not only will preparing healthy meals and snacks ahead of time help you stick to your health and wellness goals, but it will also help your wallet – eating out while on a road trip can really add up. Having a plan and a cooler with nutritious eats is always a great strategy to help you stay fit and have fun while on your road trip! Want more summer meal prep inspiration? Get these easy prep healthy summer snacks.

By Amanda Ford, MS, RDN, LD

Amanda is a registered dietitian nutritionist who loves teaching others about the relationship between nutrition and health. Amanda has developed and lead numerous classes and seminars on nutrition and disease prevention. When she is not working, Amanda loves to spend time with her young daughter, her husband and her bulldog. Learn more about Amanda. 

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