Piling in the car for a family road trip is a quintessential part of childhood. Whether it is for a quick trip to Grandma's or a long haul to Walt Disney World, the journey is just as important as the destination. But eating in the car can wreak havoc on one's digestive system and easily pack on pounds.
Many typical road trip snacks and meals are full of extra fat, calories, sodium and sugar and very little nutrients, and are not good for parents or their children. Chips, cookies, candy, soda, and fast food are thought of to be road trip staples, but they don't have to be!
When planning a family road trip, no matter the distance, there are easy things you can do to make sure everyone eats (and drinks) better. The experts at Strong4Life, a wellness movement launched by Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, are urging parents to plan better to create a healthier, happier family road trip!
Tip 1) Drink water.
This seems obvious but just switching one bottle of water for a 12-oz. soda saves ten teaspoons of sugar! Pack water bottles for everyone in a cooler so the water is cold when they want it. Make it a goal to finish the water bottle before drinking anything else.
Tip 2) Skip the fries.
Hitting the drive-thru at some point while on a road trip is often a reality, but there are tons of healthy choices that can be made at all fast food restaurants. Instead of french fries for everyone, get fruit or a salad (or bring some from home). Get one small order of fries so as not to feel deprived, and split it so everyone can get a taste without a full serving's calories and fat.
Tip 3) Limit the extras.
As in everything, little things add up. Dressings on salads, mayonnaise on sandwiches, dips for sides, and other condiments can pack extra, unneeded calories into a meal. Want to add extra "stuff" to a burger or sandwich? Stick to lettuce, tomatoes, and pickles. Skip the cheese and resist the urge to "super size", even it is only $1 more.
Tip 4) Pick smart snacks.