The Best Travel Foods

Pack nuts for energy when traveling.
Pack nuts for energy when traveling. (Image: Jupiterimages/ Images)

Traveling of any kind can be stressful on the body if you are not feeding it right. Long rides without breaks can dehydrate you and make you feel tired and sluggish. Making healthy choices while on the road is essential for maintaining energy and focus. Whether you are traveling for work or with your family, planning ahead is the key to healthy eating. Choose unprocessed foods such as nuts, fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat cheese. Avoid caffeine, sugar, salt and fried foods as much as possible.

Dining Out

Numerous restaurant chains have been working toward healthier menu options, making it easier to make good choices when traveling. Look for items such as grilled chicken, turkey or fish, whole grain wraps, salads with fruit and vegetable toppings, fat-free or low-fat dressing, black bean or lentil soup, and brown rice. Stay away from fried food and items such as hamburgers, bacon or meatballs, creamy dressings, shakes, and mayonnaise.

High Energy Foods

Athletes and "Road Warriors" who make their living traveling all over the world need to pack food for energy. Pack snacks that can survive a couple of weeks in a suitcase without spoiling. Good choices are almonds, walnuts, dark chocolate with at least 70 percent cocoa. Other snacks that need refrigeration or more care are plain yogurt and fresh fruit such as bananas. If packing snacks is too difficult consider buying trail mix that combines nuts, dried fruit and dark chocolate.

Families with Children

Packing healthy snacks for children will keep them happy and content on long trips. Bag a variety of foods such as peanut butter sandwiches, cheese chunks, pre-cut fruit and vegetables such as bananas, grapes, carrots and celery, unsalted pretzels, and low-sugar dry cereals. Bring water only; if it is spilled it will not stain or ruin the child’s clothes or seating. To curb bathroom trips and restlessness, avoid giving children sugar, caffeine and salty items.

Business Travelers

Use a grocery store instead of the drive-thru for healthier options. Most stores have a section of pre-made items to choose from. Buy items such as rotisserie chicken, hummus and pre-cut raw vegetables, salad, or sushi. In order to avoid mindless snacking while traveling by car for business, pack a cooler with items such as hard-boiled eggs, canned tuna, nuts, fresh fruit and vegetables.

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