Eating healthy on the road

Dietician Susie Burrell shares her tips for staying healthy on your next road trip.

Road trips provide ample opportunities for take-away, snacks and a cold beer at the end of the day, which can result in you arriving home with your pants a bit tighter than when you left.

Dietician Susie Burrell shares her tips for maintaining your health and wellbeing on the road.

How can people stay healthy while on a road trip? 

A lot has to do with our attitude towards travelling. If you think of travelling as an excuse to eat high calorie foods and ditch your exercise, then there’s no doubt you will gain weight. 

On the other hand, if you look at travel as a time to move more and make healthy choices you will be able to maintain your regular eating and health regime.

Planning also goes a long way – plan when you’re going to exercise and pack plenty of healthy snacks to avoid picking up processed, sugary foods on the go.  

What planning should I do before a road trip?

Planning when and how many times you’ll stop to eat will help you decide how much food you need to take and avoid any unplanned and unhealthy meal stops. 

Having easy-to-eat snacks for during the trip will help avoid picking up unhealthy snacks like chips and lollies at the service station. 

A good option for meal stops is premade salad wraps kept in a small cooler bag and some healthy and nutritious snack options include chopped up veggies, berries, popcorn and peanut butter. All delicious and nutritious low-calorie options you can easily munch on in the car. 

What foods should I avoid while travelling?

Anything that is high in fats, sugars and salts. 

Juices, soft drinks, lollies and fried fast food are all extremely high in calories, easy to overeat and are very common at service stations and convenience stores. 

These foods are especially important to avoid when you are sitting for long periods of time not burning energy. 

How much water should I drink when toilet stops are few and far between?

Timing your fluid intake is the key here, have small sips each hour and then roughly 500ml every four to five hours, however time it so you drink most of it within 40-60 minutes of your next planned stop.

What are some quick and easy meals that can be cooked while travelling, particularly in a caravan or camp kitchen where I won’t have a lot of equipment or space?

Brown rice and chopped salad with either tuna, seared fish or lean sausages are great options for a BBQ dinner. 

A protein rich breakfast is always a good idea, especially when travelling. Try baked beans, eggs or natural nut spread on wholemeal toast to keep you fuelled for the day. 

What is your go-to meal to make while travelling?

Salmon salad - adding tinned salmon to a pre-made salad or chopped veggies is an easy and delicious option that can be thrown together in no time and with very little equipment. I am also a big fan of an omelette with plenty of veggies. 

What are some healthy snacks to make for the road?

Popcorn, cheese and cracker snack packs, nut bars and peanut butter snack pots with chopped veggies or fruit. 

Are there any packaged snacks from service stations or convenience stores that are good options?

The best packaged snacks tend to be protein based, such as small protein or nut bars which are relatively low in sugars and portion controlled. 

Still, it’s always best to be prepared and take healthy options from home.