Guest post: Healthy snacks for family car trips
Hunger has a way of creeping up on you when you’re on the road. And, as we all know, the options available en route – at garages and service stations – aren’t always the cheapest or the healthiest. By planning ahead and packing the right snacks, you and your family can eat well on the road.
Where to eat
If you’ve got the time, there’s nothing like taking a lunch break in a scenic spot. It’s a great way for everyone to stretch their legs and get refreshed before resuming the journey. If you’re passing through scenic countryside, you could schedule a break by the side of a river or near some woods. Make sure you carry plenty of paper plates and plastic cutlery and pick up any rubbish left behind.
If you’re running short of time, your family might need to eat on the go, but as a driver you should follow these safety tips:
- The government advises drivers against eating or drinking behind the wheel as this may cause distraction. So pull over safely before eating or drinking.
- If you’re behind the wheel, it’s best to avoid a heavy meal, as the AA warns this can lead to driver fatigue.
- Drivers should never drink alcohol before driving, as it is illegal and dangerous. Any amount of alcohol can impair your driving ability.
There are many options for what to eat on the road, but some are more car-friendly than others. Here are our suggestions for a healthy meal:
- Dry crackers, rice cakes, dry fruit bars and fresh veg – such as cherry tomatoes, carrot sticks and celery – are all healthier options compared to high-fat, sugary snacks.
- Home-made popcorn can be a good alternative to crisps and salted nuts.
- Pots of yogurt and fresh fruits such as strawberries and grapes can make for easy-to-eat desserts.
- Children can dip into packets of goodies like nuts, olives and berries whenever they want.
Always pack plenty of food to go around, and even take extra in case of unexpected delays and do make sure that young children are supervised when eating finger foods, to avoid the risk of choking.
What to drink
Fizzy drinks can be a temptation, but are best avoided. Doctors in the US have found that the caffeine in fizzy drinks can interfere with children’s sleep. Instead, pack plenty of water in a cool bag. You could also bring along milk for young children.
Pack it right
Pack your healthy treats into small zip lock bags or Tupperware pots, so that they can be easily and fairly distributed to each family member.
Consider packing all your food in holdalls so you can get to it easily, without obscuring your view of the road. Bags should be secured firmly: any loose piece of luggage can fly around in the event of a sudden halt and cause injury.
Make sure you pack plenty of waste bags and wet wipes to clean up any mess.
Plan well and you can rest assured that your family has something healthy to eat on the road. Choosing the right car insurance for your needs can also put your mind at ease.
Gargi Shastri writes for the Sainsbury’s Money Matters blog on a range of topics including car insurance, car safety and other motoring topics. When she’s not writing, she enjoys yoga and cooking Indian food.