With the long summer before us, many of us are planning our vacations, be they road trips or to destinations that require air travel. While we pore over maps, plan to visit all the tourist attractions and look forward to catching up with family and friends, the matter of healthy food while we travel takes a back seat, so to say!
But with a little planning, the start of the holiday season does not need to be littered with the remnants of junk food- empty soda cans, candy wrappers and salty snacks. Instead, with a little planning, you can arrive at your destination energized, healthy and full of the holiday spirit. Here is how.
Road trips allow us to be flexible, stop for food and drink along the way, and stretch out our limbs. However, if you want to avoid frequent food stops and driving around to find healthy eating options, then here are the things you should pack:
• Fresh fruit, preferably which can be peeled, like mandarins and bananas
• Tinned tuna with crackers (I like the single serve cans with a little handle for pulling the lid open)
• Yogurt (pack in a chilly bin with ice)
• Individually packed cheese sticks (pack in a chilly bin with ice)
• Salad leaves which do not wilt easily (kale, spinach and romaine), pack dressing separately to prevent it getting soggy
• Unsalted roasted nuts like cashews, almonds, walnuts, pistachios
• Home-made trail mix with the above nuts, raisins, sultanas and pitted dates
• Water bottles- these can be frozen ahead of time to provide cold refreshing water
Air travel in the United States is regulated by the TSA or Transportation Security Administration. They make and implement the rules about what can be carried on board. In terms of food items, let us start with what is excluded from being carried.
The TSA has a 3-1-1 rule. All fluids (whether edible or not) must be below 3.4 ounces (100 ml), fit into a 1-quart bag and each passenger is allowed 1 such bag. The exception for this rule is breast milk, formula or juice for infants.
The carry-on fluids under 3.4 ounces can include:
• Creamy Dips and Spreads
• Jam and Jelly
• Maple Syrup
• Oils and Vinegar’s
• Pies and Cakes
• Salad Dressing
• Salsa and Sauces
Healthy options include peanut butter and jelly, almond butter and jelly, creamed honey and butter, marmite /vegemite with sliced cheese, and cold cut chicken or turkey in a whole- wheat pita pocket.
Fruits and Vegetables
Fresh fruit and vegetables are always healthy snacks option for travel. Bananas and mandarins are a no-mess option. If you are taking vegetables, cut them in bite-sized slices and pack in a resealable bag. If you are using a dip, make sure it complies with the 3-1-1 rule.
Home-made baked items like baked potatoes, carrot and zucchini muffins or cheese scones can be wrapped in foil and packed as handy and nutritious meals for the flight.
As you can see, with a little planning the travel to your holiday destination, whether by air or by road, can get off to a healthy and energetic start. Bon Voyage!