Healthful and Safe Eating on Vacation
Summer vacations are a time to relax, revitalize and enjoy the sights, sounds and tastes of new places. When it comes to maintaining a healthful eating plan on vacation, you can still enjoy the new, fun and exciting foods that come with traveling without packing on the pounds. Here are a few tips to eat right while on your summer vacation:
- Sample small amounts of high-calorie food. You don't have to avoid it entirely. Just reduce the amount you eat to a few bites.
- Share large portions. Many restaurants serve very large portions, so don't hesitate to split orders.
- Space meals throughout the day. It can be easy to "graze" while on vacation. Try to set meal times and stick to them.
- Engage in some type of physical activity most days. There is no better time to walk than on vacation. You see the new sights up close and keep your body healthy at the same time.
- Monitor your alcohol intake. Alcoholic beverages are high in calories and also can lead to overeating.
If a road trip is part of your vacation, packing healthy foods is a great way to maintain your diet. Try these tips for good eating on the road:
- Pack a cooler with fresh vegetables and fruit for snacks, like cut broccoli florets, carrot sticks, and apple and orange slices.
- For beverages, bring canned or boxed 100-percent fruit juice, canned tomato juice and bottled water.
- Bring boxes of raisins and re-sealable pouches of dried fruit like apricots.
- Deli sandwiches, yogurt and low-fat cheese make a great lunch.
- Get out of the car every hour or two to take a short walk and stretch your legs.
Be sure to keep your backseat treats safe with these easy tips:
- Pack easy-to-transport, shelf-stable foods. Good choices include cereal, trail mix, popcorn, single-serve applesauce, cans of tuna, peanut butter sandwiches, fresh fruit, carrots or celery.
- Don't let perishable food sit unrefrigerated for more than two hours, and make sure coolers remain at or below 40 degrees Fahrenheit.
- In hot weather, place coolers and lunch bags in the back seat instead of the trunk. The environment tends to be cooler in the car, especially when the air conditioning is on.
- Make sure everyone in the family washes their hands with soap and water before and after eating. If you don't have access to a restroom, pack moist towelettes or hand sanitizer.
Reviewed January 2013