Just because you’re on vacation doesn't mean you have to throw out healthful eating habits. Whether you're heading to the beach, ballpark, campground or just going wherever the road leads you, here are few tips to keep you healthy and happy on your adventure.
Treat yourself with healthy, on-the-go snacks, such as vegetables, whole-grain crackers, trail mix or raw or dry-roasted nuts. Fresh fruit like bananas, apples and pears, or even boxed raisins, are also convenient snacks.
If you travel with perishable foods, be sure to properly pack a cooler with plenty of ice. The cooler must be kept at 40°F or cooler, so put a refrigerator thermometer in the cooler to check the temperature and refresh ice as needed. To help keep the cooler cold on hot days, travel with it in the car rather than the over-heated trunk, and store it in shade if possible.
But before you begin packing, remember to sanitize the cooler with a bleach solution and thoroughly clean totes and lunch boxes with warm, soapy water.
Fire Up the Grill
If grilling, toss veggie kabobs or Portobello burgers on the grill for a healthy and colorful alternative. And when grilling meat, remember to take a few precautions to reduce your risk of food poisoning:
- Don't allow frozen meat to thaw in the sun. Defrosting in a refrigerator or microwave are the only safe options.
- Keep ready-to-eat foods separate from raw meat and poultry by using separate plates and utensils.
- Use a food thermometer to ensure meat has reached a safe minimum internal temperature (beef 160°F; chicken 165°F).
For a full listing of safe cooking temperatures and other tips, visit HomeFoodSafety.org.
Drink plenty of water throughout the day. For a flavorful, fresh twist, add strawberries and lemon or blueberries and lime to iced water.
See more tips on healthy summer foods and find a registered dietitian nutritionist near you.
Reviewed May 2013