Michelle's favorite healthy road trip foods
1. Make Your Own Trail Mix
Save on fat, sugar and calories by whipping up your own batch of trail mix. For a balanced blend of three food groups, toss together honey toasted oat cereal, dried tart cherries, roasted almonds, and a few dark chocolate chips. If you must buy ready-made mixes, Bonnie Taub-Dix, MA, RD, CDN, author of Read It Before You Eat It (Plume - Aug 31, 2010) and weight loss expert in New York City, says, "Look for products that contain more fiber, less sugar, and hunger-squashing whole grains like oats, barley and brown rice. Granolas often include harmful partially hydrogenated oils and added sugars, so be sure to check the nutrition facts panel."
2. Chips and Dip Perfect Pairings
While no road trip would be complete without chips and dip, simple swaps can provide you with more fiber to keep you fuller longer. Pair sun dried tomato hummus and fresh mango salsa with Tostitos Scoops, which can be a vehicle to deliver more fruits and veggies into the diet and offer 8 grams of whole grains per 1 ounce serving. Another tasty combination is Original SunChips, which count as a full whole grain serving per 1 ounce serving, with cucumber yogurt (tzatziki).
3. Eat Your Veggies
Getting your five-a-day en route doesn't have to mean just carrot and celery sticks. Wake up your taste buds with low calorie nibbles by dipping cucumber "chips" into mint sauce and crunching away on refreshing jicama sticks. Though technically a fruit, popping sweet in-season cherry tomatoes right into your mouth sans dressing is another naturally sweet and juicy snack.
4. Svelte Sammies
Making sandwiches ahead for your outing make for a quick and convenient all-in-one meal. Start with 100% whole grain bread and spread with a thin layer of low fat mayo and Dijon mustard. Add 3 ounces of shaved lower sodium turkey breast deli meat with no nitrates added. Then, get wild with the veggies by piling on sprouts, avocado, tomato, olives and baby spinach.
5. Fridge-free Protein
When a granola bar just won't do, turkey jerky packs in the protein and satisfies your salt craving. Look for one that has no nitrates added and is lower in sodium. When choosing snacks Bonnie says to look for those that are around 100 to 200 calories.
You can ditch the plates and forks by preparing fruit kabobs on wooden skewers. Take advantage of the summer's bounty of luscious, juicy and naturally sweet watermelon, strawberries, cantaloupe and grapes.
Finally, be sure to keep these foods safe by chilling adequately in an ice chest to hold at or below 40 degrees Fahrenheit.