Road trips

The great American Road Trip. It seemed like such fun in National Lampoon’s Vacation didn’t it? Christie Brinkley in the red Ferrari, seeing the national monuments, visiting Aunt Edna? Scratch the Aunt Edna part. Anyway…

In 2017 80% of American families planned on taking a road trip according to a AAA survey.

To most of us growing up that meant time in the back seat with a sibling fighting over who crossed the imaginary line, asking our parents “are we are there yet” and the only thing to break up the day was a break for food/gas/bathroom preferably at the same time if our Dad had anything to say about it.

A few strategies to make this healthier

1. Be prepared. Bring as much as you can with you as it going on the road is not a reason to eat nothing but junk until you get to your destination. Look into where you are headed and if they have healthy options when you arrive.

2. Remember, it is just food. Even though you are playing the license plate game, or listening to a special Road Trip playlist, it is not a reason to misuse food. It is still to be used as fuel, and if all you are doing is sitting all day, you really do not need to eat much. Do not look at eating as a way to break up the day or as entertainment when the drive is getting monotonous.

3. Do the best you can. Almonds, fresh fruit and low salt beef jerky have gotten me through many a road trip with my family. Is it my normal lunch? No, but it is the best of the worst now isn’t it? Gas Station cuisine hasn’t improved much since we were kids, but I do stay away from sugar as all it will do is cause a sugar crash, which makes everyone cranky in the car.

Have fun this Summer but think about how you want to feel when you get to your final destination. Will loading up on fast food and Sugar help my kids get along any better? Or give me the patience to deal with them? NOT AT ALL.

Real food will help stabilize their blood sugar and mood. Even if the food doesn’t seem as exciting as the Summer Seasonal Special at the gas station on the New Jersey Turnpike.


Erin Boardman Wathen

What are you looking forward to this Summer?

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