Post by: Jodi Holland, RD

August 11, 2015

My fondest summer memories all seem to include a road trip. Whether it is packing up the family for a week’s vacation, or an easy day trip to explore a new beach, the exhilaration of the unknown, in combination with new scenery, can really create some magic moments. That is until hunger strikes or a tummy ache surfaces thanks to too much “holiday food”. What to do?

When I moved to Victoria 3 years ago, my husband and I chose to break up the 15 hour road trip with numerous stops in order to stretch our legs and to appease bored and irritable children. I swear every time we were in the car, my 3 year old was insatiably hungry. Constantly. I’ve found the following tips useful for our road trips.

  1. Plan ahead. Packing a small cooler with snacks and maybe even lunch is a great way to stay on track. Fruit, cheese and crackers, trail mix, and water are great to have on hand. When supplies run low, re-stock at the local grocery store for healthier options than most gas stations offer.
  2. Keep to a regular eating schedule. In order to keep the ‘hangry’ monster at bay, and to make for a more content trip, aim for 3 meals a day, plus snacks as needed. This will also help keep your energy up for all of your fun holiday adventures!
  3. Stay active. Often we want to get where we’re going quickly, but take time for activity breaks along the way, even if it’s just enjoying the odd view point here or there. It’s important for all children to get a break from their car seat every couple of hours, and taking a break is also helpful for avoiding driving fatigue and improving safety.
  4. Map out restaurants on your route that you enjoy. Many restaurants now post their nutrition information online. Try to choose items with less fat, salt and sugar, and more fibre, whole grains and protein. These meals will satisfy you longer, and give you a better boost of energy for your travels, without the need for an afternoon nap. Traveling in BC? Check out Informed Dining for nutrition information from local restaurants.
  5. Enjoy some treats! This is your holiday, after all. Choose your favorites in moderation, and really savor and enjoy them. There really is nothing better than enjoying an ice cream cone on a beautiful summer day, although a family contest of spitting watermelon seeds also brings a smile to my face.

Looking for some snack ideas to take along? Check out:

So pack up the car, download all your favorite tunes, and enjoy all that summer has to offer!