Getting good, nutritious meals while on vacation is not always easy - but not impossible. This summer, when travelling to the cottage, campsite, beach or on a long road trip, remember that simple is always better. Here are some tips for healthy and safe eating away from home.
In the car: Car trips are a popular summer pastime for many Canadian families. But even though meals on the road may not be on the schedule and may require more planning and ingenuity than home-cooked meals, you don't have to sacrifice your health. To avoid falling into the fast food trap, keep healthy drinks and snacks in the car. Kid-favourite treats that travel well include pretzels, bagels, apples, bananas, baby carrots, granola bears and trail mix with nuts and raisins. Keep a stocked cooler with lots of ice packs inside your car. You can haul out the cooler at the rest stop or park, which typically have picnic areas. If you're on a long trip, you may still have to stop at a restaurant for a full meal. The trick is to stick to salads and gilled items.
At the campsite: Campfire cooking can be lots of fun, but it can also pose a challenge to your health regimen, so preplanning is key. Pack healthy alternatives to camping classics, such as turkey or veggie dogs. Instead of prepackaged hambugers, bring homemade burgers made with freshly ground chicken, turkey or extra-lean beef. Pack whole grain breads and sandwich staples such as peanut butter and jelly. Buy lots of fresh veggies and fruit to have with your meals.
At the cottage: Make a list of grocery items you'll need (to avoid overbuying) and pick them up in advance. For fresh veggies and fruit, stop a the local farmer's market. If the cottage has a barbecue, you're in luck; you can make easy nutritious meals on the barbie. Keep lunchtime simple with tortillas or sandwiches made with whole grain bread and filled with low-fat deli meats such as turkey. Egg and tuna salad are also good choices, as long as you use a limited amount of low-fat mayonnaise.
At the beach: A portable picnic is the easiest way to enjoy a good meal while basking in the sun and sand. But pack it with care: use an insulated cooler and put in ice packs, which prevent drips and cross-contamination. Don't bring sugary candies to the beach, though; they're not very healthy and bees love them. Be sure to bring some soap or hand sanitizer to wash your hands with before you eat.
Get out and enjoy the summer!
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