Travel season is here! I know that many of you love this time of year; schools out, time to go see family, camping trips, visiting amusement parks, the list goes on. In our home, we’re not big car travelers in the summer time. It’s hot, my man is busy with work and we’ve got a pool. And since we’re a minority, I wanted to share with you what works in our home when it comes time for car travel with the offspring.
As I plan for travel I keep a couple of key things in mind. 1. I’m uber nutrition minded (duh) 2. I don’t like dealing with restaurants and their menus (more on that another day) 3. I don’t like mess in my new minivan. 4. I’m cheap. So that being said, here’s how we role.
A simple 1 day drive would look like this for me:
Breakfast: vegetable, fruit, protein powder, almond milk smoothie; in a cup with a lid and straw. Totally inexpensive and will get us off to a good start on ‘our daily vegetable quota’
Snack: apples, nut butter infused with homemade granola, berries
Lunch: Eating outside at some fab picnic spot. Gluten free sandwiches, root vegetable chips. If someone has a sugar craving, I usually have dried and whole fruit on hand. This is a good time to eat a banana and get rid of that peel AND it hasn’t bruised up yet, so no one is complaining.
Snack: hummus or vege dip and gluten free crackers or pretzels
Dinner: I’ve usually scoped out some ethnic or salad bar type restaurant before traveling. Left overs are not in my plan; we split meals.
*I also like to know what shopping options that I have at our destination. All of us can create a salad, vege wrap, bean and rice bowl etc. from a local grocery store. We like to travel to places with kitchens or I take an ice chest with cut up vegetables and fruits to add to meals that are nutrition skimpy. Yes, I’m that woman that walks into a restaurant with a cute, soft sided ice chest and quietly whips out a handful of vegetables after our food is delivered.
*I make and bring: vege muffins, nutrition bars, and frozen bags of smoothie, lots of fruit like blueberries, strawberries, pineapple, apples, and cut vegetables. Everything is precut and individually packaged for ease and low complaint. I also bring a bag of some kind of healthier chip or popcorn cause I’m a driving nibbler and I don’t want to get stuck staring at the chip aisle at the gas station.
*I love the Bento box idea; hand a box to a kid, everything inside is cut and portion controlled. When they are done, it goes back in the small ice chest behind a seat. I include a small wipe in the lunch.
Pre pour it all. I bring two water bottles for each traveler. I’m a tea drinker and often ended up buying way too sugary tea from gas stations. One of my bottles has tea and my man has an iced coffee. The offspring like oxylent brand powder; I’ll put some in one of their bottles too for a change of flavor.
Gluten Free Granola
Using a large cookie sheet, cover the bottom with parchment paper and preheat oven to 300 degrees. In a large mixing bowl combine:
• 3 cups whole GF rolled oats or quinoa oats (not instant or quick)
• pinch of salt (optional)
• 1 tsp cinnamon
• 1/2 cup pure maple syrup or brown rice syrup
• 1/2 cup shaved coconut
• 1/2 cup of any raw nuts & seeds
• optional: after cooling, stir in 1/2 cup dried fruit of any kind
Stir all ingredients together (will be slightly wet.) Pour into single layer on pan and bake in preheated 300 degree oven for 15 minutes. Stir contents, arrange in single layer again, and continue baking for another 10 to 12 minutes and remove (Bake until barely starting to turn a little tan.) Stir again and allow to cool. Granola will be crunchy when cooled.
Store in a glass jar to ensure longer freshness.
Remember: PLAN! PRECUT! PREPACKAGE!
Junk food makes you tired, crabby, can give you stomach aches, dyes will hype or depress you, and you’re not a garbage can!
Enjoy your summer travels!
Power to the family!