How to eat healthily on family car journeys
Taking the right snacks on a car journey can make the trip more enjoyable for the whole family. Read on for tips about healthy versus fatty and sugary snacks, how to keep the car tidy and other things to consider when preparing for an enjoyable ‘picnic on the road’.
What to eat
Cereal bars and dry fruits are often a healthier alternative to sweets and chocolate, which can make children overexcited. Fresh fruit such as bananas and grapes as well as cheese slices, oat cakes, crackers and light yogurt are all options to pack for the journey. If you’re worried about a messy car, it makes sense to avoid dips or food that can easily leave crumbs. For example, pitta pockets and tortilla wraps might not be as messy as sandwiches.
What to drink
There’s always the temptation to stock up on fizzy drinks but, with a little preparation, you could avoid this. Water could be the healthiest drink for your family and it won’t stain your car seats if it’s spilled, so it might be worth putting some water bottles in the fridge the night before the journey.
How much food to bring
It’s surprising how much we can eat when we’re travelling in the car. For long journeys, it makes sense to pack enough to keep the whole family going. You could make up small packets of healthy snacks - such as carrot sticks, cherry tomatoes, olives and dry fruits - that everyone can munch on throughout the journey. But do make sure that you have plenty of main food items, like sandwiches, as well.
Where to eat
If you think you’ll be passing through a scenic area and have time to spare, why not stop for a proper picnic? Make sure you have enough paper plates, cutlery and plastic bags to put all the rubbish in. Of course, if you’re in a rush, the passengers can eat on the go.
Keeping the car tidy
You could try packing all the food and drink into easy-access holdalls so they can be moved around easily. Be sure to secure all the bags properly so there are no loose items which could fly around in the car if there’s a sudden halt. You can also keep the mess in check by having designated plastic bags to put all the rubbish in.
Safety advice for drivers
- The AA advises drivers to avoid heavy meals before a drive, as this can lead to driver fatigue.
- The law also advises against eating and drinking behind the wheel, as this can lead to driver distraction. It is a better idea for the driver to pull over safely before eating or drinking.
Thanks Gargi! Mind you, I've got to say that I - for one - would never give a child a pitta pocket or a wrap to eat in the car, but then maybe my experience of the contents going absolutely everywhere isn't everyone's! Gargi writes on a range of topics including car insurance, car safety and other motoring topics. When she’s not writing, she enjoys yoga and cooking Indian food - I'll have to see if she'd like to write a recipe for us!