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Feature Articles: Food, Fitness and Travel


Keep foods safe while traveling

Melissa Bess, Nutrition and Health Education Specialist, Camden County, University of Missouri Extension


Many families are planning vacations for the spring and summer months. Whether traveling by car, bus, train or airplane, most trips involve more than one meal. Here are some ideas to save money and keep foods safe and healthy to eat. Planning ahead is the key.


While traveling by car, a cooler full of food and drinks is a great idea. These items are readily available and the family can stop at a rest stop or park and enjoy a meal together. Cold cuts, raw fruits or vegetables, and bottled water make a great, inexpensive meal. Make sure all fruits and vegetables are washed and ready to eat. If traveling by bus, airplane or train, a small insulated bag with a cold pack would be a better option. Have plenty of ice or cold packs on hand to keep foods cold.


Stock up on bottled water and other drinks and snacks at a supermarket rather than a convenience store to save money. Buy items such as nuts, bagels, pretzels, crackers, peanut butter, baked chips, graham crackers or dried fruit in bulk (if you will use all of it). Dividing these items into individual portions using plastic bags is much cheaper than buying these snacks at a convenience store.


Stop at a supermarket and pick up cold cuts or even pre-made sandwiches. Side items may be available in the deli area as well. Some supermarkets may even have a salad bar. Find a local park or rest area or have a picnic in your hotel room.


If you do choose to eat fast food, try one of the many healthier options available such as salads, bottled water, milk or fruits. Avoid sauces and dressings or ask for them on the side. Avoiding certain condiments, such as mayonnaise on a sandwich, can greatly reduce the amount of calories and fat. Many restaurants have their nutrition information on their website, so browse the information before you leave so you have ideas of places to go and foods to choose.


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Last update: Tuesday, July 29, 2014