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Tips for staying healthy during summer travels

With summer just around the corner, millions of Americans will be taking to the roads — and to fast food restaurants.

Summer traveling can mean a lot of miles logged in the family car, and it can also disrupt a healthy routine. However, a little planning and preparation can go a long way.

“You’re kind of a victim for whatever you find along the way,” said dietitian Jen Derrick. But what you eat out on the road can make a big difference in your car. “You may see some differences in energy level if you’re feeding children a lot of sugar.”

Here are some suggestions for food on the go:

  • Dried cereal is a perfect snack. Other grain options include granola bars and popcorn.
  • Baby carrots, sugar snap peas or peppers are vegetables that are easy to take on the road.
  • For fruit, try apples. They hold up well and you can even buy pre-sliced packages to save on prep-time. Make your own trail mix with dried fruit. If your little ones like fruit snacks, try fruit leather. It offers more fruit and less sugar.
  • Hummus is a great lean protein source. It will help you feel full longer, especially when coupled with veggies, pita chips, or crackers.
  • Some other sources of portable protein are dried nuts and jerky.
  • For dairy, kids love string cheese. Also try freezing Go-Gurts so they'll stay better in your cooler. And if you really want to spoil the kids, throw in some chocolate milk.
  • When it comes to stocking drinks, water is always best. Adding flavor will give your water a little personality, without the added sugar or calories.