Whether you’re piled in a car with friends or family for 4 or 48 hours, road trips are a classic summertime getaway. But when hunger strikes on the open road, fast food chains dotting the sides of highways are your only options for miles. Although it’s a quick fix, the heavy food can send you snoozing in the backseat or worse: the driver’s seat. This post shows some snacks to pack that will let you drive on by the restaurants while earning you some energy for the adventure ahead.
Fruits and Veggies
Long road trips are a perfect time to squeeze in some of your fruits and veggies for the day. Their low-calorie counts mean you can snack on them all trip long! While you want to leave the juicy (like peaches or plums) and easily bruised (like bananas) fruits at home, most raw fruits and veggies will travel well. Some example fruit & veggie choices:
- Baby carrots (or sliced carrot rounds)
- Snap peas
- Broccoli & cauliflower
- Sliced bell peppers (though peppers do best if you have a cooler!)
- Celery sticks
- Dried or freeze-dried fruit. But be mindful of serving size – dried fruit can have a higher calorie count than raw fruit but freeze-dried fruit has a much lower calorie count than dried
- Squeezable applesauce. That’s right, squeezable snacks aren’t just for kids! As long as you look for squeezable pouches with 100% fruit and no added sugar, you can nosh on these with no spoon necessary
- Smoothies. Be sure to look for ones with no added sugar; or you can blend up some of those juicy fruits you won’t be able to bring!
You can jazz up your raw veggies with some dippers too; look for travel containers of hummus, guacamole, and peanut butter for dippers that are hard to spill!
Protein is key for long-lasting energy, which is vital for those long, boring stretches of highway where everyone else is asleep in the backseat. Turn the radio up and munch on these protein packed snacks for some energy to fuel your road-trip singing voice!
- Squeezable Greek yogurt. Squeezables strike again – many Greek yogurt brands also make squeezable pouches so you can enjoy some yogurt without a spoon. As with any type of yogurt, make sure to check the ingredients. Stay away from yogurts that have added sugar. Milk has naturally occurring sugar in it already, so you don’t need more added sugar on top of that.
- Snackable Almonds. Nuts are high in protein, but mind the serving size; nuts can also have a high calorie count. It might be helpful to buy or make containers with about one serving so you don’t mindlessly munch!
- Nut butter packets. Spread them on whole grain crackers, fruit, or just eat it straight for some high-protein deliciousness!
- Cheese – cheese is packed with protein and hard to spill
- Hard boiled eggs
Road trips are notoriously dehydrating. Yes those extra beverages may mean extra pit stops, but you won’t be limited to a stop with a restaurant. This means you can stop wherever you want to appreciate the places you’re passing through!
- Flavored sparkling water
- Unsweet tea. You may want to avoid this drink in the evening due to its caffeine content
For those times when you find a stop you just can’t pass up, any of these snacks combined can make for a satisfying side of the road meal. But if you’re looking for something a little heartier, try tuna! Canned 100% pure tuna with no added salt or liquids is a healthy, protein-packed food that keeps without a cooler. Pop open a can and mix it with some of your other veggies for a tuna salad, or just spread it on whole grain crackers or celery sticks for a snack that feels like a meal.
- Save space by ditching the store packaging and packing your snacks in your own stackable containers so you can see what’s inside
- Label each container for even more snacktime clarity
- Use a “snack bin” & stack your containers in one location in the car so you know where each snack is; no more digging through a suitcase to find your favorite crackers!
These snacks will help you be a power road tripper throughout the summer season. Safe travels from Army H.E.A.L.T.H.!
Many vegetables taste better cooked; however, the method of cooking can rob you of some of the vegetable’s important nutrients. A study that recently captured the attention of several news outlets revealed that one of the best possible ways to preserve nutrients in your vegetables is somewhat unexpected: the microwave.
The Healthiest Way to Cook Mushrooms Is Totally Surprising. TIME “The researchers concluded that the best way to cook mushrooms while still preserving their nutritional properties is to grill or microwave them, as the fried and boiled mushrooms showed significantly less antioxidant activity.”
Microwave mushrooms “to keep their goodness,” scientists say: BBC “Frying resulted in protein and carbohydrates being lost from the mushrooms, as well as antioxidant compounds. Antioxidants are vitamins and chemicals that play a key role in protecting the body against free radicals, which are linked to heart disease, cancer and other diseases.”
Nutritional properties of mushrooms are better preserved when they are grilled or microwaved: Science Daily “When mushrooms were cooked by microwave or grill, the content of polyphenol and antioxidant activity increased significantly, and there are no significant losses in nutritional value of the cooked mushrooms.”
Preserve Nutrients in the Kitchen: Environmental Nutrition “Make friends with your microwave. Since it cuts cooking time and water use, the microwave is a nutrient-friendly kitchen appliance. A 2009 study published in the Journal of Food Science found microwaving preserved higher antioxidant activity in a majority of 20 vegetables studied compared to any other cooking method.”
Memorial Day is approaching and although it may be a three-day weekend filled with barbeques and family gatherings, this holiday has a very significant meaning: remembering those who have lost their lives fighting in our armed forces. Memorial Day is a great opportunity to continue to remind ourselves about the ultimate sacrifices so many men and women have made for our country.
What’s the Difference between Memorial Day and Veterans Day?
People often confuse Memorial Day and Veterans Day because both are national holidays set forth to honor our Armed Forces. Memorial Day is a day for remembering and honoring military personnel who died in the service of their country, particularly those who died in battle or as a result of wounds sustained in battle. Veterans Day is the day set aside to thank and honor all those who served honorably in the military in both wartime and peacetime. Veterans Day is largely intended to thank all living veterans for their service and the sacrifices they made to defend our great country. On the other hand, Memorial Day is a day set aside to remember those who paid the ultimate sacrifice by giving their lives for our country. This day is an opportunity to show our support and gratitude to their families.
Prior to being called Memorial Day, this holiday was called Decoration Day in response to the American Civil War, in which some 620,000 soldiers died. The loss of life and its effect on communities throughout the country led to spontaneous commemorations of the dead. In April 1866, women from Columbus, Mississippi, laid flowers on the graves of both Union and Confederate Soldiers. In the same month in Carbondale, Illinois, 219 Civil War veterans marched through town in memory of the fallen to Woodlawn Cemetery, where Union hero Major General John A. Logan delivered the principal address. This ceremony gave Carbondale its claim as the first organized, community-wide Memorial Day observance. Waterloo, New York, began holding an annual community service on May 5, 1866. Although many towns claimed the title, it was Waterloo that won congressional recognition as the "birthplace of Memorial Day."
- It is customary on Memorial Day to fly the flag at half-staff until noon, and then raise it to the top of the staff until sunset.
- The World War I poem "In Flanders Fields,"by John McCrea, inspired the Memorial Day custom of wearing red artificial poppies. In 1915, a Georgia teacher and volunteer war worker named Moina Michael began a campaign to make the poppy a symbol of tribute to veterans and for "keeping the faith with all who died."
- In 2000, Congress established a National Moment of Remembrance, which asks Americans to pause for one minute at 3pm in an act of national unity. The time was chosen because 3pm "is the time when most Americans are enjoying their freedoms on the national holiday."
- The first large observance of Memorial Day was held at Arlington National Cemetery.
Ideas for Observance
- Visit cemeteries to decorate the grave-sites of fallen military members with flowers and flags
- Visit military memorials
- Support a charity that remembers fallen warriors and provides ongoing support to their families
- Attend special events and ceremonies, wear a Memorial Day badge, red artificial poppy or flag pin
As Memorial Day approaches, it is time to pause and consider the true meaning of this holiday. Memorial Day represents one day of historical national awareness and admiration, honoring those Americans who died while defending our Nation and its values. While we should honor these fallen heroes every day for the profound contribution they have made to securing our Nation’s freedom, we should honor them especially on Memorial Day.
Logan’s General Order No. 11 (5 May 1868)
In Flanders Fields by John McCrae
Pediatricians have spoken this week on updated guidelines for fruit juice. The last update on fruit juice recommendations was in 2001. The reason for this new update? Juice is not as healthy of a choice for kids as many parents think.
This week’s news roundup brings a collection of articles related to the new updated guidelines on fruit juice consumption being released by the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Pediatricians Advise No Fruit Juice Until Kids are 1. NPR. “‘We want to reinforce that the most recent evidence supports that fruit juice should be a limited part of the diet of children,’ says Steven Abrams, a professor of pediatrics at Dell Medical School at the University of Texas at Austin, and an author of the guidelines, which were published Monday in Pediatrics. Whole fruit is a much better way to get all the vitamins and nutrients of fruit, the guidelines say. Whole fruit contains fiber, which slows the absorption of sugar by the body, and it also makes you feel fuller than juice, which can prevent overeating.”
Pediatricians Say No Fruit Juice in Child’s First Year. THE NEW YORK TIMES. “In the past, the American Academy of Pediatrics had advised parents to avoid 100 percent fruit juice for babies younger than 6 months. On Monday, the group toughened its stance against juice, recommending that the drink be banned entirely from a baby’s diet during the first year. The concern is that juice offers no nutritional benefits early in life, and can take the place of what babies really need: breast milk or formula and their protein, fat and minerals like calcium, the group said.”
Hey Parents, Surprise, Fruit Juice is Not Fruit. THE NEW YORK TIMES. “When we substitute juice for fruit, at home or at school, we’re cheating children out of the healthful diet they need to thrive in the name of convenience and consumerism. Fruit juice is not fruit, and we’ve been fooling ourselves for too long.”
Pediatricians are Taking a Harder Line on Babies Drinking Fruit Juice.NEW YORK MAGAZINE. “That toughened stance is a response to the fact that fruit juice has won itself a very healthy, ‘natural’ reputation, and lots of people don’t understand just how nutritionally useless it is. I was surprised, for example, to find out that, ‘[i]n terms of sugar and calories, store-bought juice is similar to soda.’”
There are six National Observances during National Military Appreciation Month.
- Loyalty Day (Monday, May 1st)
- Public Service Recognition Week (Sunday, May 7th-Saturday, May 13th)
- Victory in Europe Day AKA VE Day (Monday, May 8th)
- Military Spouse Appreciation Day (Friday, may 12th)
- Armed Forces Day (Saturday, May 20th)
- Memorial Day (Monday, May 29th)
In addition to these special observances, many retailers/businesses are offering discounts to active-duty, reserve and retired military personnel (oftentimes the discount is good for spouses and dependents, too!). For a list of these discounts, CLICK HERE.
The most recognized of these observances is Memorial Day. Let’s not forget the significance of this day while we plan our BBQ’s, get-togethers, weekend getaways, etc. This federal holiday is for remembering our fallen soldiers, those people who died serving our country in the armed forces. To learn more about the history of Memorial Day, CLICK HERE.
Our nation’s capital has a variety of events on Memorial Day Weekend, to see what they have in store, CLICK HERE.
Regardless of how any of us plan to spend Memorial Day, or how we’ve spent this last month, let’s all be mindful of our soldiers, of their spouses, and of all of the sacrifices that have been made for our freedom!