Roxanne E Moore: Hi! I am Roxanne Moore, Registered Dietician and Director of Wellness for Sodexo Schools. The ideal meal or snack on the road includes a combination of foods and nutrients including carbs, protein and fat. I hear complaints all of the time that it's simply too hard to eat balanced when on the road, but that's not true.
First you want to reference Choose My Plate for a simple review of all the food groups that should make up a meal. And familiarize yourself with the types of food in each goop. Then you need to develop a plan. This may involve packing some foods to take with you and scoping out restaurants that you know will have healthier options.
Some great on the road foods to pack include pretzels, rice cakes, can fruits packed in water, dry foods and even sliced vegetables with portable containers of low fat dip. You may also want portable sources of protein to help sustain your appetite, for example water-pack tuna in pouches, low-fat string cheese, hard boiled eggs and yogurt.
Many of these protein choices need to be kept cold in a cooler for food safety. You can also choose from a variety of sports bars. Some are mostly made up of carbs, others offer a balance of carbs and protein and still others are very high in protein.
The type of bar you select depends on what you can tolerate and the amount of time you have for digestion. So test them out before going into competition. Now also, don't forget your beverages. Avoid stopping for fountain sodas that can bloat you and instead pack hydrating beverages such as waters, sports drink and a 100% fruit juice.
So now let's put some of these foods together to create a balanced on the go meal that includes a combination of carbs, protein and fat. So for example combining string cheese with a piece of fruit and some whole grain cereal, or may be peanut butter or a whole grain rice cake and a banana or you can even try some yogurt with dry fruit in your favorite cereal. You can even mix the dry fruit in cereal right into your yogurt if you want.
Eating on the road is achievable, but you need a plan. So rather then sending your child out to the soccer field with just a granola bar, keep a to go basket at your home and as you head out the door, be sure to refresh it and make sure your athlete is prepared to do their best.