Summertime means you’ll likely be taking to the road for some quality family time and adventures to check off your bucket list. While packing nutritious snacks are always a good idea, it’s likely you’ll need to stop along the way to pick up more substantial meals for the family. Vacations are a special time to splurge and indulge on some food items but if you’re looking for the most nutritious options while on vacation, here are my top picks for places to stop. These all make the cut because there’s something for everyone to pick from and they also offer some sort of veggies, fruit, fiber and lean protein to provide those valuable nutrients. The one thing you can also be sure you’ll find when eating out is a substantial content of sodium, so fill up on some water as well as potassium from fruits and veggies, which will help to balance the sodium, and try to plan to make some homemade options when you arrive to your destination, if at all possible.
Grilled Nuggets with Superfood Side
Grilled Chicken Sandwich
Grilled Cool Wrap with dressing of choice, on the side
Spicy Southwest or Market Salad with dressing of choice, on the side
Grilled Nuggets Kids Meal with fresh fruit cup and milk
Choose a 6-inch sandwich on 9-grain honey oat or 9-grain wheat (while multigrain breads are not 100% whole grains, they do provide some fiber) with any veggies. Go easy on the mayo, dressing and cheese.
All of these actually have less than 3 grams saturated fat and contain less than 800 mg sodium:
Black Forest Ham
Oven Roasted Turkey
Rotisserie Style Chicken
Unwich or lettuce wraps take the top selection, but I’d bet you aren’t going here and wanting to avoid the bread.
I like the flavor and texture of whole grains, and while these are multigrains and not 100% whole grains, it’s worth the flavor for me. But if it’s white bread you like, it’s okay to splurge here and there. If your favorite didn’t make the list, these are the lowest saturated fat and sodium content, but remember moderation balance is key.
Roast Beef and Turkey Breast
My favorite picks include any desired choose two, try to incorporate a veggie, if able. For example, a salad with protein and dressing on the side along with a sandwich, soup or spud of your choosing.
For kids, the chicken and broccoli bowl is a filling and a great option with a veggie.
My top picks for sides include extra veggies like the tomato and cucumber salad, superfood salad or steamed broccoli or the fresh fruit rather than chips. It’s understandable if you crave chips with sandwiches, but some of these veggie sides offer a good opportunity for something different.
For variety, a favorite go-to includes any pick two, aim to include a salad with protein like hard boiled eggs, steak or chicken and a sandwich or soup of choice.
Try to save the side for later, aim to pick an apple over chips or extra bread, and have the apple as a snack later.
If you’re there for breakfast, incorporate protein for staying power and satisfaction is a great idea, and these breakfast sandwiches/wraps make it a delicious option that won’t disappoint.
Mediterranean Egg White Wrap
Chipotle Chicken Egg and Avocado Wrap
Avocado Egg White and Spinach Sandwich
If stopping by for breakfast, protein rich, filling and satisfying options include:
Egg White and Red Pepper Sous Vide Egg Bites
Ham, Cheddar and Pepper Sous Vide Egg Bites
Turkey Bacon and Egg White Breakfast Sandwich
Spinach, Feta and Egg White Breakfast Wrap
If available, protein boxes like the egg and cheese, cheese and fruit, chicken wrap and smoked turkey offer an adult lunchable-like option that includes protein, fiber and maybe even some veggies like carrots or cucumbers.
For kids, there’s always milk, applesauce pouches and string cheese to compliment any of the above picks, especially if sharing various options above with mom and dad or siblings.
Rebecca Miller, MPH, RDN, LDN is a registered dietitian nutritionist who shares recipes + inspiration on her blog, Twisted Nutrition. She can be reached at TwistedNutritionBlog.com or via email BMillerRD85@gmail.com