healthy eating

8 Healthy Snacks For the Road!

mango with whipped cream

Here’s a list of some more healthy snack ideas you can find while on the road so you don’t have to succumb to poor eating choices:

1. Mixed fruit salad. A fruit smoothie can sound like a healthy snack but an 8 ounce cup can add up to 250 calories. A cup of strawberries will only set you back about 50 calories and it’s more satisfying to chew your food than sip it.

2. Hummus and carrot sticks (or with the pretzels that come in the top)

3. Whole-grain crackers with a few cubes of low-fat cheese

4. Low-fat cottage cheese

5. Plain yogurt with any fresh fruit

6. A skim latte

7. Grilled chicken salad with balsamic dressing on the side (Go easy on the croutons and dressing.)

8. Minestrone soup or chicken noodle soup. (Anything with a clear broth would be great. Try to avoid soups with cream.)

Registered dietician Elizabeth Fassberg runs Eat Food, a New York City-based company that designs and delivers custom food and nutrition programs for businesses, organizations and individuals. She’s coaching the Avagliano family through the six-month Healthy Family Challenge.


Peggy, Week 18: Road Trip! Taking Our Kids To College

The Avagliano Family

Tomorrow we leave to drive three of our kids back to college. Amanda can’t come with us, because she must attend band camp this week. The marching band runs band camp from 9 a.m. until 10 p.m., Monday through Friday. A family friend will stay with Amanda, Minnie, our cat and the dogs.

We plan to do a family road trip, and the first stop is University of North Carolina School of Arts in Winston-Salem. The kids were assigned move-in times based on their last name. Michael’s move-in time is at 8 a.m. on Tuesday. We have time to shop until 2 p.m., when we have to head to a parent orientation. A welcome BBQ is planned for the evening, so we plan to stay over in North Carolina until Wednesday.

Once Michael is settled into his college, we will head to Tallahassee, Florida. Katie is arriving on campus early to audition for the Florida State University Marching Chiefs. Katie played the mellophone for Absegami High School’s Marching Braves, and hopes to become Chief following auditions. Although she must arrive by Friday at 8 a.m., she can’t move into the dorms until 8 p.m. Friday evening. Although Christina is scheduled to move in on Saturday, we can’t head to Sarasota until Katie is settled.

Christina has been living on campus for the past year, but this year she has an apartment with some of her friends. Each girl is to bring a few items for the kitchen, and we’ll try to make sure it’s stocked before we leave for home.

Normally, a road trip would mean Entenmann’s chocolate chip cookies, M& M’s and fast food. With this challenge, I bought fresh fruit, celery, Diet Snapple and—I’ll admit—small bags of M&M’s. I chose hotels with free parking, a fitness center and free wi-fi.

Hopefully, we can stay on track while away. Michael will have to do his final weigh-in on campus.

How do you make your road trips healthier? Post a comment and tell me.


Watch What Foods You Order

Subway 6-inch Veggie Delite Sub on Italian Bread, Subway Apple Slices, Small Bag of Baked Lay?s

When Andy eats out at lunch during the week, he often goes to Subway. This is a better choice than some restaurants but not all menu items are diet-friendly. For instance, one of Andy’s favorites, the BMT (Biggest, Meatiest, Tastiest) footlong sandwich made with salami, pepperoni and ham, has 1000 calories if you include cheese and light mayo. Add chips to that and he’s over 1000 calories for lunch!

It’s amazing to me that a basic lunch meat sandwich has that many calories. Many people would guess that it has far fewer. That’s the problem with eating out. You’re never sure how the food is made so it’s hard to figure out the calories count and most of us underestimate.

After seeing the BMT sandwich listed repeatedly on Andy’s journal, I asked him to try a different sandwich, such as the turkey or chicken breast footlong. These sandwiches have less fat and are a little lower in calories. The turkey footlong with cheese and light mayo has about 740 calories and the chicken breast version has just over 820 calories.

Andy continues to lunch at Subway and he has tried mixing up his sandwich order. But just being aware of how many calories are in these meals is important for all dieters. What seems like a healthy choice can be loaded with calories. In fact, restaurant salads often have more calories than a burger, especially when they’re loaded with cheese, bacon, and creamy dressing.

Check online before going out to see if the restaurant has nutrition information. That way, you’ll be able to identify the real “diet-friendly” choice.

Through her Des Moines-based nutrition company, SK Health Communications, registered dietitian Stephanie Karpinske writes and develops recipes for magazines, books, supermarkets and food companies. She is the author of Read Before Dieting: Your 4-Step Plan for Diet Success and writes a blog about healthy eating, foodnuti.com. She’s coaching the Lehman family through the six-month Healthy Family Challenge.


6 Ways To Snack Healthy On The Road

Grand Teton National Park

Rushing to make your flight or drive to your destination? You can still buy healthy food when you’re in travel mode and surrounded by calorie-laden temptations at the airport or rest stop.

1. Try not to be lured in by the oversized bags of candy or chips. But if you must indulge, at least purchase a small portion or share something with a family member or friend.

2. Usually you can find a snack that’s good for your heart. Try going nuts! If you’re looking for something crunchy and satisfying, a palmful of dry unsalted roasted almonds or pistachios would be a smart idea. They’re also a good source of protein.

3. Craving sweet and flavorful food? How about a cup of watermelon or sliced mango? The high water content of fruits can make you feel fuller longer and can help keep you hydrated.

4. Need something creamy? A small cup of fat-free or low-fat frozen yogurt or just a cup of plain yogurt is a good choice. Watch the large yogurt cups with fruit and granola—they can have up to 500 calories.

5. If a small snack won’t satisfy you, try a whole-grain turkey sandwich with plenty of veggies. Place the dressing on the side or skip it all together.

Happy snacking and travel safely!

Registered dietician Elizabeth Fassberg runs Eat Food, a New York City-based company that designs and delivers custom food and nutrition programs for businesses, organizations and individuals. She’s coaching the Avagliano family through the six-month Healthy Family Challenge.


Peggy, Week 18: 8 Smart, Satisfying Food Swaps

We’ve all been there. Minding our own business when chocolate starts calling our name. Or desperately trying to be good while those frozen French fries start pounding on the freezer door to be let out. To save major calories, I came up with more smart swaps to stay on track. They’ve helped me and hopefully will do the same for you.

When you want: Chocolate covered pretzels…
Try: Slices of apple drizzled with two tablespoons of chocolate. Or fresh fruit salad with yogurt covered raisins.

When you want: You want an ice cream sundae…
Try: Strawberry sorbet or frozen yogurt with fresh fruit.

When you want: Potato chip…
Try: Celery or baby carrots with ranch dressing or air-popped popcorn.

When you want: Chocolate chip cookies and milk…
Try: Making your favorite recipe using Splenda instead of sugar and skim milk instead of whole. Also, only bake 2 per person in the house. (You can always freeze the remaining cookie dough.) Or try one of the 100-calorie cookie packs.

When you want: A cheeseburger and French fries…
Try: A turkey burger and home made oven fries or grilled chicken with fruit salad and baked chips.

When you want: Sweet tea…
Try: Brewing it yourself and add fresh fruit, such as lemons, to taste.

When you want: Baked macaroni and cheese…
Try: Adding grilled veggies and a little less pasta and cheese.

When you want: Crème brulee…
Try: Sugar free pudding.

Tell us what you want, and what you’re willing to try instead below.