What’s for dinner…away from home?

DPeart's picture
Posted by DPeart on 2012-07-12 11:56

On vacation, healthy eating can be a real challenge, more or less so depending on where you go and how you get there. Of course, there will be occasional treats or splurges. But with careful planning, you can find ways to have fun and relax on vacation, without abandoning healthy eating!

Travelling by car

On car trips, my family always packs a cooler with fresh fruit that travels well like apples, some hard-boiled eggs, home-made trail mix (e.g. dried fruit, whole-grain cereal, nuts and seeds), bottled water and 100 per cent fruit juice boxes. Cutting down on the purchase of nutrient-poor treats from stops along the way, and having less need to stop, means you save on travel time, as well as money!

By plane

Be sure to check airline guidelines prior to flying so you know what is and is not allowed to be brought on board, and bring along some nutrient rich foods.    

At the hotel

Once we arrive at our destination, we always find a grocery store and purchase items to keep in our hotel room. For example, we get breakfast and snack items like whole-grain bread, instant porridge, a small container of peanut butter, fresh fruit and bottled water. If there’s a fridge available in the room, it’s a great idea to get milk and whole-grain cereal, and maybe some 100 per cent fruit juice. Again, this will cut down on the need to purchase over-priced and often less than healthy items from convenience stores, or worse—from the notoriously pricey mini-bar!  I also find that eating a light breakfast in the hotel room before embarking on your day means you can purchase two meals from restaurants (i.e. lunch and dinner) and forgo breakfast at a restaurant, which tends to be high in fat, and a larger than many of us can eat.       

At the restaurant/resort

Many restaurants have nutrition information available—ask the server prior to ordering so that you can choose wisely. Compare calorie levels, as well as fat (especially saturated fat) and sodium.  To aid in portion control, consider ordering an appetizer with a salad instead of a full meal, or share a meal between two people. Look for items that are grilled, steamed or baked rather than fried and/or battered. If available, items with the Health Check logo are healthy choices that meet strict nutrient guidelines developed by the Heart and Stroke Foundation’s registered dietitians.  

At a resort remember that they aim to please. Chefs are often very accommodating if you ask for dressing on the side, main courses prepared a different way, half servings, extra vegetables, etc.

For dessert, fresh fruit is a great option!

At the cottage

Get creative with the grill; for a healthy change of pace, grill salmon, vegetable kabobs with small amounts of meat or shrimp, or marinated tofu.  Also try grilling eggplant, red, yellow or orange peppers or even pineapple!    

Regardless of where you vacation, complement your meals with a green salad and other vegetables, and snack on crunchy veggies between meals. Adding fibre to your daily intake as well as drinking lots of water will help you stay regular on vacation, when changes in sleep and eating patterns can affect digestion.  

Add some interesting whole grains such as brown rice or quinoa and a salad and remember to hydrate!

Happy trails!


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