Like most people, seniors like to travel. As more people become vaccinated against the Covid-19 virus, more public locations are welcoming back visitors. Whether it is a short trip in the local area or a longer trip out of the area, vaccinated seniors are ready to leave the confines of their homes and be with other people.
When these trips mean that the seniors will not be returning home to eat, knowing how to maintain a healthy diet while traveling can be one of the to-do items on their travel agenda. In addition to looking forward to a memorable trip, a little pre-planning for meals and snacks goes a long way to maintain good digestion, stable blood sugar levels, steady energy, and healthy nutrition for seniors. When planning for a trip, try to incorporate some of the following tips for healthy eating while traveling.
How to Eat Healthy While Traveling in the Local Area
Traveling in the local area often means going to see friends and family, sightseeing, or going to a concert or special event. Regardless of what the travel plans are, the trips generally mean that seniors will be eating one or more meals and snacks while away from home. Eating a well-balanced diet is the key to getting the right nutrition for seniors. Pre-packing meals, snacks, and drinks will allow seniors to fully enjoy their trips and to keep a healthy dietary routine at the same time.
1. Pack non-perishable foods: Use snack-size bags to pack serving sizes of non-perishable foods to enjoy while traveling. Nutritious foods can include:
-Unsalted nuts and seeds that are packed with good fats and proteins
-Dried fruits and vegetables
-Unsalted crackers, whole-grain pretzels, unsalted rice cakes, and whole wheat breadsticks
-Peanut butter and cheese crackers
-Trail mixes, granola bars, and protein bars with added nuts and fruits
2. Cooler packed foods and drinks: While some foods and snacks can last for several hours in a cool vehicle, placing them in a cooler will keep them fresh throughout the trip. These foods include:
-Fruit slices, whole apples, peaches, pears, and berries
-Carrots, celery stalks, cucumber slices
– Tuna salad, egg salad, or sliced vegetable sandwiches made with whole wheat bread
-Single serving yogurt cups
-Bottled water, no sugar sodas, and non-caffeinated teas
How to Eat Healthy While Traveling out of the Local Area
Travel plans for trips that will last several days or weeks mean staying in hotels, motels, or in the homes of family and friends. While on a long stay away from home, seniors can still maintain a healthy diet by using the following tips.
1. When staying at the home of a friend or family member:
-Offer to buy or bring the food supplies or ask that the host have the healthy staples that are needed for good nutrition for seniors.
-Start each day with a healthy breakfast that supports good blood sugar levels and helps the body’s metabolism. Healthy choices include instant oatmeal with added almond slices or dried fruit, a hard-boiled egg with a slice of whole-grain toast, a banana, a cup of Greek yogurt with added berries or almond slices, a cup of tomato juice, and a cup of decaffeinated coffee or tea with low-fat milk.
-When dining out try to review the restaurant’s menu in advance for offerings with high protein, low carbohydrates, and healthy fats. Getting essential vitamins and minerals is convenient when adding high-fiber vegetables to the meal selection.
-Take prepackaged snacks when going for day trips with friends or family members.
-Drink plenty of water to remain hydrated while touring the area, especially in warm climates.
2. When staying at a hotel or motel:
-Request a room with a kitchenette area. Healthy food staples can be purchased at a local grocery store and meals can be prepared in the room.
-Enjoy a complimentary continental breakfast by selecting hard-boiled eggs, whole-grain bread, low-fat yogurt, fresh fruit, decaffeinated coffee, or decaffeinated tea with low-fat milk.
-When dining at a buffet walk around the serving tables to make healthy choices for salads, lean meats, fresh or steamed vegetables, and fresh fruits before going through the line with a plate.
3. When sightseeing or on a tour:
-Pack a bag or backpack with non-perishable healthy snacks to enjoy throughout the trip. Eating a small snack every hour or two will support energy and blood sugar levels.
-Bring and drink plenty of water to remain hydrated throughout the outing, especially in warm climates.
The Bottom Line:
With some pre-planning before going on a long or short trip, seniors can eat healthy meals and snacks while enjoying every mile and every day of their travels.