Jena DeMoss: Start your engines

11 July 2023

It’s mid summer, which means many families are hitting the road. Whether you’re taking a day trip to the beach, heading out on a long road trip, or camping, it’s important to fuel your adventure with nutrient-dense foods. Here are my top three tips for packing a variety of snacks and drinks to help make travel a breeze. 

1. Keep MyPlate in mind. 

The MyPlate method of meal planning is a great way to make sure you’re getting foods from all five food groups – protein, dairy, grains, fruits and vegetables. This provides the balance of nutrients your body needs. A general rule for meal planning is to include three to five different food groups for meals and one to three different food groups for snacks. Utilize this tool when selecting foods to pack for your trip. 

A great choice for protein on the road is peanuts and peanut butter. Peanuts contain seven grams of protein per serving and are a good source of fiber and good fats. Use peanuts to create your own trail mix that features several food groups. Combine peanuts, dried fruit and cereal or popcorn for a quick snack that includes protein, fruit and grains. Energy balls, like the ones featured below, are also great for traveling. They combine protein and carbohydrates to fuel your day. 

2. Pack a Variety of Cold and Shelf-Stable Snacks 

Include a mix of foods that need to be refrigerated with shelf-stable ones to save cooler space. Fill up a cooler with things like raw vegetables, hummus, guacamole, cut-up fruit, string cheese and Greek yogurt. Complement those items with shelf-stable things like whole-grain crackers, applesauce, bananas, peanut butter sandwiches, nuts, and popcorn. To maximize cooler space, freeze water bottles and drink them when they melt. 

3. Don’t Forget the Drinks 

Speaking of water, make sure to include a variety of drinks to keep everyone hydrated. Besides water, another great option is Remedy Kombucha. Kombucha is known for containing probiotics, or live cultures, which promote digestive health. Remedy Kombucha is also a great choice because it doesn’t contain sugar. And because it can be stored in or out of the fridge, it’s perfect for travel. 

Need more ideas for fueling your summer? Consider working with me virtually. Our new Healthy You Subscription is a monthly subscription program where you will have access to a Hy-Vee dietitian, including two 30-minute consultations per month, as well as access to virtual Hy-Vee classes such as freezer meal workshops and Short & Sweat fitness videos, plus free registration in Healthy You Challenges and much more! Ready to start your health and wellness engine? Reach out today!

Make a batch of these nutrient-packed energy balls for your next road trip. 

Peanut Butter and Chocolate Chip Energy Balls 

Serves 25

All you need 

• 1½ cups Hy-Vee quick oats  

• 1½ cups Hy-Vee creamy peanut butter

• ½ cup Performance Inspired whey vanilla bean protein powder

• ½ cup Hy-Vee semisweet chocolate baking chips

• ¼ cup Hy-Vee honey 

• Pinch of salt 

All you do 

1. Combine oats, peanut butter, protein powder, chocolate chips, honey and salt in a medium bowl. 

2. Use a tablespoon measure to scoop dough; roll into balls. Store, covered, at room temperature for 3 days or refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 1 week. 

Recipe source: 

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