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By Priya Kathpal

Eating is a huge part of any travel plan especially when you plan to take a road trip and are not too sure when and where the next meal will be. You definitely don’t want to end up hungry at the wrong time, have stomach issues or any other health problem during the journey. Nutritionist Priya Kathpal gives us some useful tips that can help you enjoy your journey to the fullest without compromising too much on food.

  • Eat well before you start. It may not be a very heavy meal but try to keep it healthy and low on fats to avoid any digestive disorders. Eggs, fruits and juices make a perfect meal.
  • Carry food that does not require too much cooking and planning. Carry fruits like bananas and apples that can be kept for long without refrigeration. Also pick up some nuts and dry fruits. You can pack some home-made simple sandwiches like peanut butter or chutney.
  • With technological advancements, it’s easy to plan ahead. Check out your route and figure out the stops like gas stations and common food chains. They are your best bets when it comes to hygienic food.
  • Water-borne diseases are very common and it will spoil the whole trip if you don’t take care. Always carry enough water or buy only packaged water during the journey. Similarly, choose packaged juices over fresh ones unless you are 100% sure about the place.
  • Snack wisely and don’t go overboard on chips and fried foods. They dehydrate you sooner due to high sodium content.
  • The basics while travelling would be to keep your meals light so instead of a full meal including rice, roti, dal and vegetables, you could just stick to dal khichdi with curd or 1-2 small roti with vegetable or dal. Time gap between main meals could easily be 5-6 hours and even lighter mid-meal snacks could be included at 2 ½- 3 hours interval.
  • If you are one of those who feels car sick, carrying some ginger-ale or lemonade is a good idea. You can keep sipping on it at regular intervals to avoid the nauseating feeling. Chewing on a sugar-free gum also helps some people.

Another well-known dietician Khusboo Sahijwani tells us how to choose the right cuisine and food joint. She says, ‘Basic caution would be to ensure hygiene and sanitation at the food joint and in the vicinity. The hygiene and sanitation would also imply on the crockery in which the food is served and the cleanliness of the staff serving the food. Prefer and order meals that are cooked and well-heated and avoid anything that is cut open and raw like salads, onions and pickles. Also avoid anything that is just picked up and served from the display.Cuisine would depend a lot on the place where the person is travelling.’

Generally on road trips, you have dhabas where in you could stick to hot, well-cooked dals, parathas without butter and definitely avoid the pickles and onions served with it. Also avoid meat and dairy as you don’t know how well is it stored and cooked and you can become more susceptible to infections. You also have fast food options where you could stick to basic south Indian items like idlis and plain dosa with sambhar again avoiding the coconut chutney.

According to dietician Khusboo, one should avoid foods made out of refined flour like white breads, biscuits, bakery items, processed and ready-to-eat foods during the journey. It is also advisable to avoid sugar containing foods and beverages like chocolates and mithais.

Image source: Getty Images

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How to eat healthy on a road trip