Dashboard Dining: Good Choices While Out on the Open Road

September 17 00:00 2001 Print This Article

Though its not the first place you would choose to eat, your car may be one place where you occasionally catch a meal. Today, the phrase to go means food is not going home, its going with you in the car while you shuttle yourself or your kids between appointments, practices and games.

About 40 cents out of every dollar spent on food buys meals that are eaten away from homemuch of it spent on fast food. Data show the trend will continue, with the fast food industry growing at double the rate of traditional sit-down restaurants.

So while your dashboard is not the ideal place to fuel up, on days when it is necessary, use these tips to ensure that you eat as healthfully as possible.

  • Step out of the box if youre dining alone. Pass up the usual kid-favorite burger and taco shops. Instead, drive to a bagel store, deli, ethnic restaurant or supermarket. Choose a vegetable sandwich or wrap, a fresh fruit salad with yogurt or a deli salad made with grains and vegetables. You can even enjoy a serving of soup (broth-based)simply have it served in a coffee cup so you can sip it while behind the wheel.

  • Watch portion sizes. Over the past several years, the amount of food served at restaurants has ballooned. Meal deals and super-sized options are better buys price-wise, but they are not a good deal when it comes to your health. Studies show that regardless of hunger, the more a person is served, the more he or she will eat. Downsize. Order regular-sized sandwiches, drinks and accompaniments.

  • Accessorize meals with color. Rarely is there much in terms of fruits and vegetables on fast food menus. Supplement your meal with a bag of baby carrots, grapes, apple or orange wedges, broccoli flowerets, or dried fruit, from home. Skip the fries and pass around a couple bags of vitamin-rich fruits and veggies to the crew in the car.

  • Make your drink count. The only ones that really do are low-fat or fat-free milk, water, juice or tea. Leave the empty calories at the counter and select beverages with health benefits.


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