"Americans spend nearly half their food dollars on food prepared away from
home, but that only accounts for about 21% of the meals they eat," says Joanne
Lichten, PhD, RD, author of How to Stay Healthy & Fit on the
Here are tips to show you how -- whether you're at home or on the road.
Healthy Fast Food: For the Road
When you want an alternative to the fast-food joints calling your name,
think cool: an insulated cooler, that is. Then stock it with:
Water, low-fat milk, or 100% juice. But beware of the calories in drinks
other than water, says Lichten.Take that cooled milk and douse it over
whole-grain cereals that come in their own single-serve cups. A great snack or
part of a meal when you're in transit.
Low-fat cheese sticks to go with rolls and fruit.
Tubes or cartons of yogurt.
Cut veggies or washed baby carrots and cherry tomatoes. Add a container of
Sliced bananas, apples, grapes and pears.
Other single portion items for portable feasts include:
Peanut butter in a tube or a small tub to go with crackers or bread
Single-serve cans of tuna with easy-open tops and crackers.
Cans or cups of fruit packed in their own juice.
Dehydrated bean soups (get hot water at a roadside rest
"Always have fruit and vegetables along for the ride," Lichten recommends.
"They are the foods we miss out on when traveling."
Trail mix made from dried fruits, nuts, seeds, pretzels, or cereal with a
few chocolate chips thrown in for good measure makes a satisfying snack, adds
Kerry Neville, MS, RD, a spokesperson for the American Dietetic
And in a pinch -- when you're on the road with children and didn't plan
ahead -- pull into the supermarket instead of the fast-food drive-in. You can
pick up fresh fruit, cheese, and bread for a satisfying meal to go.
Healthy Fast Food: At Home
Stock Your Cabinets With Fast, Nutritious Food
Planning helps you pull your own fast-food act together. Get out the
calendar and figure out your food needs for the week ahead. Make a quick list.
Now it's time to shop. Consider stocking:
Whole-grain breads and cereals, pasta, and prepared pizza crust.