Young couple eating salad on beach

How to eat healthy on vacation

Packing your bags this summer? Here’s how to eat healthy when you’re away from home.

Summer vacation is your time to relax and treat yourself. So it can be tempting to leave your good habits behind. The good news is eating healthy on holiday doesn’t have to be hard if you plan ahead. Whether you’re travelling by plane, train or automobile this summer, these tips from our dietitians will help you eat healthy while on vacation.

Travelling by car

On car trips, pack a cooler with fresh fruit that travels well like apples, some hard-cooked eggs, cheese strings, home-made trail mix (such as dried fruit, whole-grain cereal, nuts and seeds) and bottled water. Cutting down on the purchase of nutrient-poor treats from stops along the way, and having less need to stop, means you save on travel time as well as money!

By plane

Be sure to check airline guidelines prior to flying so you know what is allowed on board, and bring along some nutrient rich foods.

If you have time to cook before you travel, these dietitian-approved snacks pack easily for on-the-go snacking:

At the hotel

Once you arrive at your destination, find a grocery store and purchase items to keep in your hotel room. Choose breakfast and snack items like whole-grain bread, instant porridge, a small container of peanut butter, fresh fruit and bottled water.

If there’s a fridge in the room, it’s a great idea to get milk, yogurt and whole-grain cereal. Most hotels with provide a fridge, if you request it. Again, this will cut down on the need to purchase overpriced and often less than healthy items from convenience stores, or worse — from the notoriously pricey mini-bar!

Eating a light breakfast in the hotel room before embarking on your day means you can limit restaurant meals to lunch and dinner. Besides, breakfast at a restaurant tends to be high in fat and larger than most people can eat.

At the restaurant or resort

Many restaurants have nutrition information available — ask the server before you order so you can choose wisely. Compare calorie levels as well as fat (especially saturated fat) and sodium. To aid in portion control, consider ordering an appetizer with a salad instead of a full meal, or share a meal between two people. Look for items that are grilled, steamed or baked rather than fried and/or battered.

At a resort remember that they aim to please. Chefs are often very accommodating if you ask for dressing on the side, main courses prepared a different way, half servings or extra vegetables. For dessert, fresh fruit is a great option!

At the cottage

Get creative with the grill; for a healthy change of pace, grill salmon, vegetable kabobs with small amounts of meat or shrimp, or marinated tofu.  Also try grilling eggplant, red, yellow or orange peppers or even pineapple! For more inspiration, check out our latest collection of healthy grill recipes.

Regardless of where you vacation, complement your meals with a green salad and other vegetables, and snack on crunchy veggies between meals. Adding fibre to your daily intake as well as drinking lots of water will help you stay regular on vacation, when changes in sleep and eating patterns can affect digestion.  Add some interesting whole grains such as brown rice or quinoa and remember to hydrate!


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