Message from the RDs: Nutrition Tips for a Healthier Summer Vacation by Chelsea Rice


A vacation is a time to unwind, relax, and rejuvenate. However, even though this can be a great time for our mind, a vacation can also take us away from our regular daily health routine. Whether you are traveling to a new city or heading to your favorite beach spot, a vacation does not have to result in unhealthy eating! By following these tips, you can enjoy your stress-free trip while still achieving your health and wellness goals.

#1: Plan ahead.

Pack your own snacks and small meals to take with you – whether it be on your road trip or on the plane.  This will help you to avoid snacking on convenience food at the airport or stopping at fast food restaurants while driving. Simple foods to pack include trail mix, popcorn, raw vegetables, hummus, apples and nut butters.

#2: Buy the basics.

Once you arrive to your destination, find a supermarket as soon as possible to pick up the basic necessities. Staples like eggs, fruits, vegetables, oatmeal and nuts make for great snacks or additions to meals.

#3: Resist the urge to splurge at each meal.

Many vacations consist of abnormally-timed (or abnormally indulgent) meals, snacks and desserts, but it does not have to be that way! Choose the meals or snacks that you want to treat yourself with and try to stay on track the rest of the day. Pass on the items you can easily get at home that quickly add calories – like that bread basket at dinner. Instead, enjoy the foods that may be unique to your vacation location (such as fresh local gelato!)

#4 Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!

Nothing is more important than drinking water throughout the day, especially during vacation. Traveling can dehydrate you, particularly if you are traveling to a location where you are going to be outside. Pack your water bottle and bring it everywhere you go. It will keep you energized and feeling great during the entire trip.

#5: Enjoy the scenery and walk everywhere.

Whether it be sightseeing or simply swimming in the hotel pool, get outside and get active while you are on vacation. Yes, it is nice to relax, but don’t forget to open your eyes and take advantage of the scenery! Walk on the beach as much as possible or take a hike up a mountain. You’ll make a lot of new memories, while also burning extra calories along the way.

#6: Eat local.

Many restaurants that carry local ingredients have quite the variety of fresh fruits, vegetables, meats and seafood. These foods are often prepared in natural way and are usually not topped with high-calorie sauces or toppings. Instead, they use the flavors from the fresh foods to make them taste great while preserving all of the health benefits.

See one we missed? Tweet at @ffc_nutriton or use the hashtag #FFCChicago!