By Fatima Villalobos

While traveling, whether for vacation, business, or other reasons- the question always comes up: WHAT TO EAT???

Quite often, we allow ourselves to splurge while traveling, and well, why not?  When visiting a new city, it’s only natural to want to immerse yourself in everything it has to offer—including the food!

While it’s important to enjoy and try various kinds of foods, it’s also important to stay mindful of healthful eating habits and know that you are still in control. While it is okay to occasionally deviate and splurge, their are two key elements of “balanced” eating while traveling to keep in mind: 1.) the frequency of eating (number of eating occasions) and 2.) the portion size.

In order to stay “in balance”, as one element increases, the other should be decreased for the remainder of eating occasions.  This strategy allows for flexibility in your food choices so that you can still be in control and food can be enjoyed.  For example, travel conditions may only allow one sit down meal and four snacking opportunities.  In this case, to balance the high number of eating occasions, each portion size should be less than if you were to consume three meals in a day.

Here are some helpful tips while traveling on a road trip and for eating out.

Road Trips

Of all the common modes of transportation, traveling by car offers the most control.  Not only can you carry your own food o

r snacks for the kids, you are in control of when you leave and where along the route you might want to stop to grab a bite. Granted, this involves some planning and some internet searches to map potential restaurants prior to leaving, but let this help set the stage for the rest of the trip.  For a quick meal on the go, and one that I would pack in a cooler for a road trip is our STOP, DROP, AND ROLL WRAP below using the La Tortilla Factory 100 Calorie tortilla.  It can be made using the Traditional or Whole Wheat tortilla, but I prefer the Whole Wheat tortilla.



1 La Tortilla Factory’s 100 Calorie Wrap (Traditional or Whole Wheat)

2 Tbsp Original or flavored hummus

4 slices (4 oz) Deli turkey breast or deli ham (or your favorite meat)

2 slices Sliced cheese (cheddar, Monterey jack or your favorite cheese)

¼ cup Baby spinach leaves (rinse well)


1. Spread 2 Tbsp of hummus on a 100 Calorie tortilla.

2. Next, spread out and layer the slices of cheese, deli meat and baby spinach on top of the tortilla.

3. To wrap, fold in the ends of the tortilla, then take one side and roll away from your body in a tight jelly-roll fashion forming a tight roll.

4. For food safety purposes, wrap tightly with saran wrap, and pack into a cooler with ice!

Nutrition Facts (per serving): Calories 340, Fat 16g, Carbohydrates 35g, Fiber 10g, Protein 24g

Because stopping at a restaurant is bound to happen on a road trip, it’s important to also plan ahead where your potential rest stops may be and what restaurants will be at those stops.  Now a days, many restaurants have their menu’s nutritional information posted on their website.  If you begin your travel thinking healthy and planning for health, chances are, the healthy behaviors will carry into the whole trip.

When Eating Out

When eating out, it’s important to remember that you are in control and that you do have choices.  Here are some additional tips for healthy eating in restaurants:

  1. Opt for steamed, grilled, baked or broiled choices of meats & vegetables
  2. Swap out the fries for fruits or vegetables side orders
  3. Look up the restaurant’s menu and nutritional information on their website prior to making reservations.  Choose a few healthy options, so that when it is your turn to order, you already have something picked out that is healthy.
  4. Ask your waiter to place salad dressings and gravies on the side of the plate.  You will be surprised how just a small drizzle can make a favorable impact.
  5. Order half portions, or plan to eat half, then think about how full you feel before deciding whether or not to finish your plate or take it home for later
  6. If you decide to get dessert, share it with a friend, or only have a small portion. An occasional splurge that is well controlled and balanced will help you stick to a lifelong plan of healthy eating
  7. Avoid buffets—you can lose control of both portion sizes and frequency of eating occasions.