fresh orangeFamily road trip season is so close I can almost smell it. Or is that the scent of grease clinging to your hair as you walk out of yet another rest stop with some mediocre eats for the fam? Yes, road tripping can mean awful food. But it doesn't have to.

Trust me. I'm married to a guy who refuses to fly anywhere, which means a healthy chunk of our vacations are spent in the car. I've had to learn how to feed a growing kid and two picky adults on the go without making us all sick to our stomachs.

We pack a certain amount of our eats for the road (hello growing kid!), but when we do stop to stretch our legs, here are our standbys for something edible (and maybe even a little healthy):

1. Dried fruit. Most gas stations have a snack section, and most of it is junk. But if you look carefully, you'll usually find at least a few baggies of dried fruit!

2. Nuts. You'll find these shots of protein and omega-3s in pretty much the same area you'll find the dried fruit. Watch out for anything packaged or roasted in oil, but you should be safe with nuts that are raw or dry-roasted.

3. Sandwiches. Make a beeline for any sandwich shop you see because that's the one place you're going to get something ready-made for you! If you're placing the order, you're also able to control what's on the eats -- so you can pack on the veggies, cut down on the condiments, etc.

4. Fresh fruit. Believe it or not, I've been able to find apples, bananas, and more at rest stops over the years. On a road trip to Florida, that was the best place to snag a big bag of Florida oranges! Same goes for Georgia peaches. Look for what the state is known for, and you'll likely find it fresh.

5. Salads. If our only choice is fast food, I go for the side salad, and if we're at a rest stop with a salad bar, I always load up on the raw veggies, which my daughter and I can easily eat with our hands back in the car.

What are your tricks for finding good food on the road?

 

Image via Public Domain Photos/Flickr