By Debbie Moore
Killeen Daily Herald
My husband and I are road trip veterans.
We know all about how tiresome, arduous and boring long ones can be.
Once a year, we load up "Big Al," our nickname for our Altima, and head for my husband's hometown in Ohio to visit relatives.
Because it's a 1,300-mile trip to Willard, we want to make as few stops as possible, so in the past we put some ice in a cooler and added some bottles of water. We packed some snacks such as beef jerky and trail mix and hit the road.
Over the years, our snack stash steadily grew to the point of filling at least one kitchen-sized trash bag.
The snacks and water helped us save money and kept us from loading up on junk food and sugary drinks along the way.
This year, I'm trying to eat better on a daily basis.
One way to better nutrition is eating more fruits and vegetables, which I'm doing, but I wasn't sure how I could achieve that goal on the road.
Then, it hit me.
I can bring along fruits and vegetables such as carrot sticks, grapes, apple slices, cherry tomatoes, cucumber slices, green peppers and melon chunks and store them in the cooler.
Other possibilities include:
Reduced fat oatmeal cookies.
Peanut butter and wheat crackers.
Boxes of raisins or packages of dried fruit.
Oatmeal raisin granola bars.
Fat-free pudding cups.
Small containers of peaches, applesauce or other fruit.
Low fat cheese sticks.
For some other suggestions, I went online to www.roadtripamerica.com. An article called "Snackin' Better on the Road" by Dennis Weaver suggested pairing nuts and dried fruit.
"Try pecans and pears or our favorite, cranberries with whole almonds," Weaver writes.
He also suggests putting together a fruit salad and keeping it chilled in the cooler.
If you have children, bring along a dip for their fruits and veggies, Weaver recommends.
"For the apple slices, mix a little honey and cinnamon into low fat cream cheese. A low fat ranch or thousand island dressing will work for the celery and carrot sticks."
Weaver tells readers to choose a cookie with oatmeal, fruit or nuts for road trips.
"The fiber make them filling and satisfying," he writes.
For this year's journey to Ohio, I'm thinking I might have to bring two coolers and two trash bags of snacks.
Contact Debbie Moore at (254) 501-7545 or email@example.com.