By Shelly Detwiler, berry farmer and dietician
Willie Nelson sang “On the road again.” It’s that time again. Tractors and trucks (and combines) are hitting local roads and fields as this is printed. Meals enjoyed around the table have gone to being eaten alone in the cab. As many of you are headed into your harvest season, Paul and I are headed into our traveling season visiting grandchildren and in October we head to the granddaddy of the dairy world, World Dairy Expo. Whether on road trips or the combine/semi fall tour, good nutrition often gets put on the back burner.
Not sure about you, but as the wheels on the car go round and round, I start boredom eating. Let’s face it, it is so easy to stop at the gas station, carry out or rest stop and grab some oh-so-tasty but not-so-good for us munchies. All it takes is strategizing and you can pack the cab and car with some tasty and nutrient dense grub.
Hydrate, plan, and balance are the necessary tactics when you are seated in the command center burning tens of tens of hours. It is easy to grab the sugar-laden beverages but hydrating means keeping the cooler stocked full of water, tea, and other unsweetened beverages. Keep a little sparkling water if you need a little bubbly to keep you going. Plan on snacks between your meals and call-in reinforcements if the larder gets low. Here are some great ideas to fill your portable pantry.
• Grapes, apples, plums, dried fruits, coconut chips and fruit/applesauce cups
• Protein bars, string cheese, jerky, nuts, turkey pepperoni
• Grab and Go foods like dry cereal, baked chickpeas, flavored popcorn, Bada Bean Bada Boom, granola bars or dried edamame
• Baby carrots, celery, pepper strips, cherry tomatoes and edamame
• Sweet choices like banana bread, pumpkin mini muffins and Bark Thins (we can’t forget chocolate)
• Great gas station choices might be granola bars, baked chips, peanut butter pretzels, beef and cheese combo packs, core power, popcorn, jerky and tuna/cracker combo packages, peanut butter packs, trail mix, nuts
• Homemade adult “lunchables” or “bento boxes” might be a peanut butter and banana fold over sandwich, guac and pepper strips, tuna and crackers, veggies and hummus, almond butter and berries, celery and peanut butter or even some cheese sticks and turkey pepperoni
Don’t let auto-steer become auto eat. Strategize your cab cuisine so you and your crew can hydrate and fuel up for a successful season no matter the road or field you are traveling.
Eat well and healthy!
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