Many families across Central Indiana will be packing their suitcases and heading out for a vacation over spring break or summer vacation. Chances to bond as a family and take a break from the stresses of work and school are healthy for the body and mind.

However, the carefree vacation life can put a dent in your diet if you don’t make an effort to incorporate healthy, energy-fueling meals on the road.

Registered Dietitian Megan Allen has the following tips for keeping a healthy diet during your spring break. Allen is a part of the Care Navigation team that assists Community Physician Network patients in Kokomo.

Pack your own snacks for the road: To resist the temptation to stop at gas stations and fast food restaurants, pack a cooler of your own healthy snacks such as fruit, lightly salted nuts and nut butters, raw vegetables with dip, cheese sticks, yogurt and lower-sugar granola bars. Stop by a local grocery store once you reach your destination to stock up on extra snacks and breakfast items for the week.

Stay hydrated the right way: Did you know that the majority of added sugars in the American diet come from beverages? Stick to plain water to save your calories for more nutrient dense foods. Besides, water will do a better job of keeping you hydrated in warmer climates.

Take advantage of local cuisine: If you are traveling south for spring break, choose fresh, local seafood and in-season produce such as oranges, peaches, strawberries, spinach, beets and asparagus!

Stay active: While rest and relaxation are definitely on the agenda for any vacation, make sure you take the time for some fun physical activity! Walk on the beach, go for a hike, play with the kids or go shopping. Aim for a minimum of 30 to 60 minutes of activity per day or 10,000 steps on a pedometer or fitness tracker.  

Enjoy without guilt: Above all else, truly enjoy your meals on vacation without guilt. Trying to have the perfect diet on vacation can keep you from enjoying the experience of vacationing with friends and family. Resume your usual healthy eating habits once you are home from vacation.

Haley Cawthon can be reached at or on Twitter @HaleyCawthon.

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