Whether driving one hour or 12 hours, bringing along the right food is crucial to a healthy, clean, and safe journey. There’s nothing more frustrating than exiting a car with a big stain on your shirt. You shouldn’t have to balance a container and steering wheel in one hand and a fork in the other. And you shouldn’t have to dive for a fallen pickle. According to New York Daily News, “a staggering 80% of all car accidents and 65% of near misses are caused by distracted drivers more focused on their burgers than the road.”
It is of course safer and cleaner to drive without eating. However, if you, like me, do not adhere to that opinion, here are my 6 tips on how to eat and drive at the same time:
- Bring small and bite-sized foods. Pack foods that are small in size, but not so small they slip through your fingers easily. If you are baking bread, scones, or biscuits, try making them bite-size.
- Bring foods pre-sliced. This is important because fruits, when bit into, leak juice. This can create both a stain on your clothes and a sticky drive.
- Bring foods that will not stain. If your food does slip your fingers, you want food that will not leave big stains. Avoid foods with chocolate pieces, frosting, and lots of oil or butter.
- Do not bring foods that drip. Avoid fruits that are really juicy like mangoes and melons. Also avoid sandwiches with jelly, pickles, tomatoes, mayo, mustard, and ketchup.
- Do not bring foods that require utensils. Eating with a fork or spoon will require you to focus on the location of your food. Also, make sure to cut all large foods before leaving home.
- Search during red light stops. If you need that second bag of fruits or want a napkin, wait until you stop at a red light. You can’t search and drive at the same time, at least not safely.
Follow these tips and you should be able to pick up food from a bag or container on your lap without your eyes ever leaving the road. Now, here are 19 healthy foods that are easy to eat while driving:
- Cheese sticks
- Cherry tomatoes
- Coconut pieces
- Broccoli florets
- Baby carrots
- Celery sticks
- Nuts, de-shelled
- Strawberries, not sliced – pop-in-mouth size
- Grapes, seedless unless you eat the seeds
- Popcorn, pre-popped and butter-free
- Granola bars, sugar-free or lightly sweetened
- Cookies, sugar-free or lightly sweetened
- Raw chips aka dehydrated/dry fruits and vegetables
- Salad leaves mixed with fresh herb leaves, pre-washed
- Trail mix – nuts, seeds, granola, dried fruit, cereal, pretzels, dry corn kernels, and/or crystallized ginger
Here are a few links to recipes that may interest you: