Part of having a safe trip involves making healthy food choices. Unhealthy foods cause fatigue, lower concentration levels and affect your ability to avoid and respond to emergency situations. When packing the food for your trip, choose food that aids concentration and energy levels.
Foods that increase concentration include food like blueberries, avocado, certain vegetables, nuts, dark chocolate, fish, flax seeds and water. For better energy levels you can choose between citrus, eggs, beans, walnuts, bran cereals and various proteins. Thus when you pack your padkos, select foods like eggs, bite-size pieces of chicken, carrot sticks, oranges, nuts and some dark chocolate in case you have a sweet craving.
Additionally, healthy food aids concentration not only for you but the rest of the car’s occupants.
Ensuring you have healthy snacks in the car is also important for the kids. Eating healthily helps avoids irritability and improves their concentration on planned activities.
Along with giving the children time to release some energy at the rest stop playgrounds, the trip should progress much more smoothly:
Making healthy food choices does not mean you cannot stop at restaurants along the way. “Stop for breakfast or lunch at the rest stops but be wise about the choices you make. Avoid anything which could cause your concentration levels to lag or cause an energy slump shortly after continuing your journey. Then in addition to stopping for meals keep a cool bag in the car with plenty of healthy snacks and water.”
It’s all in the positioning
Once you have made your food choices, ensure consuming the food is convenient.
Eating and driving is a form of distracted driving. Ensure your ‘co-driver’ gets the food ready and that you can eat it without removing concentration from the roads. Ideally, try to eat snacks when you stop for rests.
Alternatively, pack bite size snacks, already chopped or prepared items and pump-style bottles of water. The food should be easy to access, even if you have a passenger to pass it to you. They should never have to unbuckle or distract you while trying to access the snacks.
Follow these tips to maintain concentration and energy levels throughout your trip so that you arrive safely and in good spirits.
Eugene Herbert is managing director of MasterDrive, South Africa