When you spend a lot of time on the road or have to leave your house or office at strange times, it can be all too tempting to try to catch up on your meals while on the move. A quick caffeine, protein or sugar boost is often seen as a harmless way of staying awake at the wheel and ensuring you have the energy for the rest of your day.
However, while there is no specific offence for eating or drinking at the wheel, you could be charged with inconsiderate, careless or dangerous driving if you get caught munching away, especially if that distraction causes you to have an accident or a near miss.
Carrying a penalty of between three and nine points, unlimited fines and even the possibility of disqualification, the risk of being charged with ‘distracted driving’ just isn’t worth it. Not to mention the increased insurance premiums and the potential impact on your work and social life of being convicted of an offence.
So, here at Motors.co.uk, we recognise that driving can sometimes be tiring and we all need to stop for a bite to eat every now and again. However, before you resign yourself to yet another service station fast food concoction or stale sandwich, we’ve come up with our top five healthy driving snacks to consume while you are safely parked up at the side of the road.
1. A handful of fruit and nuts or trail mix
Packed full of protein and slow-releasing natural sugars, unsalted nuts, seeds and dried fruits are the perfect pick-me up for a long journey. You can buy ready-made bags or create your own version from raw ingredients. Our favourite mixes also include a few treats, like chocolate covered peanuts or yoghurt covered raisins!
The original energy food, bananas come in their own biodegradable wrapper, are quick and easy to consume and offer up a healthy dose of natural sugars and potassium. Whether you like them green, yellow or brown, a banana won’t put you in a food coma after eating it, so you’ll be alert and raring to go after your stop.
3. Popcorn or rice cakes
If you go for an air-popped variety with no added salt or butter, then popcorn can be a really healthy and filling snack that will give you a bit of a boost when you are craving something crunchy. It’s become fashionable of late so you can now find all sorts of sweet and savoury flavours in the shops to pique your interest. Or you can pop your own corn at home and vent your culinary creativity.
4. Crudit?s with a hummus, yoghurt or peanut butter dip
A little bit of preparation and a small cool bag means you can snack like you are back at home. Cherry tomatoes, carrot batons, celery sticks and cucumber slices all make great finger food. Add a little dip – hummus, peanut butter or a spiced yoghurt mix – and you are really treating yourself.
5. A fruit or vegetable smoothie
Ok, so strictly speaking this is a drink rather than a food but what better way to get your five a day? The possibilities are endless when it comes to the fruit and vegetables you can include in your energy smoothie but we think that banana and ginger are always a good start. As an added bonus, ginger can also help settle your stomach if you suffer from travel sickness.
We’ve shared our top driving foods but now we want to hear about yours. Take a trip over to our Facebook page and let us know your favourite road trip snacks – the more unique, the better!