Robin's Healthy Take: Lunch on Summer Roadtrips

Robin Miller looks for fresh fruits and vegetables, salads and sandwiches when she travels with her family.

I went to Philadelphia's Franklin Institute yesterday with my two boys, my brother and his two girls. It was a once-a-year family outing that I'll cherish forever. Why am I telling you this? Because of lunch. After an hour or so of exhibits, we decided to break for food. Not atypical for summer outings, whether it's a museum or walk around the mall, soon enough, the troops start to get hungry.  And, no doubt, like me, you've experienced the conundrum of selecting the best food options with limited choices. It happens anytime you're not near your own fridge.

These days it's not hard to find healthier meals, you just have to know what to look for. The "Foodworks" at the museum offered a terrific variety of fresh salads and sandwiches. We got a Caesar salad with grilled chicken, a chicken sandwich, vegetarian chili with hunks of fresh ciabatta, mixed greens with vegetables and hard boiled eggs, and fresh fruit.

They also had artery-clogging fare, as most places do. Clearly the folks that ordered the burgers, fries, chicken fingers and pepperoni pizza hadn't just finished the life-size heart tour. In the tour, the ventricles were clear enough for school group to walk through. You can't expect your own ventricles to stay that clear if you frequently consume lunches like that.

So, this summer, look for some of the items I've pictured here. Fresh salads, sandwiches, wraps, and fruit always make wise choices. Dodge anything out of a deep fryer or smothered in cheese. And the best part is, when you eat a delicious and lighter lunch, you leave room for a little something sweet (isn't that what summer is all about?). Frozen yogurt and ice cream aren't dietary no-no's, just always order the kid's size.

Next week we'll embrace the food on the boardwalk in New Jersey - should be fun!

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