Over-the-road truck drivers can be challenged to eat a healthy diet. Without having the luxury of fresh groceries and a full kitchen at all times, it can be difficult to prepare healthy meals. Many drivers are tempted to stop at a diner, truck stop, or fast food restaurant because it’s quick and convenient. However, the majority of these meal options are higher in calories, fat and sodium—not to mention, more expensive.
The great news is that you can decide what you put into your body, and you don’t have to be a gourmet chef to create delicious and nutritious meals when you’re on the road. We like to say “small spaces = big flavor!” With pre–planning and smart choices, you can still eat well on the road by creating your own truck driver recipes.
Making your own meals allows you to control the fat, calorie and salt content of your food. Specialty appliances like portable coolers, mini slow cookers and lunchbox cookers can provide you with the freedom to store and cook meals in the comfort of your own cab by simply using a 12-volt outlet. If you have access to an in–truck refrigerator, you can also stock healthy food items.
Here are a few healthy and simple and truck driver food ideas from Prime:
Breakfast for Truck Drivers
While this meal is crucial for everyone, it’s especially important for drivers. A nutritious breakfast helps keep your energy up — very important when you’re on the road for long periods at a time. A healthy breakfast doesn’t have to take long to make either. Try these healthy breakfast items:
- Fresh fruit
- Low-fat yogurt
- Cottage cheese
- Whole-wheat toast with peanut butter
- Hard-boiled eggs
- Egg whites (available in a carton for easy cooking)
- Protein/cereal bars
Prime Breakfast Tip: Your breakfast foods should be made up of protein, complex carbs, calcium, and healthy fats. You don’t want anything high in sugar as it will lead to a crash later.
Snacks for Truck Drivers
When hunger strikes, having a well-stocked cab with healthy snack choices minimizes the need to grab high-calorie treats at the local truck stop. Check out these healthy snacks for drivers:
- Low-fat string cheese
- Hummus and veggies (celery, broccoli, cucumber and carrots)
- Low-fat yogurt
No heating/cooling equipment? No worries. Here are food ideas that are easy to store in your truck, making them a great snack when you’re in a pinch:
- Unsalted mixed nuts
- Whole-grain crackers
- Beef jerky
Prime Snack Tip: Always check the label. Some food options may seem harmless, but the nutritional info could say otherwise. It only takes a few seconds to look and could save a lot of calories at the end of the day.
Lunch for Truck Drivers
No need to make a stop for fast food! There are many quick and light lunch options that can be prepared in your truck. Lunchtime is an easy opportunity to make better choices, like switching bread for veggies or choosing water over soda. Take a look at these healthy and simple lunch recipes:
Tomato and avocado sandwich (tasty add ons: basil or lettuce)
Turkey wrap: whole-wheat tortilla, turkey, romaine lettuce, low-fat cheese and mustard
Grilled chicken salad with low fat dressing
Veggie or turkey burger (hold the mayo, ketchup and cheese, please!)
Prime Lunch Tip: Swap out more unhealthy sauces and spreads like mayonnaise for healthy, flavorful ones like mashed avocado, mustard, hummus or pesto.
Dinner for Truck Drivers
Instead of picking up a bucket of fried chicken or a large pepperoni pizza at night, make your own delicious and healthy dinner. Suggestion: invest in a slow cooker. You can find both 12 volt as well as traditional AC power slow cookers, so choose whichever is most convenient for your living arrangement. With a slow cooker, you can make meals like pot roast, BBQ chicken, beef stew, and pork chops. Pair them with a canned side such as beans (green, pinto, black, kidney, etc…), spinach or stir-fry vegetables. Low-sodium soup is another healthy and simple truck driver dinner choice.
Prime Dinner Tip: Contrary to common American behavior, dinner should be your smallest meal of the day. Stick to smaller portions, and even though you may be on a tight schedule, try your best not to eat dinner too close to bedtime.
Desserts for Truck Drivers
All of us need a little sweetness in our lives now and then. For truck drivers, it is possible to scrumptiously satisfy your sweet tooth without indulging in a calorie fest. If you have a freezer–and a sweet tooth–check out these healthy dessert treats that get our vote (with a cherry on top!)
- Fat free ice cream or sorbet
- Frozen grapes or strawberries
- Frozen yogurt
- Frozen fruit bars/ice pops
When you make simple, healthy food choices like these everyday, you’ll be on the road to becoming a healthy truck driver in no time! The key to having better nutrition over the road is sticking to it and not giving into temptation. With will-power and motivation, you can become a healthy truck driver. 🙂
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