A coffee on the way to work, a chocolate bar when we fill the tank – hidden calories, but nothing serious…right? Many of us eat in the car every day without giving it much thought.

However, on a road trip our appetites can increase as quickly as the speedometer! Quaint little café road signs taunt us with hot jam doughnuts or a Devonshire tea and who hasn’t been tempted by the hamburger drive-thru? Your regular eating habits fly out the window as easily as an ice-cream or chocolate wrapper (this is just a metaphor please do not litter).

This summer, Redspot have pulled together an eating guide to help you understand, you are what you eat – especially on the road.


Let’s get the obvious out of the way first:

Fruit: Eat what’s in season and you will not only be refreshed, but totally energised. Nectarines, oranges, peaches, cherries, bananas, grapes and plums – it sounds like a summer-pudding, right? But at least you won’t end up looking like one!


Water: Every time you drive you should take water with you. Air-conditioning, heating and larger car windows all contribute to dehydration. If you’re stuck in traffic, feel a headache coming on or just thirty –a water bottle (preferably filled from home) is a life saver.

Protein Bars: A protein bar between meals can help control your appetite, just don’t overdo it – one should be enough. Look for bars that are lower in sugar and calories.

Rolls or wraps: Wraps and bread rolls, especially if prepared at home prior to your journey are the best. Spoil yourself and buy your bread, wraps or rolls from the bakery section of the supermarket and then go wild with fillings. Wrap individually and as tightly as you can, this will make eating while driving easier. But, we recommend you stop and have a break, a cup of coffee or tea and a decadent wrap.


Sushi: No, we’re not crazy. Sushi is a great car snack, plus the variety of fillings are unbelievable while the seaweed holds the shape until the very last bite – stopping the rice from falling onto the seat and floor. Perfection.



Fast food is easy to consume, but can leave you bloated and fatigued.

Sausage Rolls and Pies: are an irresistible weakness, especially if purchased from a local bakery (and not a petrol station). But, the reality is they are fattening and not very nutritious. The percentage of meat in a sausage roll is less than a burger.

Hamburgers and Fries: Our favourite burger retailers offer a huge assortment of meals (burger, fries and a drink). But, you can end up eating your entire daily food allowance in one sitting.

Soft drinks and fruit juice: Hidden sugars create quick energy spikes that don’t last. Consider this: 350 mls of Cola has 40 grams of sugar (10 teaspoons) while 350 mls of apple juice contains 39 grams of sugar (9.8 teaspoon). Worth noting if you are travelling with kids.



Donuts and muffins: There’s a good reason why donuts resemble “spare tyres” – a medium donut contains 1,066 kilojoules (255 calories), and this is just the glazed variety. Add a filling, cream, jam or icing and the joules increase again. The same goes for muffins and don’t even go near cupcakes.

Ice-creams: There are so many ice-cream treats out there, it really is a matter of research and restrain. A paddle pop vs a Magnum – read the label and make up your own mind.

Chocolate and Chips: Often used to keep the kids happy between pit-stops, but again these are empty calories that only add to the waistline while the crumbs add to the car litter.

Chocolate is the same – great if you can share a block, but everyone these days wants their own bar, so a small treat becomes another meal in itself.



Super-size any of the above ‘bad’ list and you have the ugly.


Size is everything and portion sizes continue to grow. Two in three Australian adults are overweight and sadly, one in four children. While getting 20% more for the same price may look like a bargain, what is the cost to your health?

Our advice:

  • Remember it’s still a holiday
  • Follow the good (as much as possible)
  • Treat yourself to the occasional bad
  • Stay away from super-size ugly