After reading the rant on Poor Man’s Feast last week about the difficulty of getting healthy food on the road, I decided to try something different when my family and I traveled back and forth to Niagara Falls, Canada, for a short vacation. Instead of stopping at rest stops for food or at the types of restaurants that tend to accumulate at the bottom of exit ramps off the highways, we would get off at an exit, drive a bit into what looked to be the direction of a town, and find small, local restaurants.


The first stop we made was somewhere in the middle of New York. We drove for a few miles until we saw a local restaurant on the side of the road. I was encouraged when the waitress told us we had just missed the lunch crowd — all the local farmers who come in for lunch. That encouragement faded when I looked at the menu. Deep-fried everything, burgers and fries made up the majority of the menu. There wasn’t a single salad on the menu. Tomatoes and lettuce on sandwiches seemed to be the only vegetables in the place. Fruit was non-existent. So much for where the farmers eat.


We found the same type of foods at most of the small restaurants we ate in. Some of them had a salad or two on the menu — one garden salad and one Caesar. Many of the places we stopped were in the middle of farm country.


In the end, I concluded that we could have stopped at the rest stop or at one of the restaurants right at the bottom of the exit ramp. It would have been quicker and the food choices would have been the same — perhaps even better.


Next time we do a long road trip, I’m going to make sure I pack our food for the drive there. At least on the way to our destination, we’ll be able to eat healthy food.


What do you do when you’re on the road to make sure you have healthy choices?


Related: 6 tips for making good choices when you're eating out (and on a budget)

Robin Shreeves ( @rshreeves ) focuses on food from a family perspective from her home base in New Jersey.

It really is hard to find good food on the road
Even when you leave the highway and hunt down local restaurants, it's still hard to get away from burgers and fries.