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Healthy Meal Prep for Long-Haul Truck Drivers

Posted on: May 20, 2024
packing a healthy lunch for a long-haul truck driver

You’re on the road. You’re hungry. You want to be healthy, but your long-haul schedule and the ease and convenience of fast-food stops along our highways and byways are just too tempting. 

Turns out you’re not alone. According to the CDC, long-haul truck drivers are more likely to develop health issues like high blood pressure and diabetes due to their unique working conditions. 

The good news is that with a little preparation, perseverance and simple swaps, it’s possible to eat well on the road. 

Here are some suggestions for packing in the nutrition – without packing on the pounds.

Plan Your Menu

Before you start driving, you plan your route, right? You can take the same approach to planning your meals for the road ahead. 

Many meal preppers find it easiest to keep it simple – stick to a few recipes with similar ingredients that you can season and finish in different ways. A large pot of brown rice, for example, could serve as a base for a healthy homemade Chipotle-style bowl and a teriyaki chicken bowl. You don’t have to spend an entire day doing your meal prep cooking to achieve variety in your menu.

One-pot, slow cooker, and sheet pan recipes are great for meal prep beginners since they make a lot of food without a lot of mess. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

Healthy mains:

  • Chipotle-style/taco bowls
  • Teriyaki chicken bowls
  • Crockpot white chicken chili
  • Slow cooker salsa chicken
  • Chickpea curry
  • Pasta salad

Healthy sides:

You can find food containers that store and stack efficiently in the fridge or freezer at most grocery stores and Amazon. All Classic Carriers trucks come equipped with a fridge, and a microwave can be added, which makes storing and reheating meals a breeze.

Check out these 4 tips for eating healthy from one of our truck drivers.>>

Make Healthy Choices (and Swaps)

When you start your meal prep, choose favorite meals or recipes that you enjoy and simply make healthy swaps. For instance, swap white rice with brown rice. Brown rice takes a few extra minutes to cook and offers more health benefits – and less of an impact on blood sugar. 

Some other healthy swaps for OTR: 

  • Use mustard instead of mayo. Choose a spicy mustard to make this swap even more flavorful. 
  • Snack on flavored almonds instead of chips.
  • Eat “green” sides instead of “white” sides for at least half your meals. Instead of rice, noodles or white potatoes with your protein choice, serve up a side of grilled brussel sprouts, roasted peppers or green beans.
  • Add more spices to reduce the amount of salt you use. This way, you’re not sacrificing flavor. Seasoning blends like Everything But the Bagel Seasoning or even a packet of dry ranch dressing can transform plain chicken breasts or grilled vegetables. If you do buy a store-bought seasoning blend, be mindful of added salt. You can also try making your own spice mixes.
  • Choose flavorful whole-grain bread and use one slice instead of two. Open-faced sandwiches are just as good! If you purchase bread from the store, look for options without high fructose corn syrup.

Stock Up on Grab-and-Go Snacks

We tend to reach for the easiest and most convenient foods at hand, so make sure that you have healthy options stocked in your rig! 

Packets of chips and other convenience foods are plentiful along the road, but by planning ahead of time, you won’t be tempted by those shiny packages. 

The following make great grab-and-go snack options for truckers: 

  • Bananas
  • Apples
  • Mandarin oranges
  • Fruit and fruit cups
  • Nuts
  • Pretzels
  • Jerky (look for ones with less than 300mg of sodium per serving)
  • Low-fat string cheese
  • Dark chocolate

Keep these items stocked up in your cab so you always have something healthy when you get hungry. 

With just a little effort, you’ll not only eat healthier on the road, but save a lot of money doing it! 

Hit the Road with Classic

At Classic Carriers, our driver turnover rate is less than 30%. We are proud to be a family-owned and operated company that treats our team of dedicated drivers like family.

Learn more about our paid driver training program.

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