Stay healthy with the gas station diet

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ST. LOUIS, MO (STLMoms) - There's nothing worse than running out of fuel when you're on the road, we're not talking about your car, but your stomach.

When you're on a long road trip, you're only option may be to fill up at a gas station.

Jen McDaniel with the Academy of Nutrition and Dietitics is here this morning with the gas station diet. She has several tips to make sure the food you're eating is as healthy as possible.

She says that you should make sure the food is stamped with an expiration date. She recommends that you first stop should be to the fruit section, then the fridge! In the fridge, you should look for calcium-packed foods like string cheese, yogurt, and fat-free or low-fat regular or chocolate milk.

Healthy hydration is key for a road trip! Look for 100% fruit juice, reduced calorie drinks such as crystal light, G2 Gatorade, propel, and diet drinks like diet soda teas, and of course, your best bet, water.

Snacks should be individual-size bags, but look for ones that your grandmother would recognize as actual food, such as dried fruit, nuts, and whole-wheat crackers

If you're craving something salty, nuts, pretzels, or bagged popcorn are your best bets. If you're in the mood for a sweet treat, animal crackers and teddy grahams are good bets to satisfy a sweet tooth since they're lower in calories than other cookies.  Many gas stations such as 'quick trip' offer miniatures sized candy, where you can purchase just one or two pieces to do the trick.

Most gas stations will offer an array of granola and protein bars, McDaniel recommends that you look for a bar with the 3 F criteria: fruit, sweetness comes from fruit not sweetener, healthy fat (nuts and seeds), and 3 to 5 grams of fiber.

For more healthy tips, visit: mcdanielnutrition.com.