Truck Stop Food Convo: How Can Truck Stops Transform to Healthy?

Jenneke from The Healthy Trucker’s Facebook page writes:

Hi Healthy Trucker,
I just learned about your website/social media presence and I applaud the initiative. I have been following ‘Driving Healthy’ for a while, and the more initiatives the better. Especially your approach ‘from guys, for the guys’ could be very appealing….

My boyfriend is a truck driver, and I see that it is so hard to stay healthy in that profession. I would like to see more efforts in creating a healthy food environment for them. ‘Environment’ is the largest influence through which choices are made.

I am wondering how Truck Stops can be transformed and instead of the largely available junk foods (through vending machines, fast food chains, and snack isles/kiosks) there would be smoothie offerings, salad bars, fruits, ‘home made meal-of-the-day’ for example. How can this change be made?

Thanks so much for your response.
Jenneke

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Hey Jenneke!

Thank you for the kind words!

We agree with you that the environment and selection of truck stop food make it tough for truck drivers to make healthy choices. Sadly, very few truck stops are doing things to change the food selections they offer.  Some are offering more fitness opportunities, but few are addressing the food itself. It’s just far easier and probably more profitable to continue to stock the unhealthy food at truck stops as often times it’s easier for staff to prepare/store.

Truck Stop Food – $7.00 Challenge

Bad truck stop snacks - oatmeal creme pieActually, we set up a $7.00 lunch challenge for one of our health and fitness experts, Eric Banter. His mission was to go into a truck stop (with no previous planning) and pick out a healthy meal for under $7.00. What did we learn? It’s extremely difficult! BUT it IS possible. We actually recommend that truck drivers make their own mini challenge, but do things a little different than the way we did it – PLAN AHEAD. This makes a world of difference. If your boyfriend knows what is or isn’t available and isn’t rushed to make choices, he can do it!

The other big thing (which is easier said than done) is to try to avoid truck stops…at least when it comes to food. By planning a weekly trip to Walmart or another grocery store, your boyfriend can save a great deal of time and money in the long run while eating healthy at the same time.  Yes, a Walmart may not always be an option but with proper planning there will be other choices besides truck stops.

It’ll be an adjustment, but it’s an adjustment worth making not just for the nutritional benefit. Saving money and having healthy snacks on hand for when his schedule changes will make staying healthy much easier.

Really, while it would be nice for more truck stops to make changes when it comes to the food they offer and we’d love to see it happen…it’s probably not something that’s going to happen on a widespread level anytime soon. So what can your boyfriend and other truck drivers out there do in the meantime? Start making some of the changes mentioned above to get the ball rolling. It’s all about taking action rather than waiting on the ideal situation.

Remember this isn’t just YOUR goal or HIS goal, this is all OUR goal and we’re all in this together!

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What can truck stops do to transform to healthy?