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Sidestepping the servo

Posted by: Julie Meek

It’s mid morning, mid afternoon or mid something and you are on the road. You can feel your stomach rumble, it seems even louder than the sound of the engine. Time for a feed, but options are limited – especially if you are in the city outskirts or the back of beyond.

Your schedule is tight; the only chance to stop for a break and to refuel both yourself and your vehicle is at the next service station. 

Swinging by the servo during a workday can be the ultimate double-edged sword. It's certainly convenient, but the temptation to grab something unhealthy is high when your energy levels are flagging and the smells coming from the hot food in the bain-marie hook you in.

A pie and chocolate milk? A sausage roll and a muffin? Or how about a hot dog and a chocolate bar for later?

This decision becomes even more important when most of your workday involves sitting and burning up very little energy. Some foods at the servo can be deceptively high in fat and/or sugar, which you can see below.

 Food  Kilojoules  Fat (g)  Sugar (g)
 Sausage roll  2037  27  2
 Meat pie  1570  20  1
 Hot dog  1524  16  4
 Danish pastry  1449  15  15
 Choc-chip cookie  882  10  20
 Large muffin (any flavour)  2541  27  48
 Chocolate bar (50g)  1012  9  30
 Chocolate milk (600ml)  1587  11  50

At Healthier Workplace WA we understand that it can be tricky to make a healthy food choice, particularly when the nutritious options are limited and junk food is plentiful.

Healthier 'on the go' meals and snacks is a handy resource ideal for those times on the road when you have pull over for a break.

The best scenario of course, is one in which you pack your own meals or snacks for the road. This will not only save you money but also decrease the likelihood of making an unhealthy food choice. However, if you find yourself without reserves on hand, if you look carefully there are healthy options available.

Try these healthy snack ideas:

  • 200g tub of low fat yoghurt and a piece of fruit or tub of fruit
  • Fruit or cereal based muesli bar
  • Snack pack portion of dried fruit and nuts
  • Tub or tin of fruit
  • Snack pack of cracker biscuits with individual portion of cheese

If you are looking for something a little more substantial:

  • Roast meat/chicken/egg and salad sandwich, roll or wrap (wholegrain or wholemeal if possible)
  • Toasted sandwich (unbuttered) with ham and cheese
  • Poached eggs on wholemeal/grain toast (unbuttered)
  • Tin of salt reduced spaghetti or baked beans
  • Small portion of stir-fried meat/chicken and vegetables with noodles or steamed rice

A back-up plan can be your saviour for long days on the road so it's a good idea to keep some provisions like water, low-salt fruit and nut mix, long life reduced-fat flavoured milk, fruit or cereal based muesli bars on hand in the car just in case.

When you pull over at the servo, don’t forget to take a moment to make your best food choice and be rewarded by an increase in energy – not weight.

Until next time...


About Julie Meek

Accredited practising dietitian, performance specialist, speaker

View all posts by Julie Meek

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