I’ve gathered a list of my favorite healthy road trip snacks, and the ones I will be bringing when we leave for DC this weekend. It can be tempting to purchase junk food at gas stations, or hit a drive-thru, but we all know those aren’t the best options for our body. Spring Break season is in full swing and many people are taking off on road trips. The following 10 snacks are much more nutritious options, lower in calories, and will last for quite a while in the car.
1. Dried Fruit
It is so easy to make your own dried fruit. Most store bought fruits (especially those from a gas station) have added oils and sugar. If you own a dehydrator it is easy to plan ahead, just set out your fruits on the trays the night before and by the time you leave they will be ready to bag up! If you are drying fruit at home, the quickest route is to buy canned fruits, just make sure they are not canned in high fructose corn syrup, sugar water, or anything with added sugars. Look for cans with only fruit as the ingredient, or fruit and water.
I love nuts. They are also very convenient to pack. Walnuts, peanuts, cashews and pistachios are high in monounsaturated fats. Almonds are also a great source of protein. You can easily make a homemade trail mix with your dried fruit, nuts and maybe a bit of dark chocolate. Much better than the trail mixes at rest stops with long lists of unnecessary ingredients. If you want to get super fancy, you can whip up a batch of honey roasted peanuts or cinnamon honey-roasted assorted nuts to put into a tupperware for the ride. Your car mates will thank you!
3. Greek Yogurt
Individually sized yogurt, especially the greek variety, is awesome to take on a road trip. It is low calorie and very high in protein. Just make sure the flavor you buy doesn’t have too much sugar. Look for below 18 grams per 8oz serving.
4. Celery and Laughing Cow
I used to eat celery with cream cheese when I was younger, but Laughing Cow is a wonderful alternative to high fat and calorie dense cream cheese. One wedge of low-fat swiss only has 35 calories. You could try experimenting with other flavors as well. The cinnamon swirl cream cheese spread from Laughing Cow is delicious with celery and some raisins on top. You could also spread on some homemade peanut butter.
5. Cucumbers and Carrots
Sometimes being in the car just makes you want to eat, even though you may not actually be hungry. Cut up carrots and cucumbers are perfect low calorie snack to munch on instead of a bag of chips. Cutting them up beforehand will make you much more likely to eat them on the go!
6. Air-Popped Popcorn
Also a great snack to prepare the night before. Air-popped popcorn is very low calorie and can satisfy a salty craving. I like to top mine with parmesan cheese and a little sea salt. Then just fill individual baggies and you’re good to go. There are a million different flavors you can experiment with!
7. Snack and Granola Bars
Get Up and GO bars are great homemade no-bake bars to bring on a road trip. If you have more time to plan you could make banana bread bars or coconut protein bars. If you want to just grab some from a store (and even some gas stations!) look for bars with known ingredients and low sugar- like Larabars. Most granola bars along the road will have unwanted ingredients, so look out! However, granola bars are always a better option than candy bars!
8. Cheese and Crackers
Whole wheat crackers, like homemade ones, or some bought from the store are great for a long trip. I like Triscuits, they only have three simple ingredients! Pair with any cheese you like!
Easy Peasy, speaking of peasy I guess you could bring peas. Anyway, grapes are very portable. I like to freeze them, they last longer and taste delicious! You can even use the bag as sort of a travel ice pack for your yogurt and cheese.
Could get a little messy, but still usually a good bet. The individually sized packs are great for road trips, just watch out for added sugar or coloring. The only ingredient should be apples!
If you run out of snacks or don’t have time to prepare some to bring, some of the above options may be available at a rest stop. Just make sure you read labels! Things that appear healthy can have hidden ingredients, such as added sugar or sodium. Whole foods like fruits and vegetables are sometimes sold at stops and are great options for a road trip. Also, make sure you keep hydrated by bringing water!
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