What’s the hardest part about taking a road trip for you? Is it the long car ride? Trying to keep the kids entertained? Or maybe it’s making sure you have enough good food in the car to keep away the hungry grumps. I feel you! I’m a huge snacker and I always have to make sure I have food around; otherwise there could be trouble. If you like to have somewhat healthy food for your family in the car, here’s how to snack healthily on road trips. Use these tips and tricks to keep your family happy!
Bring a cooler
Refrigerated fresh foods are great to take on road trips, but you need to keep them cold. Depending on how much space you have in your car, you can bring a cooler or even a larger lunch box. Here are some cold snacks you can keep in there:
- String cheese
- Hard-boiled eggs
- Yogurt (or Gogurt tubes if you’re worried about mess)
- Fresh fruit (strawberries, grapes, cantaloupe)
- Cut up vegetables (carrot sticks, celery) and peanut butter
Bring low/zero calorie drinks
Before you leave on your trip, buy a big case of water bottles (This is where a large cooler comes in handy). Not only is water good for you, but you’ll save money on those random gas station trips so you won’t spend $1.50 on a single bottle. Don’t like plain water? Buy some Crystal Light packets! We hoard the boxes at our house because I stock up when they’re on sale for $.99. It’s a cheap way to flavor your water!
Other options include bottled tea and diet soda if you’re not concerned about artificial sweeteners. I hate going thirsty on trips, so I make sure we have plenty of drinks available.
Pre-make big batches of snacks
If you have a lot of people in the car (especially kids), it might be cheaper and healthier to make some of your own snacks as opposed to buying individual snack packs. Snack-size zip bags will be your friend here! Examples of what you can make or put together are:
- Animal crackers
- Dried fruit
- Trail mix (like my S’mores trail mix or one of these trail mixes that are actually pretty healthy)
- Energy bites (I like my homemade brownie Larabar bites, but these are better cold)
Don’t be afraid of snack bars
When all else fails, go for the snack bars! Snack bars are my reason for existing: they’re small, portable, can sit in my purse forever and still be okay when I forget about them, and can easily be eaten while driving. Nothing beats the convenience! If you want to be more health-conscious, look for ones that have a lot of protein and less added ingredients. I’ve currently grown to love the ZonePerfect bars because they’re high in protein, and Larabars, which only have a few ingredients and have been on sale recently. Seriously, snack bars are king!
With all that being said, there’s nothing wrong with going to the drive-thru to get something to eat! Sometimes that’s part of the experience of traveling. But if you travel mostly to get to amusement parks like we do, you probably also eat the delicious (and heavy on your stomach) park food. So sometimes it’s good to have some healthier snacks in the car to help balance it out! How do you snack healthily on road trips? Post a comment and give us some tips!
Jaime is a Nutrition Coach and professional writer. She enjoys cooking easy meals, running, and learning more about food.
Jaime specializes in helping women with ADHD learn to meal plan and cook healthier meals without getting overwhelmed.