By: Susan Finch
Remember the last time you took a long road trip? Did you end up indulging in fast food and sugary treats to stay full and alert? Chances are you ended up feeling sluggish and cranky before you ever got to your final destination. But spending the day in the car isn’t a reason to forgo your healthy eating strategy. A little planning can keep your mind and body satisfied with delicious, tasty road trip snacks.
Nuts and Seeds
Nuts have a reputation for being high in fat and calories, but are actually healthy for you and provide plenty of fuel and energy on a road trip. In fact, according to reporting from Harvard Health Publishing, eating too few nuts and seeds is associated with an increased risk of dying from cardiovascular disease or diabetes.
Nuts and seeds are high in healthy, monounsaturated fatty acids, polyunsaturated fatty acids, and omega-3 fatty acids. Grab snack-sized packets of almonds, brazil nuts, cashews, chia seeds, flax seeds, sesame seeds, and just about any other kind of healthy seed and nuts that will delight your palette and fuel you for the road.
Fresh and Dried Fruit
There’s nothing like reaching for a fresh apple or banana on the road and giving your body an instant boost of nutrition. But it’s not always practical depending on the length of your road trip. If leaving bananas and oranges in the car is unappetizing to you and your travel companions, make up bags of dried fruits instead.
Most major grocery stories from Publix, to Kroger, and Whole Foods sell dried strawberries, bananas, and other fruits that you can snack on without worrying about them wilting. Mix it up and reach for dried apricots as a new tantalizing treat and give your body something new to savor.
Edamame and Snap Peas
Nuts and fruits are always nutritious favorites, but long road trips require a variety of foods to keep your mind and body happy. Get creative and reach for something new on your next adventure. Edamame travels well and is naturally gluten-free and low in calories. They’re also full of protein, iron, and calcium.
For something sweeter, mix in some snap peas to freshen up your snack choices. High in Vitamin C and potassium, sugar snap peas are crunchy and sweet and the perfect choice for a dessert snack.
Veggies and Hummus
Munching on crunchy vegetables can wake us from a road trip slog and refuel our bodies. But there’s only so many raw carrots and celery you can consume before you start to lose your enthusiasm. Pack a small cooler or freezer bag pouch and include some hummus to jazz up your veggies.
Not only does hummus taste amazing, but it’s highly nutritious. The chickpeas used in hummus that are packed with iron, folate, phosphorus, and B vitamins. Best of all, you can shop around for hummus that suits your tastes from spicy to olive infused.
Snack bars that are low on sugar and high in protein are a must for a healthy road trip snack. Look for varieties that avoid over-processing like KIND bars, or make your own. A Larabar recipe made from seeds, dates, and a little peanut butter can transform your road trip and keep hunger pangs at bay. It’s also a perfect way to skip the fast food and go straight for a high protein snack bar.
Now that you’re armed with plenty of healthy road trip snacks, remember to thoroughly wash any fresh fruits and vegetables in advance. You should also pack any perishable treats accordingly with an appropriate cooler. And remember to savor your treats. Turn it into a picnic at a rest stop or state park and make your food an event instead of something to nibble on while driving to your final destination.
If you enjoyed this post, here are some helpful survival tips for traveling by car with children so that your road trip will be happy for everyone. Ways to Keep Kids Entertained on a Road Trip.