If you plan to become a road warrior this summer, make sure you’ve got the right fuel for your body as well as your vehicle. Packing healthy snacks can keep your motor running until you reach the next pit stop.
We’ve asked top nutritionists to select savvy and savory snacks you can easily take with you on your next trip that your whole family will love
Energy bars. “Remember that not all energy bars are created equal,” says Amy Shapiro, a registered dietitian and founder of Real Nutrition NYC. “I like RX Bars, Health Warrior Chia Bars, and Kashi Bars.” Nutritionist Tara Gidus Collingwood tells Newsmax Health that she loves Raw Macaw bars that you can purchase readymade or design your own personal bar according to your taste.
Jerky. Chewy, savory turkey or beef jerky can satisfy a variety of appetites and is readily available at nearly every minimart or truck stop along the way. Look for brands that have the lowest sodium and fat content.
Cut up veggies, fruit. Shapiro tells Newsmax Health that these items, stored conveniently in a plastic bag, make an excellent and healthy snack to have on hand to keep hunger at bay and to help you stay hydrated.
Rice cakes, nut butters. Rice cakes topped with delicious, creamy nut butters in handy squeeze packs from Justin’s Nut Butter and other makers will make the whole family happy. They are available in flavors like maple almond butter, chocolate hazelnut butter, and honey peanut butter.
Popcorn. Everyone’s favorite movie snack is also great for road trips. Making your own healthy popcorn ahead of time without adding extra fat or salt is super simple. Brands such as the Little Kernel and Skinny Pop also feature healthier fats and lower amounts of sodium and are easily purchased on the road.
Cheese sticks. Most minimarts stock these handy, individually wrapped snacks in their refrigerator section. Cheese sticks are high in protein and calcium to maintain stamina on the road.
Nuts. Collingwood likes to pack almonds, pistachios, and other favorite nuts to take on the road. She also loves the roasted broad bean crisps with flavors like sweet cinnamon and cocoa dusted.
Fresh and frozen fruit. Dried fruit is too sugary, says Shapiro. Instead she opts for fresh fruit which is readily available everywhere and likes to freeze grapes for her road trips. “They take longer to eat and taste like little bites of sorbet,” she says.
Dry oatmeal. All you need is hot water and a cup to make a meal with dry oatmeal packets, notes Shapiro. “Add in some nuts or chopped fruit and you have a balanced meal.” You can also bring packets of dry cereal along to serve with milk that’s also readily available en route.
Hummus. Here’s another healthy filling snack that’s rich in protein and fiber as well as iron, folate, and B vitamins. Keep a tub of hummus in the cooler along with storage bags of prepared raw vegetables. Sabra also sells individual tubs of hummus.
Chia squeeze pouches. When you need a delicious pick me up along the way, try one of the new organic chia squeeze pouches with flavors like cherry beet, blackberry bliss, mango coconut and wild raspberry. You can buy the travel ready packs online at Amazon or at your local grocery store.
Dark chocolate. Collingwood admits she’s a chocoholic. “I will always bring a few individually wrapped squares of dark chocolate to be prepared when my sweet tooth strikes,” she says. Try keeping them in the freezer before you embark upon your journey and keep the chocolate cold and yummy in a cooler along the way.
Greek yogurt. “I will often pick up a yogurt at a gas station or airport store,” Collingwood says. All yogurts are good sources of calcium, potassium, protein, and B vitamins. Sprinkle on nuts or fresh fruit for extra nutrition.
Hard-boiled eggs. Sometimes called the perfect protein, eggs contain all the essential amino acids you need. Hard boil a few before your departure so you’ll have them on hand. You can also find them in the refrigerator section of gas station snack center.
Seltzer water. Your hunger craving may simply signal the need to hydrate. While water is fine, it’s a treat to opt for flavored, zero-calorie seltzer waters like La Croix and Dasani. You may also want to pack a sports drink, like Gatorade, to keep your electrolyte levels in balance especially when you traveling during hot summer months. Gatorade or a similar beverage is also easily found on the road.