Road trips can go one of two ways. They will either be extremely fun and memorable or they will be one of the worst decisions you’ve ever made. Lucky for you, snacks always seem to save the day, especially when kids are part of your road trips. However, one thing that can cause you to pull your hair out are messy snacks that spill everyone and leave you cursing under your breath (or out loud). Therefore, I’ve compiled a list of some car-friendly healthy snacks for road trips that can help pass the time.
When looking for the perfect car-friendly healthy snacks for your long road trips, you’re going to want something that can be picked at without causing a mess. If you have something like a sandwich or similar, that can be consumed in a few bites and it’s gone. Nuts are a great option as you can toss a couple in your mouth and make them last.
Nuts are also easily shared among others in the vehicle as well. My suggestion, however, would be to purchase your favorite nuts in a resealable container or bag so that you can reseal it if you don’t consume them all at once.
Another plus of nuts is that they are very satiating due to the healthy fat content along with being good for the brain and cognitive functioning.
If you’re looking for something with a little more protein than nuts, jerky is a great option for healthy snacks to take on road trips. You can choose from a wide variety of sources such as turkey, beef, elk, buffalo, bison, ostrich, and venison to name a few.
Due to the texture (mainly from it being dehydrated), it can take some time to chew up a piece of jerky which can make snack time last longer. Something to consider, though, would be that jerky tends to be high in sodium which can cause thirst. If you’re going on long road trips, make sure you take plenty of fluids. Also, keep in mind that when you drink a lot of fluids, you may need to make some extra stops during your trek to hit the bathroom.
Jerky is high in protein and won’t shoot your blood sugar levels into orbit which makes it one of the best healthy snacks out there. The last thing you want is the roller coaster ride of a spike in insulin and then a subsequent crash that leaves you ready to take a nap. Jerky also contains various vitamins and minerals and can be used as an energy source to keep you energized during a long drive.
3. Non-Coated Nutrition Bars or Protein Bars
I’m a huge fan of nutrition bars and protein bars. In fact, I personally spent a good 10 years in the industry working with one of the largest supplement brands who just so happen to have a few different lines of nutrition bars and protein bars.
When it comes to car-friendly healthy snacks for road trips, most people pick up some of their favorite bars only to be left with a huge mess by the time they eat the bars. Why is that? Generally, it’s due to the coating put on the bars. Many times, it’s a chocolate or yogurt-based coating for added flavor. Packing such bars is a mistake.
When the coated bars are exposed to any type of heat or direct sunlight, the coating starts to melt which makes a huge mess when you decide to open the packaging and eat the bar. What I would highly recommend is getting non-coated bars to pack on road trips. Something that is dough-based, granola-based, or nut-based seem to be better suited for healthy snacks while in a car.
Nutrition bars and protein bars are full of vitamins and minerals as well as being a good source of protein as well as (depending on the brand/type of bar) healthy carbohydrates and fat that add sustained energy. They also make for a much better and healthier alternative to a candy bar which will not only melt in the car but will also cause the up and down of blood sugar and energy levels.
4. Fresh Vegetables
Vegetables make for amazing healthy snacks on road trips. Why? Because they aren’t messy and are full of nutrients. I prefer fresh vegetables over fresh fruit simply because of the juices generally found in fruit. When trying to find car-friendly healthy snacks, you want to minimize the food options that could leak, spill, or get your hands and mouth all messy and require napkins or wet wipes.
What I would recommend is washing and cutting up all of your fresh vegetables prior to leaving for your road trips. Pack them all in a Tupperware or resealable containers and put them in a cooler. Then, when hungry, simply pull them out of the cooler and you’re ready to munch down on some healthy snacks. Baby carrots, celery, broccoli, peppers, and snap peas are some great options.
5. Trail Mix
There are many different types of trail mix out there and for the sake of the topic at hand, I would recommend one (as mentioned earlier) that does not contain chocolate or any ingredients that can melt. This tends to leave you with a trail mix that contains nuts and dried fruit.
You can either purchase a pre-made trail mix or make your own with ingredients you enjoy. Either way, trail mix is one of the most common car-friendly healthy snacks out there for road trips. But again, you’re going to want to either purchase a trail mix that can be resealed if you don’t eat it all or if you make your own, toss it in a resealable bag or Tupperware container to not only keep it fresh but prevent it from spilling all over your vehicle.
Trail mix is a great way to take in some carbohydrates and fats while on the move. You can sit there and crunch down on the trail mix or share with others in the vehicle. The mix will be loaded with healthy vitamins and minerals and provide you with some sustainable energy during long road trips.