Put together a few of these healthy road trip snacks before your next family vacation.
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Something about riding in a car makes people want to snack. I am 100% guilty of suddenly feeling hungry an hour into a long road trip even if I have just had breakfast.
If you don’t prepare in advance, this likely results in stopping for fast food or at a convenience store for chips, candy, and soda. While this okay on occasion, it’s not sustainable for long road trips.
You want to have the energy and feel your best when heading out on your vacation. Fast food and snacks like potato chips will quickly make you feel uncomfortable and tired.
Instead, round up some healthy prepacked road trip snacks the day before and pack them up. It’s super easy to store and access snacks on the road with a car organizer, like this one.
Read Next: Best Tips for Traveling with Kids
Healthy Road Trips Snacks
As long as no one in your family has a nut allergy, nuts are one of nature’s many edible gifts. They contain protein and healthy fats for sustainable energy. And you can get them in a variety of flavors. I love the salt and vinegar almonds from Blue Diamond.
For the most budget-friendly option, buy nuts in bulk and then separate them out into bags. Keep your snacks green and eco-friendly with these reusable storage bags.
If you choose premade granola bars, they are quick and easy to pack in your car for your next road trip. In fact, I like to keep a few granola bars in the center console of our main family car at all times for hunger-emergencies during grocery trips, shopping, or between school events.
The Clif Z-Bars are my favorite choice for premade granola bars for kids. They are organic and non-GMO. And they contain all of the nutrients kids need to stay energized and feeling their best.
If you would prefer to make your own granola bars, check out this recipe for High Protein Quinoa Granola Bars from The Spruce Eats. These don’t need to be refrigerated, are quick and easy to make, and they are kid-approved.
Cured meats like summer sausage, beef sticks, and jerky don’t require refrigeration, are generally mess-free, and packed full of protein for extended energy.
For the most budget-friendly option, buy a summer sausage and cut it into slices right before your trip. Place them in bags for easy access.
Popcorn is one of the most budget-friendly road trip snacks on the list.
And it’s packed full of fiber which will help keep you full longer.
For the healthiest option, air pop your popcorn. This can easily be accomplished with a brown paper bag and some plain popcorn kernels. Place 1-2 tablespoons of popcorn kernels in a brown paper bag. Fold the paper bag over at least two times and place it in the microwave. Cook for around 2 minutes or until the popping decreases.
If you want some flavor variations, try the Kernel’s Seasons Popcorn Seasoning. They make a wide variety of flavors including white cheddar, caramel corn, cheesy jalapeno, and ranch. You can grab a sampler on Amazon for under $15.
You don’t need a bowl and milk to enjoy cereal. Divide whole-grain cereal into plastic bags or small Tupperware containers for an easy finger food snack.
My kids love plain Cheerios, which I am uber-grateful for. But, there are lots of options for healthier cereals. One of my personal favorites for road trips snacks is Quaker Brown Sugar Oatmeal Squares. Also consider Honey Nut Cheerios, Frosted Mini-Wheats, or any of Annie’s Organic Cereals.
Fresh Fruit and Veggies
You can’t go wrong with fresh fruit and veggies. Go for fruits and veggies that don’t require refrigeration. Some of these include apples, pears, oranges, and bananas.
Veggies like peppers and cucumbers often need to be cut up for snacking. In this case, you can pack a small lunchbox-size cooler with any fruits and veggies that need refrigeration. You can fill the excess space in the cooler with drinks like milk and water.
Rice cakes are low in calories, are gluten-free, and contain whole grains. Quaker makes a variety of different flavors for both sweet and savory options.
Or you can snag some plain rice cakes and top them with nut butter. I like to snag a few packets of individual size nut butters and then spread them on top of a plain rice cake. The flavor is amazing and the fat and protein from the nut butter helps you stay fuller longer.
I love the Maple Almond Butter packets from Justin’s.
Pork rinds are the ultimate alternative to chips. They are crunchy and flavorful, but also have the added benefit of having high protein and low carbs.
I typically grab my pork rinds at World Market. They are a little pricier here than somewhere like Amazon or Walmart. But, I like to get pork rinds that are lower in sugars and sodium.
The Field Trip Crispy Cuts are delicious and only have 1g of carbs per serving. They also don’t contain any added preservatives or artificial flavors.
Other Road Trip Essentials
Aside from healthy road trip snacks, there are a few other things I like to bring on on family vacations.
The first thing I ensure is in the car before leaving is Children’s Dramamine. Both of my children and I suffer from car sickness. It only seems to really bother any of us when we try to read, look at a screen, or focus on another activity on our laps.
I also like to brink a few comfy blankets and slippers for long road trips. This makes it a little easier for little kids to curl up in their car seats and go to sleep.
Another necessity in our car is a portable battery pack. It’s less trouble than trying to maneuver over charging cords plugged into the car. And if you don’t have USB ports in your car, one of these portable battery packs will save you grief when a tablet or phone battery dies.
The last thing that has to go in the car no matter what is a First Aid Kit. If you don’t have one, you can snag one on Amazon or at your local big-box store.
Did I miss anything on the above lists? What are your favorite healthy road trip snacks to take on family vacations? What do your kids love and what could they do without? Let me know in the comments below.