20 of The Best Healthy Road Trip Snacks
Homemade and store bought snack ideas to keep you energized and satisfied during your summer travels
With the warmer weather and summer holidays starting soon, a lot of us are making plans to hit the road – heading out camping, to the lake cabin, or just for those late-night summer drives. Whatever is getting you out on the road, make sure you’re prepared with some healthy road trip snacks!
What makes up a good road trip snack?
Having snacks on hand for long road trips can be helpful to maintain our energy levels, and alertness, and just make the drive a little more enjoyable overall. When creating snacks that are both satisfying and satiating (keep us feeling full), I recommend pairing a source of carbohydrate (coming from grains, starches, fruit, or dairy) with a source of protein (nuts, seeds, beans, meats, dairy, egg, etc.). Meals and snacks that have both carbs and protein will keep your energy consistent and your mind alert throughout the drive. Keep reading for some examples below!
When planning road trip snacks, there are a few things we want to consider when selecting our food choices:
- Foods with minimal crumbs or mess. There are many small nooks and crannies in vehicles and eating foods that crumble easily or make a mess can mean a vacuuming nightmare later. Foods like crumbly crackers or pistachio shells may be best enjoyed at a rest stop.
- Keeping snacks easy to access and easy to eat. Make sure to stay safe while driving and keep snacks nearby so that you can access them easily without taking your eyes off the road.
- Choosing foods without excessive packaging or that are easy to open. Similar to the tip above, foods that require a lot of effort to open and eat make it more difficult to maintain safe driving practices. If you have a passenger with you, ask for them to open the snack for you and hand it to you.
- Choosing foods that do not spoil quickly and don’t need to be kept refrigerated. This is a tip more applicable for longer road trips. Another alternative is to bring a small mini cooler in the vehicle with you (but ideally only if you have a passenger who can open and access the snacks for you while you’re driving).
- Thinking twice about strong-smelling foods like tuna, certain cheeses, and boiled eggs. Now this is completely up to personal preference! If you or your passengers don’t mind these smells, go for it!
Keep reading for 10 homemade road trip snacks and 10 easy store-bought snacks you can find at your grocery store or gas station.
10 Homemade Road Trip Snacks
- Muffins, like these Banana Bran Muffins
- Cookies or squares. Try these delicious Healthy Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Energy bars or energy balls that are easy to eat with one hand. Try these Award Winning Cocoa Energy Bars or Nutty Chocoholic Balls
- Trail mix. Buy ingredients in bulk and create your own favourite combination of flavours with foods like nuts, seeds, dried fruit, cereal, pretzels, popcorn, crispy edamame, crunchy corn nuts, etc.
- Cheese and crackers. A classic snack. Keep it even simpler by packing individual cheese strings or Babybel.
- Veggies and dip. Try our own Best Vegetable Dip recipe!
- Fresh fruit with a dip made of Greek yogurt and peanut butter. Trust me, it’s delicious!
- Chocolate-covered nuts or pretzels for something sweet and salty.
- Roasted chickpeas, packed with protein and fibre. Recipe here.
- Homemade air-popped popcorn with butter, coconut oil, or olive oil and a pinch of salt.
10 Store-Bought Road Trip Snacks
- Trail mix or mixed nuts. Full of protein and healthy fats, nuts are a great satiating snack for long road trips. Choose nuts/seeds that don’t need to be shelled and create a little mess (like almonds, peanuts, walnuts, etc).
- Granola bars. To help keep you full longer, look for granola bars with at least 3g of fibre or more.
- Fresh fruit or smoothies. You can often find some fresh fruit like bananas and apples in the fridge section of many gas stations.
- Pretzels and hummus. Often you can find snack packs of pretzels and hummus already pre-portioned and ready-to-go in the deli section of grocery stores or gas stations.
- Legume/bean chips if you’re looking for something crunchy but want a little extra fibre and protein.
- Fresh vegetables and dip. Find these in pre-portioned packs in the deli or refrigerated snack section.
- Jerky and meat bars. A great high-protein snack to keep you full!
- String cheese and crackers. Some gas stations may have snack packs in the refrigerated section ready-to-go.
- Protein bars like Clif, Lara Bars, GoMacro Bars, Madegood bars, or Strong & KIND bars.
- Yogurt tubes. A little easier to eat than a yogurt cup but watch out you don’t accidentally spill.
Now that you’ve gathered some more road trip food ideas, you’re ready to hit the pavement! A reminder to never throw your garbage out the window and to consider packing along an extra bag to put garbage in during your drive. Happy travels!
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Carlin has a natural knack for connecting with people and making them feel at ease. She is known for her bright smile, sincere care, and infectious enthusiasm when working with clients. Carlin is passionate about supporting clients in their health journey, goals, and making peace with food and their body. She believes strongly in empowering people to make lasting change that suits their needs and lifestyle.