Summer is almost officially here and for many of us that means taking road trips to the beach, lake, and mountains for a getaway, or to see family. Whether your trip is going to be short or long, it’s always nice to have nourishing, energizing snacks you can feel good about feeding your family along the way, especially since you may be enjoying a few extra treats once you arrive at your destination!
The key to nourishing car snacks is combining healthy, high fiber carbohydrates with satiating protein and healthy fats. In addition to being healthful, these snacks are also portable, easy-to-eat, delicious, and fairly mess free. Some need no refrigeration while others (the last half of the list) need to be kept cool, but are small enough that a small soft cooler with an ice pack will do the trick.
What are your favorite ways to get creative with your car trip snacks?
1. Fruit and nut butter wrap
Spread a whole grain tortilla with your favorite nut butter, then top with thinly sliced fruit such as apples, pears, strawberries, or bananas. Roll it like a burrito and wrap in foil or another reusable food wrap like this. This can be used as a snack or lunch and doesn’t need to be kept cold on a day trip.
2. Popcorn trail mix with nuts and dark chocolate
Air pop popcorn (you can do itif you don’t have a popper) and toss with a little olive oil or butter, then mix with peanuts or your favorite nut, dried fruit like cranberries, cherries, or apricots, and mini chocolate chips. Be aware that the chocolate chips can melt in the car if it’s gets warm, so either have some hand wipes ready, especially if you’re giving it to kids, or skip the chocolate. Pre-portion the trail mix into smaller zip lock snack bags to pass around the car.
You can make a batchahead of time for easy munching while driving. The nut butter and fruit provide protein, healthy fat, and fiber all in one delicious package.
We look for bars with a minimal amount of added sugar, a short ingredient list, and a healthy dose of fiber or healthy fat and protein. Some favorite brands are Lara Bar, Rx Bar, and Kind Bar.
5. Cut veggies and hummus
Cut up carrots, bell peppers, or celery sticks (all three are hearty veggies that pack well) and bring pre-portioned packages of hummus for dipping.
6. Edamame in the shell
Start with the pre-cooked frozen version, stick them in a zip lock bag, and by the time you’re ready to eat them they’ll be defrosted. Plus, they act as extra ice packs to keep other items cold. Edamame contains protein, fiber, and carbohydrates all in one so they’re balanced enough to eat on their own.
7. Seasoned tuna and crackers to go
The, which comes in a variety of delicious flavors, can be paired with whole grain crackers for a quick and satisfying snack in the car, or at a rest area. They not only taste delicious, but are a great way to get a hefty dose of lean protein, which can often be the hardest nutrient to get in a portable fashion.
8. Pre-portioned guacamole and tortilla chips
Craving something savory? Guacamole is a great source of healthful fats. We love the pre-portioned guacamole cups, which you can usually find in the produce section of your grocery store paired with whole grain corn chips.
9. Yogurt cups with granola
Pair a single portion cup of plain unsweetened Greek yogurt with a sprinkling of your favorite granola. Try portioning out this homemadefrom our cookbook!
10. Cheese stick and fruit
Pair a cheese stick (you can buy these individually packaged / portioned or do this from a block of cheese yourself and place in a plastic zip lock bag or container) with a whole piece of fruit like and apple for easy portability. We also love to pack cold grapes and clementines, both of which are easy to eat on the go. Fresh fruit is nice to have in the car because it’s refreshing and also helps with hydration.