It can be challenging to try and eat well on the road. Perhaps some of my most mindless snacking happens during endless hours on the highway. The biggest struggle I face is being ill-prepared, which typically results in grabbing chips and candy at the gas station along our route.
If you’ve seen my posts on clean eating or healthy dinner recipes, you know I’m a fan of trying to keep things as healthy as possible. With that in mind, I try to resort to real foods over anything packaged when I can. I’ve realized one too many times that a failure to plan means planning to fail, especially when you consider the availability of healthy options in gas stations and rest stop vending machines.
In preparation for an upcoming road trip, I decided to be proactive and come up with a list of healthy snacks to keep our energy up without bogging us down. One of my favorite things about road trips, as opposed to flying, is that it gives you a lot more flexibility in terms of the food you can pack. The ability to take a cooler and utensils while not being limited on space is a game-changer.
The below are my favorite options for quick, easy, healthy snacks for a road trip to help you survive any long ride.
Veggies and hummus
Fresh vegetables and hummus make a fantastic healthy and filling snack. With a cooler in tow, we can be sure that any veggies cut up the night before will stay fresh the whole ride. I also found these great individually-wrapped hummus containers at Costco which are perfect for on the go snacking!
Nuts and seeds
I am a huge fan of protein-packed nuts like almonds and cashews, as well as sunflower seeds. These are easy to segment by serving into smaller containers to avoid overeating. The high-calorie content of nuts and seeds makes that very easy to do.
I do my best to avoid leaving food in the fridge when we’re going out of town. Making hard-boiled eggs the night before you leave is a great way to use up the rest of your carton. They also make a great snack. I am sure to peel them before we leave to avoid the messiness in the car.
Bananas, apples, and other whole fruit
Fruit is a natural, healthy option for road trips. Bananas, apples, strawberries, and blueberries are all easy to prep and bring for travel. If you want to spice it up, bring along a single-serve packet of almond or peanut butter. My favorite is Justin’s vanilla almond butter*. It tastes fantastic when paired with a granny smith apple.
I love the flavor and texture of avocado. I could eat this as a snack by itself, but it’s ten times better with a little hot sauce. It’s best to open the avocado at a rest stop if you’re using a knife or consider grabbing a sweet avocado tool* like we use to avoid stabbing ourselves.
These are so easy to make and a delicious, healthy snack for the road! I drain two cans of chickpeas and roast them for 40 minutes at 375° with olive oil, salt, and pepper. I like to add a little cayenne pepper to spice things up, but they are delicious with just salt and pepper as well.
Packaged bars are a great option when convenience is of utmost importance. The bars you bring from home will likely be healthier than what you find at the average gas station. My favorites are RX bars*. These bars are gluten and dairy-free and packed with simple, wholesome ingredients.
With these snacks packed up and ready to go, I feel confident that I won’t choose an unsavory option during a pit stop. But if I do happen to have a craving for Cape Cod chips, so be it. Eating, as in life, is not always going to be perfect. Remember that as important as it is to be healthy, you’ve also got to enjoy the ride.
Do you have a go-to road trip food that you have to bring? I’d love to hear about it in the comments!