Living in a place like Colorado, we do a lot of road trips! I mean, why would anyone want to leave this beautiful state?! Most of our road trips are under 2 to 3 hours, but sometimes we go for the long haul. This weekend we are driving to Durango (seven hours in a car with a new puppy who gets car sick – pray for us). We obviously sit a lot during these drives, so I like to find healthy road trip snacks that keep us feeling great.
Here are a few tips on snack planning as well as 20 healthy snack ideas for the road! Psst – if you want to skip to the nitty gritty, download the free snack pairing guide here.
If you leave your snacks up to chance, you’ll usually end up with Cheetos, candy bars, and day-old gas station burritos. Although it’s not impossible to find healthier choices at the gas station, it’s a lot harder! Planning is key.
When planning for healthy snacks, the best rule of thumb is to follow “snack pairing” guidelines.
Snack pairing is the concept of having a fiber-based food paired with a healthy fat and/or protein based food. This perfect pairing helps keep our blood sugar stable, satisfies our hunger for longer, and reduces sugar cravings.
Some examples of this include:
While the fiber is great for our gut health, you can also skip carbohydrate and stick with the fat/protein based foods for the same craving crushing benefits. Spoonful of almond butter anyone?
Related post: How to Stop Sugar Cravings with Snack Pairing
When planning healthy snacks for the road, there are some things you’ll want to avoid.
Ok, I love veggies a lot, but if you’re hoping to feel satisfied with crunchin’ on some celery, it just ain’t happening. Veggies are great, but we should pair them with some type of protein or fat to get the most benefit. Adding a healthy fat source to your veggie snacks can even help your body absorb more fat-soluble vitamins!
Humans are kind of lazy. I mean that in the nicest way (I’m one of them). When cravings hit, we want what is fast and convenient #getinmybelly. Make sure to wash/slice/chop any foods that can be prepped beforehand to make it the grab and go type of healthy road trip snacks!
Related post:Family Meal Planning Made Easy: 5 Tips for Success
I’ve fallen victim to this one. Healthy road trip snacks should be relatively easy and convenient. So just nix the rice cakes (trust me on this one – crumbs EVERYWHERE). As much as I love avocados and it pains me to say this…avocados just aren’t convenient road trip snacks. “How do I cut it? Where do I put the pit? I’ll eat it with a spoon but I need salt, ahhhh there’s avocado all over my fingers!” Go for the guac, my friends. Same friendly fats, a lot less mess.
Call me a broken record, but this point needs to be brought up often! Repeat after me: fat is our friend :). We’re talkin’ real food sources of fat of course (no junky food fats). Choose whole milk yogurts, regular full-fat cheeses, and coconut oil etc. when applicable. Research consistently shows that people who eat full-fat products actually have lower chances of weight gain. Wholesome fat foods can also help nix sugar cravings because it satisfies our hunger for longer, and balances our blood sugar. Higher fat foods are great for healthy road trip snacks!
Real-food “bars” with simple, delicious ingredients!
You can buy guac in the individual kits or a big container to share!
I LOVE these chocolate chip cookie dough bites from The Real Food RDs!
Good things to add: cashews, almonds, walnuts, dried fruit, pumpkin seeds, dark chocolate chips, and/or shredded coconut.
Pre-peel them to make it easier and less messy!
Here are 9 great energy bite recipe ideas!
Disclaimer: this one may not go over well with your co-riders ? pyew.
For something crunchy! Love Jackson’s Honest sweet potato chips cooked with coconut oil (plus, they’re local to Colorado! ??)
PRO TIP: store berries in a mason jar with a screw top lid for less waste and less mushy berries. You can get my favorite lids here.
Directions: keep tomatoes and mozzarella balls in a Tupperware container. Throw in some toothpicks. When it’s time to snack, poke a cherry tomato then a mozzarella ball and enjoy!
While nourishing our body with wholesome foods is important, so is enjoying your vacation and spending time with family and friends. Try to avoid obsessing over every single meal or snack. Plan when you can, eat mostly real foods, but enjoy occasional indulgences if you want them, too.
Next time you have a long drive ahead of you, take your pick and plan out a handful of different healthy road trip snacks to keep you satisfied, and start your vacation off feeling great!
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