You’ve got your favorite tunes queued up and your GPS set for your next destination. If you’re really lucky, you even have a bona fide navigator by your side so you don’t have to worry about missing your exit.
There’s only one thing that’s missing: A picnic of healthy road trip snacks to get you through your adventure. (After all, it’s not just your vehicle that needs fuel!)
Many people take road trips as an opportunity to let their healthy lifestyle go by the wayside, stocking up on Cheetos, Slim Jims, and all other manner of “fun” gas station food. Or maybe you take the opportunity to swing through the drive through… or, more likely, given that you’re in a motorhome or travel trailer, parking and walking into the fast food joint.
Either way, although these classic road trip eats can seem like cheat day fun at the time, they can also quickly leave you feeling sluggish and unhappy… not to mention adding a nice, tidy sum to your overall travel budget. Why waste money on those grab-and-go convenience foods — which don’t even make you feel good — when you could save the cash for a real splurge later, while enjoying an energetic, fun-filled vacation?
That’s what we thought. So without further ado, here are some of our favorite healthy road trip snacks to stock up on before your next vacation.
Easy-to-Pack Healthy Snacks
When you’re getting ready for a road trip, you’ve already got a lot of stuff on your plate to deal with — pun totally intended. But suffice to say, if your healthy road trip snacks aren’t super simple to grab and go, you may find yourself heading for the drive-through despite your best intentions.
Fortunately, there are plenty of body- and budget-friendly snack items that take just about zero planning to add to your road trip packing list. Here are some favorite go-tos.
1. Granola Bars
This staple has been a health food fave for decades, and for a reason. There’s nothing like the crispy, crunchy mix of whole grains and dried fruit in healthy granola bars to keep you feeling fueled and fed for a day’s journey.
Of course, not all granola bars are created equally, and many of them add a heaping helping of — you guessed it — sugar, which might sweeten things in the meantime, but can lead to an unfun afternoon crash a few hours from now.
We recommend looking for products with simple ingredients lists and a relatively low amount of added sugar, like KIND bars. Even the decadent, chocolate-dipped ones often have as few as five grams of sugar total, and their use of fresh, natural ingredients make it a treat you can feel good about!
2. Fresh Fruit
When it comes to easy, low-calorie snacks whose healthiness factor you can count on, you just can’t do much better than fresh fruit — especially if we’re talking about bananas, which come in their very own wrapping! Other easy-to-grab fruits that make great road trip snacks include apples, oranges, and even grapes. (Psst: freeze up a bunch and let them thaw just slightly for what basically amounts to a mini grape slushy. Delicious!)
High Protein Snacks
Although all three macronutrients are important — yes, including fat and carbs — eating enough protein is a surefire way to walk (or drive) through your day feeling energized and strong. Here are some delicious high-protein snacks to add to your grab bag.
3. Protein Bars
Take a page out of your favorite athlete’s book and consider grabbing some quick and delicious protein in bar form! There are so many to choose from on the market, you’re bound to find one that fits your tastes, dietary preferences, and budget — from the super-low-sugar (but high-flavor) Quest line of products to the all-natural, date-sweetened family of RX bars.
4. Healthy Beef Jerky
Here’s the thing: beef jerky might seem like an obvious go-to for those looking specifically for low-carb snacks. But you might be surprised at how often your favorite dried meat product is totally inundated with sugar!
Although it’s important to check the back of the package, particularly if you’re looking at sweeter flavors like teriyaki, the right kind of beef jerky is a great option for people looking for high-protein snacks with a minimum of carbohydrates. People’s Choice makes a great, sugar-free version that packs 16 grams of protein and only 2.5 grams of fat per serving!
5. Cheese — String or Otherwise
Admit it: although you rolled your eyes at the time, these days, you’d love to sample the string cheese that always had a place in your school lunchbox. There’s just something about it that’s so comforting and nostalgic… not to mention low-carb and high-protein. You could also upgrade your cheese game and bring along whole wedges from your grocery’s gourmet dairy aisle. Grown up snacktime!
If you don’t want to bring along a cooler to keep your cheese chillin’, you can also look into these delicious packaged “chips” and crisps which are actually made of 100% cheese. They come in all sorts of delicious flavors, and all of them are carb-free and keto-friendly.
These days, we all know that “fat” is anything but a four-letter word. It’s all about getting enough natural, healthy oils… and nuts are a great source that’ll fill you up fast and keep you satisfied for hours. Grab a tin of lightly-salted, roasted nuts for a quick, non-perishable snack you can keep in the glove box for emergencies. Pair ’em with the fruit and cheese mentioned above for a totally gourmet roadtrip snack experience!
Healthy Snacks for Kids
Stocking up on healthy road trip snacks is one thing. Finding ones that your kids won’t turn up their noses at? That’s a whole different animal, in some cases. But we’ve got some easy solutions that even the pickiest eaters just can’t say no to. Here are some ideas.
7. Squeezable Yogurt
If someone’s got a sweet tooth but you aren’t exactly keen on stopping at every ice cream parlor along the way, consider this option. Squeezable tubes of yogurt and the perfect healthy, yet sweet, snacks that’ll satisfy your kiddo’s cravings… without resulting in that brutal sugar crash (or creating a serious dent in the eating-out portion of your vacation budget.)
Don’t want to get the squeezable kind? No problem! You can package up any kind of yogurt you like in mason jars, as in the photo above. Serve with granola and fresh fruit slices for added fanciness factor… or if you’re feeling really indulgent, add some chocolate chips and make it into a parfait. Delicious and nutritious!
8. Apple Slices
We already mentioned fresh fruit above, but we know that some kids are quick to turn up their noses at such a blatantly healthy option.
It’s funny, though: those exact same kids often change their tune when the fruit comes in a slightly-more-convenient, pre-sliced presentation… especially if you add in some peanut butter for dipping. (Plus, you’ll be creating a balanced snack with all three macronutrients if you take that approach!)
Road Trip Snacks
We hope this list of easy, healthy snacks makes your upcoming road trip that much easier (and that much more delicious). But if you’re looking for even more tips and tricks to make your upcoming RV journey a successful one, you’ve come to the right place: it’s literally how we make our living!
Snacks are just one part of a satisfying, nutritious journey, so if you’re looking for more information on feeding yourself on the road, check out the following RVshare posts:
- Tasty and Easy Meals to Whip Up In Your RV
- Summer Food and Beverage Festivals Are Upon Us: Here Are a Few Worth Checking Out
- Kitchen Gadgets that Were Made for RVs and Small Spaces
- The Ultimate Guide to Healthy Living on the Road — Even Over the Holidays
- Tips for Storing and Keeping Food Fresh on your RV
- Roadtrips for Foodies
And if you need more generalized beginning-RVer help, we’ve got you covered on that front, too. From choosing a destination to keeping the kids entertained, here are some even more great posts to help get you on the road as painlessly as possible.
- How to Mindfully Choose your Next RV Destination
- Avoid Overpacking: 5 Things NOT to Bring Along on your RV Trip
- 5 Kid-Friendly Things To Do on a Cross Country Road Trip
Happy camping, and bon appetit!
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