As a mom, I understand that road trips are not as enjoyable with kids. They can get tired easily and finding healthy food options can be a challenge. That’s why I’ve put together a guide to help you keep your children’s energy levels up. It includes tips like packing your own snacks and seeking out local healthy food options. Let’s ensure that your road trip is full of fun and healthy options for your kids! Get our list of best healthy snacks for travel here!
You don’t want to rely on the gas station for convenience food. Gas stations won’t always stock healthy options and healthy fat foods.
Healthy Snacks For Traveling
So why eat healthy snacks while traveling? Eating healthy snacks helps to maintain energy levels and reduces cravings for unhealthy foods. Kids especially need nutritious snacks to keep them energized and alert while traveling.
Best Healthy Travel Snack Ideas
So here are some healthy snack ideas to try while travelling. These healthy travel snacks will keep your children energized and maintain their focus while on the road.
It can be hard to have a balanced meal while travelling so finding the healthiest travel snacks will surely help.
Healthy road trip snacks can keep the kids more focused and energized and help reduce frustration, tantrums and overall boredom.
Fresh Fruit: Pack some of your children’s favorite fresh fruits such as apples, oranges, bananas or grapes for a healthy snack on the go. Fresh produce is a great way to get nutrition and energy while travelling on the road.
Trail Mix: Create your own trail mix with nuts, dried fruit, shredded coconut and seeds (such as pumpkin or sunflower seeds) for a nutritious and tasty treat!
If you are looking for an alternative to sugary snacks, this is a great way to provide wholesome fuel for your travels.
Whole Grain Crackers
Whole Grain Crackers: Bring along some whole grain crackers and top them with nut butter or hummus for a filling snack. Whole grains are a great source of energy and fiber to keep your kids going on the road.
Dark Chocolate: Healthy dark chocolate is higher in antioxidants than other types of chocolate, making it a great choice for a sweet snack. Try dark chocolate chips
Veggies: Pack sliced carrots or baby carrots, celery or cucumbers to munch on during the car ride. Veggies are a great source of vitamins and minerals, plus they’re low in calories.
Popcorn: Pop some popcorn for a snack that is low in calories and high in fiber. Your kids will love eating popcorn on their next trip for sure.
Yogurt: Pack individual yogurt cups, yogurt tubes or make your own yogurt smoothies to keep everyone cool and refreshed while driving.
Almond Butter Fingers
Almond Butter Fingers: Spread some almond butter on celery or whole grain crackers for an energizing snack. You could also use peanut butter or trade the butter for cream cheese!
Hard Boiled Eggs
Hard Boiled Eggs: Bring along some hard boiled eggs for a protein-packed snack. Eggs have healthy fats and just the right amount of protein to keep those tummies full.
Granola Bars: Choose granola bars or protein bars with natural ingredients such as oats, nut butters and dried fruits. Great for maintaining blood sugar levels if you have a sweet tooth!
Cheese: String cheese, cheese sticks, cheese slices, cubes of cheddar and mozzarella make a great snack that’s high in protein.
Smoothies: Make smoothies with frozen berries, banana, yogurt and almond milk for an easy grab-and-go treat! No added sugar but plenty of natural sweetness and plant protein to keep you feeling satisfied.
Try making a mini protein salad. Grab spinach leaves, sliced bell peppers, grilled chicken or turkey, boiled eggs, cherry tomatoes and a light vinaigrette for a filling and nutritious snack.
Switch the diced chicken for tuna and make a tuna salad or add roasted chickpeas for a non meat option.
Tips For Organizing Healthy Travel Snacks
So here are some great tips for organising healthy travel snacks before your road trip or journey.
1. Pack Your Own Fresh Produce
My favorite snack is apples because they are convenient, come in natural packaging, and my husband eats them entirely (except for the stem).
Besides apples, there are other healthy fruits and vegetables that don’t need refrigeration and can be great for traveling. Just make sure to wash them before you leave.
- Cherry Tomatoes
- Baby Carrots
- Baby Cucumbers
- Sugar Snap Peas
- Sliced Sweet Bell Peppers
2. Plan Your Travel Snacks
If your kids are like mine, then they’re all – Thanks, mom, for the fruits & veg, but we wanted SNACKS! I get it. I like salty, sweet & crunchy things too but their might not be any convenience stores on your road trip so make sure to plan ahead and pack those treats.
3. Keep Your Travel Snacks Accessible & Organised
When packing your travel snacks, it’s important to keep them accessible and organised. Use separate containers or snack bags for each type of snack, so that they are easy to grab when needed.
I love using these bento box style containers for travelling – they are easy to clean and allow you to separate out your snacks.
- Make Your Own ‘Trail Mix’. Head to the bulk items section of your store & stock up on dry roasted nuts, dried (unsweetened) fruit like goji berries or dried mango, pumpkin seeds, unsweetened coconut shreds & dairy & soy free chocolate chips. Mix all your ingredients together in an air tight container & you’ve got a prefect road snack.
- Blue Corn Tortilla Chips. It’s easy to make your own tortilla chips by simply brushing corn tortillas with olive oil & baking them for about 10 minutes. Serve with a small tub of salsa or guacamole.
- Ginger Snaps. These are some of my favorite sweet snacks & great for little fingers and double up as an aid for travel sickness. They also don’t have any high fructose corn syrup which is an added bonus!
- Kale Chips. These definitely have an acquired taste, but now that I’ve had them, I’ll be packing them for all our road trips.
- Nut Butter. I love nut butter & love these little single serving pouches!
3. Don’t Forget Your Water Bottle
Bringing a water bottle is not the only portable container you should bring, but it is likely the most important one.
Staying hydrated can prevent common travel issues like an upset stomach or overindulging in unhealthy snacks, and it can also help you save money.
When we stop to refuel, I usually buy a couple of large water bottles and refill our empty ones from them. This way, I also prevent everyone from asking for sugary drinks.
It’s possible to use ice and water from soda fountains in some places, which is preferable because it reduces the use of plastic water bottles.
Along with your water bottle, don’t forget to take some extra things to make your life easier.
- Water Bottles like these are great as they help you measure how much liquid your drinking throughout the day.
- Bags for Trash: Keep a few small bags or containers with you to collect all your trash.
- Reusable Utensils: If you plan on eating anywhere, make sure to bring along some sporks or reusable utensils so that you don’t need single use plastic ones. Napkins: Bringing some napkins is an easy way to wipe up any messes, and they can also double as tissues if the need arises and help minimize mess.
- Containers for Dividing up Finger Snacks
4. Get Off The Beaten Path
Now, this might come as a shock but fast food is not one of my favorite things to eat. I’m not saying we never eat it, I’m just saying if given a choice I’d prefer almost anything else.
When we’re out on the open road & our choices seem limited to fast food chains or truck stops, you can use apps like Yelp or Urban Spoon on your iPhone. You can search by location or food type & read reviews. I LOVE REVIEWS.
We’ve eaten at some seriously amazing local places we would’ve never found if we’d stayed on the highway. Not only are you more likely to get food that is fresh, but you’re also supporting a local establishment & what I like to call – blending with the locals.
We’ve eaten at small town restaurants, been welcomed by owners, had fresh ‘house specials’ & had some great meal experiences Try getting that at some fast food chain.
5. PICNIC IN PARADISE
Ok, I have to admit, thinking of this title made me giggle. It isn’t exactly paradise to pull into a rest stop area but when you’re in the car with 4 antsy kids, it can be the closest thing to it.
You need the rest stop to accomplish three things – feed the kids, bathroom/diaper changes & get them out of the car. If you’ve packed enough healthy traveling snacks for your small army then you don’t need a highway fast food chain.
Make a date with nature (weather permitting) & bring a blanket to picnic at the rest stop area. The kids can nosh on all the snacks you packed & run out some of that energy.
Find Good Rest Stops
Some rest stops have nice, grassy areas where the kids can run around, safely distanced from any cars. Then all you’ll be ready to jump back in the car & watch Caillou for the thirteenth time.
Overall, eating healthy while travelling can be a challenge. But don’t let that discourage you from making it happen. With a little planning and some creativity, you can make sure your next road trip is as healthy as possible! Have fun and safe travels!