Trying to stay healthy while traveling on the road with the family can be a difficult chore. If you are planning a summer road trip, do not get tempted by the sugary energy drinks, packaged chips, muffins, and candy bars sold in the convenience stores along the way. Take a bit of time, plan ahead and package up some nourishing snacks that will provide your family with energy on the road rather than the sugar zapping, conflict inducing reactions brought on by the onslaught of junk food. You will arrive at your destination with plenty of energy, calm kids and ready to enjoy the visit. Say goodbye to roadside temptation with these great snacks to pack for a long road trip.
Nuts. Nuts are a good staple for road trips because they are protein packed powerhouses that will keep you satisfied and content in between meals. My favorite nuts include almonds, pecans and cashews. You can incorporate nuts and make your own trail mix by adding a few more ingredients!
Island Trail Mix: 1 cup almonds + 4 Tbsp m&ms + 1 cup dried mango + ½ cup coconut.
Energy Trail Mix: 1 1/3 cups of pecans + 20 dried apricots + 4 Tbsp of semi-sweet chocolate chips + 2 apples cut up.
Fresh Fruit: The best fruits to pack on a long drive are grapes, bananas, and apples. These fruits are not as messy as others, and can be eaten easily.
Veggies: Pack a zip lock bag with baby carrots, chopped peppers, cucumber and/or celery sticks for healthy on the road snacking. If you don’t like eating your veggies plain, repackage a large container of hummus into individual portions so that each person has their own to eat from. You can make traditional hummus or try our peanut butter hummus for a sweet protein packed twist on the usual.
Protein Bars: Nutrition bars such as the Luna, Larabar, or Cliff bars are great for the road and easy to tear open and to eat. These bars are also packed with protein, fiber and vitamins which will help keep you feeling your best on your trip. Check the nutrition labels for protein, fiber and be wary of any high sugar content. Caution: Protein bars are used as meal replacements so do not overeat.
String Cheese: String cheese is a great on-the-go option! Pair string cheese with an apple for a nutritious treat.
Popcorn: Pop your own popcorn and pack it in a zip lock bag as a great alternative to the classic potato chip. Beware of prepackaged options, loaded with chemicals. Instead opt for the kernels and pop them yourself at home. A single cup of air popped popcorn is low in calories and satisfying. Mist lightly with olive oil and sprinkle with salt or sprinkle with chili powder and smoked paprika for a zesty flavour or cinnamon and nutmeg for sweet.
Water. Bring plenty of water, so that your family can stay hydrated. You can infuse water with lemons, limes or cucumber for a refreshing drink. Resist the urge to buy sugar-laden pop or juices that will over-stimulate the kids in close company.
You can find more clean eating snack ideas in the More Time Moms Family Meals Cookbook.
By Patricia Lalonde