It’s easy to mindlessly eat while driving or riding in the car, especially if you’re getting your snacks from rest stops and fast food places. However, you don’t have to toss out your normal healthy habits when traveling. Eating healthy on the road all boils down to planning. Bringing your own snacks allows you to control the nutritional content of your food and ensures you have treats that you enjoy. Your food doesn’t have to be boring, nor does it have to be complicated. You’re in the car – everything should be easy to grab!
Pack proportioned snacks into single serving baggies so you don’t go through an entire large bag of nuts or pretzels in one stretch. Use our Precision Digital Kitchen Scale to accurately measure out portions into single serving snack packs. Its recessed platform contains items such nuts, chips, and trail mix and prevents them from rolling off the scale. It’s hard to judge an ounce of nuts by looking at them and suggested serving sizes aren’t always accurate. Measuring by volume keeps servings on point.
Need some snack ideas to take on the road? We’ve compiled some healthy options that travel well and are convenient for grab and go meals.
Here’s our list of EatSmart approved foods to take along on road trips:
Yogurt – If you’re traveling with children, opt for pouches that don’t require a spoon.
Tuna – We suggest packets since they are easy to open and there’s no oil or water to spill.
Jerky – There are many healthy options to choose from, including vegan brands.
Hard boiled eggs
Nuts and seeds
Nut butters – Individual packets are easier to maneuver in the car.
Energy bars – You can buy them or make some of these easy DIY granola bar recipes.
EATSMART PRO TIP: Packing high-quality protein snacks helps keep you feeling full throughout the day.
EATSMART PRO TIP: Not a fan of plain vegetables? Pack dip in your cooler to make the veggies more palatable.
EATSMART PRO TIP: Buy single serving packs or make your own dippers in small containers for convenience and to cut down on the mess.
EATSMART PRO TIP: Buy what’s in season, travels well, and is easy to peel.
Whole grain crackers
Air popped popcorn
EATSMART PRO TIP: To prevent these snacks from getting crushed, store the delicate bagged items in Tupperware containers.
Whole grain cookies
Low sugar, high fiber cereal
Fruit snacks – Choose natural ones with less sugar.
Smoothies – Make your own healthy version and put it in individual bottles.
Trail mix – You can buy it but it is cheaper and healthier to make your own.
Muffins – Choose healthy versions or make your own such as Strawberry Banana Quinoa Bran Muffins, Chocolate Avocado Muffins, and Fresh Plum and Oat Muffins.
EATSMART PRO TIP: Packing your sweet treats helps you steer clear of impulse purchases at rest stops such as processed candy bars and donuts.
Unsweetened tea or coffee
Low sugar juice boxes
Tea bags, instant coffee, and hot cocoa packets
EATSMART PRO TIP: Bring along both a reusable water bottle and a travel mug for hot water. At rest stops you can make your own hot tea, coffee, or cocoa and fill up your water bottle.
In addition to packing food, it’s always good to have a few miscellaneous items so you don’t have to worry about stopping.
Grocery bags – Toss garbage out in or have on hand in case of car sickness.
EATSMART PRO TIP: Pack everything into a clear plastic tote so you can easily find what you need. Another idea is to assign specific colors of your Travelwise Packing Cubes to separate types of items. For example, the small teal packing cube can be miscellaneous items and the grey packing cube can be for food that doesn’t need to be in the cooler.
Even if you pack your snacks, it’s inevitable to stop at a drive thru or fast food restaurant on a long drive. If you find yourself grabbing a meal at the drive thru, choose a grilled chicken sandwich instead of the burger, and swap the fries for a healthier option like apple slices or a side salad. Save the calorie indulgences for the extra special treats at your destination such like ice cream on the beach or a margarita with dinner.