However, finding healthy snacks in gas stations, convenience stores, and rest stops along your route is often challenging.
Plus, eating irregularly and sitting for hours on end while driving can lead to digestive issues like constipation and bloating, making healthy snacking all the more important.
As such, you should keep an eye out for nutritious snacks to pack with you or purchase along the way. Note that many portable and shelf-stable snack options are calorie-dense, so keep that in mind when traveling and your activity level is likely lower than normal.
Here are 14 healthy snacks that are perfect for road trips.
1. Fresh Fruit and Nut Butter
Fresh fruit is not only highly nutritious but also easily portable.
During road trips, munching on hydrating, high-fiber foods like fruit may keep your bowel movements regular and help prevent constipation caused by inactivity.
Apples, strawberries, and bananas are great paired with high protein nut butters like almond or peanut butter for a filling snack.
Nut butters are even sold in single-serve pouches, which can come in handy when you need a quick bite while driving. Brands like Artisana and Once Again offer unsweetened, organic nut butter squeeze packs.
2. Trail Mix
Trail mix is a go-to snack for road trips — and for good reason. It doesn't require refrigeration, is easy to eat, and provides ample protein, healthy fats, and fiber to fuel you on those extra long road trips.
What's more, you can buy nutritious, low sugar versions at most rest stops and gas stations. Look for a variety with nuts, seeds, and unsweetened dried fruit — and steer clear of those that contain candies, candied nuts, and sugared fruits.
You can also make your own at home.
Start with raw or roasted nuts and seeds, then add your favorite unsweetened dried fruits. Toss in unsweetened dried coconut, cacao nibs, dark chocolate chips, or spices for extra flavor and crunch.
Note that even without added candy, trail mix is high in calories and best meant for — you guessed it — the trail. Keep this in mind if you are sitting for hours on end.
That said, trail mix also works as a meal replacement when other food choices are limited. Pairing trail mix with lower calorie fresh fruits or vegetables is one way to balance its calorie density.
3. Protein and Granola Bars
Protein and granola bars are convenient, and most don't require refrigeration, making them a good choice for road trips.
Yet, many bars are loaded with added sugars and other unhealthy additives, which is why it's important to choose products made from whole, nutritious ingredients like nuts, oats, chia seeds, egg whites, and dried fruit.
4. Energy Bites
Energy bites, also called energy balls, are bite-sized morsels made from healthy ingredients like nuts, seeds, and dried fruit. Though small, they pack a punch of nutrition and calories.
You can easily make them at home and pack them in a cooler to take on the road. Check out this recipe for energy bites that include dates, nuts, cocoa powder, and almond butter.
5. Nuts and Seeds
Nuts and seeds are delectable on their own and pair well with many other road trip snacks, including dried or fresh fruit.
Both nuts and seeds are high in protein, healthy fats, and fiber. In fact, eating more of these foods may decrease your risk of heart disease and lower your blood sugar levels.
Walnuts, almonds, cashews, macadamia nuts, pumpkin seeds, and sunflower seeds can supply a needed energy boost during your road trip.
6. Fruit and Veggie Chips
Many road trippers turn to highly processed snacks like potato chips to satisfy their cravings. However, these chips are typically high in calories, sodium, and unhealthy additives.
If you long for a salty snack with a bit of crunch, try healthy chips made from dried fruits and vegetables instead. For example, baked apple chips, plantain chips, and kale chips make excellent stand-ins for their highly processed counterparts.
Choose products that don't contain added sugar or preservatives, or make your own fruit and veggie chips at home. Follow this recipe for crunchy kale chips that are ideal for travel.
7. Unsweetened Yogurt
You can expand your snacking options during your road trip if you take a cooler.
Unsweetened yogurt is a great snack food that doubles as a quick breakfast when your choices are limited, but it needs to be kept cool to prevent spoilage, so be sure to fill your cooler with ice or ice packs.
Many flavored yogurts are high in added sugar, which you should limit. It's best to choose unsweetened, plain varieties, then add your own toppings, such as berries, nuts, seeds, chia seeds, and dried coconut.
Unsweetened Greek yogurt is especially beneficial because it's packed with protein, which helps keep you full.
8. Roasted Chickpeas
Chickpeas are highly nutritious, providing protein, fiber, magnesium, folate, and zinc.
While taking a can of chickpeas on the road is doable but a little more cumbersome, dried chickpeas are portable and easy to eat while driving or navigating.
It's easy to make your own using this recipe.
Alternatively, you can purchase dried chickpeas in various flavors at your local health food store, as well as online.
9. Fresh Veggies and Nutritious Dip
If you bring a cooler, fresh vegetables like celery, broccoli, carrots, cucumbers, and peppers make scrumptious, low calorie road trip snacks.
Eating veggies can not only satisfy your crunch cravings but also reduce your risk of various illnesses, including obesity, certain cancers, and mental decline.
To boost the protein content and flavor of this snack option, pair fresh vegetables with nutrient-dense dips like hummus or Greek yogurt dip.
10. Hard-Boiled Eggs
Hard-boiled eggs are another option to power you through long car trips.
Just be sure to keep them in a cooler with ice packs and eat them within 1 week.
11. Drinkable Soups
Although soup may seem like an odd choice for a road trip, shelf-stable, drinkable soups are a healthy and convenient choice when driving. Plus, veggie-based soups can help you meet your nutrient needs when fresh produce is scarce.
Many companies make drinkable soups in portable containers that don't require refrigeration.
Whole avocados are a high fiber, high fat snack that's especially suitable if you're following a low carb diet.
Plus, they're full of nutrients like potassium, folate, and vitamins C and E.
These buttery fruits can be salted and eaten with a spoon, or mashed and served with crackers or veggies during a break from driving. Bring a mix of ripe and unripe avocados to ensure that you always have one that's ready to eat.
13. Cheese and Crackers
Cheese and crackers make a classic snack for anyone looking for a quick bite on the road.
Top your crackers with cheddar, brie, or your cheese of choice for a satisfying, filling treat. You can also add fresh fruit for a hint of sweetness.
14. Dark Chocolate and Almonds
When you're craving something sweet during a long road trip, don't cave into the endless candies, baked goods, and sugary beverages available at rest stops and gas stations.
Instead, pack your car with healthy options like dark chocolate.
This treat is loaded with powerful polyphenol antioxidants, which have anti-inflammatory and heart-protective properties. What's more, eating chocolate in moderation may safeguard against conditions like stroke and diabetes.
Add a handful of almonds for a crunchy, fiber- and protein-rich snack.
The Bottom Line
Although eating healthy on the road may seem difficult, planning ahead and bringing nutritious snacks can keep your body fueled and your hunger at bay.
If you take a cooler, fresh veggies, unsweetened yogurt, and hard-boiled eggs are great options. Other foods that don't necessarily need to be kept cool and are easy to store and eat on the road include fresh fruits, nuts, seeds, nut butter, drinkable soups, and protein bars.
Keep these snacks in mind when you're looking for portable, nutritious options for your next adventure.
Scientists are on the brink of scaling up an enzyme that devours plastic. In the latest breakthrough, the enzyme degraded plastic bottles six times faster than previous research achieved, as The Guardian reported.
- Mutant Enzyme Recycles Plastic in Hours, Could Revolutionize ... ›
- Scientists Find Bacteria That Eats Plastic - EcoWatch ›
- Plastics: The History of an Ecological Crisis - EcoWatch ›
- Scientists Accidentally Develop 'Mutant' Enzyme That Eats Plastic ... ›
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By Jessica Corbett
In a rare calm moment during a historically active Atlantic hurricane season, an international team of climate scientists on Monday published a new study in the journal Nature Climate Change showing that human-caused global heating is making the world's oceans more "stable"—which, as co-author Michael Mann explained, is "very bad news."
<div id="e639b" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="d8d112e123588b9bf3c3eadcc89627e8"><blockquote class="twitter-tweet twitter-custom-tweet" data-twitter-tweet-id="1310602217825726465" data-partner="rebelmouse"><div style="margin:1em 0">Thank you to @MichaelEMann for patiently and clearly explaining to non scientists why increased ocean stabilizati… https://t.co/yW2BmQhKGp</div> — Dr Naomi Wolf (@Dr Naomi Wolf)<a href="https://twitter.com/naomirwolf/statuses/1310602217825726465">1601306893.0</a></blockquote></div>
<div id="85eca" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="43780424fc8b04e23a525e1bad1086eb"><blockquote class="twitter-tweet twitter-custom-tweet" data-twitter-tweet-id="1310608647651811336" data-partner="rebelmouse"><div style="margin:1em 0">Canada has oceans on 3 sides-we can't ignore the climate news that The Oceans Appear to Be Stabilizing. Here's Why… https://t.co/SfWJWWRHr7</div> — Friends Of Halifax Common (@Friends Of Halifax Common)<a href="https://twitter.com/FriendsHalifax/statuses/1310608647651811336">1601308426.0</a></blockquote></div>
<div id="3e52e" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="f210e186b6e1481a64770e0c8722a438"><blockquote class="twitter-tweet twitter-custom-tweet" data-twitter-tweet-id="1310638669477236738" data-partner="rebelmouse"><div style="margin:1em 0">"Das bedeutet, dass das CO2-Budget, das zur Vermeidung kritischer Erhitzung (z.B. 1,5°C) übrig bleibt, möglicherwei… https://t.co/675YBTSybJ</div> — Parents For Future #SystemChangeNotClimateChange (@Parents For Future #SystemChangeNotClimateChange)<a href="https://twitter.com/parents4future/statuses/1310638669477236738">1601315583.0</a></blockquote></div><p>Ending his piece on a similar note, Mann wrote that "in short, it's unwise to be complacent given the accumulating scientific evidence that climate change and its impacts may well be in the upper end of the range that climate scientists currently project. There is ever-greater urgency when it comes to acting on climate. But there is agency as well. Our actions <a href="https://www.newsweek.com/dangerous-new-form-climate-denialism-making-rounds-opinion-1455736" target="_blank">make a difference</a>—something to keep in mind as we head into a presidential election <a href="https://www.newsweek.com/greta-thunberg-donald-trump-true-leadership-climate-change-free-world-1461147" target="_blank">whose climate implications</a> are monumental."</p><p>Mann is on the mounting list of climate experts and advocates <a href="https://www.axios.com/2020-presidential-election-joe-biden-endorsed-climate-scientists-24013990-0300-4c2c-ad95-57571b397196.html?fbclid=IwAR3vTCBmK5BwvoafwGefadTsnIMnKo9FS6ssc9PCdFLEeXr6p4KHlnrFWKU" target="_blank">supporting </a>Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden in his effort to oust President Donald Trump—who has, at various points, ignored and exacerbated the climate emergency. Earlier this month, the <a href="https://www.commondreams.org/news/2020/09/15/matter-life-and-death-after-175-years-scientific-american-backs-biden-magazines" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">editors</a> of<em> Scientific American</em> as well as the political action arms of both 350 and Friends of the Earth also <a href="https://www.commondreams.org/news/2020/09/24/clarion-call-all-progressive-environmentalists-defeat-trumps-planetary-destruction" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">endorsed</a> the former vice president.</p><p>"The stakes are clear and present," Tamara Toles O'Laughlin from 350 Action said of the general election, for which early voting is already underway in some states. "The planet cannot withstand four more years of Trump."</p>
- 5 Things to Know About Earth's Warming Oceans - EcoWatch ›
- Report Details Climate Crisis Impacts on Coral Reefs, Warns of ... ›
- 'A Little Shocking': Ocean Currents Are Speeding up Significantly ... ›
By Hannah Murphy
When he talks about the Trump administration, David Doniger likes to say: "Imagine where we'd be if they knew what they were doing." The climate lawyer and senior advisor to the NRDC Action Fund spends his days defending the environment from the U.S. government, and for the past three and a half years, that's meant a front-row seat to the Trump administration's relentless attacks on any regulation that's meant to slow the climate crisis.
- Trump's Climate Change Record Threatens the Planet - EcoWatch ›
- Climate Change Purged From White House Website - EcoWatch ›
- America Burns From Climate Change While Trump Officials Attend ... ›
The Johns Hopkins University tracker for worldwide coronavirus cases showed that the world passed a grim milestone early Tuesday morning, as more than 1 million have died from the virus and the infection it causes, COVID-19.
- US Coronavirus Deaths Pass 200000 as New Surge in Cases Begins ›
- U.S. Coronavirus Death Toll Tops 170,000 Ahead of Flu Season ... ›
- U.S. Coronavirus Death Toll Now No. 1 in World - EcoWatch ›
Maryland will become the first state in the nation Thursday to implement a ban on foam takeout containers.
- New Jersey Legislature Passes 'Most Comprehensive' Plastics Ban ... ›
- Canada to Announce Ban on Single-Use Plastics - EcoWatch ›
- The Complex and Frustrating Reality of Recycling Plastic - EcoWatch ›
- Dunkin' Says Bye to Foam Cups (But Bring Your Own Thermos ... ›
- Maine and Vermont Pass Plastic Bag Bans on the Same Day ... ›