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.
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Wisdom the mōlī, or Laysan albatross, is the oldest wild bird known to science at the age of at least 70. She is also, as of February 1, a new mother.
<div id="dadb2" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="aa2ad8cb566c9b4b6d2df2693669f6f9"><blockquote class="twitter-tweet twitter-custom-tweet" data-twitter-tweet-id="1357796504740761602" data-partner="rebelmouse"><div style="margin:1em 0">🚨Cute baby alert! Wisdom's chick has hatched!!! 🐣😍 Wisdom, a mōlī (Laysan albatross) and world’s oldest known, ban… https://t.co/Nco050ztBA</div> — USFWS Pacific Region (@USFWS Pacific Region)<a href="https://twitter.com/USFWSPacific/statuses/1357796504740761602">1612558888.0</a></blockquote></div>
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While traditional investment in the ocean technology sector has been tentative, growth in Israeli maritime innovations has been exponential in the last few years, and environmental concern has come to the forefront.
theDOCK aims to innovate the Israeli maritime sector. Pexels<p>The UN hopes that new investments in ocean science and technology will help turn the tide for the oceans. As such, this year kicked off the <a href="https://www.oceandecade.org/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030)</a> to galvanize massive support for the blue economy.</p><p>According to the World Bank, the blue economy is the "sustainable use of ocean resources for economic growth, improved livelihoods, and jobs while preserving the health of ocean ecosystem," <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0160412019338255#b0245" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Science Direct</a> reported. It represents this new sector for investments and innovations that work in tandem with the oceans rather than in exploitation of them.</p><p>As recently as Aug. 2020, <a href="https://www.reutersevents.com/sustainability/esg-investors-slow-make-waves-25tn-ocean-economy" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Reuters</a> noted that ESG Investors, those looking to invest in opportunities that have a positive impact in environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues, have been interested in "blue finance" but slow to invest.</p><p>"It is a hugely under-invested economic opportunity that is crucial to the way we have to address living on one planet," Simon Dent, director of blue investments at Mirova Natural Capital, told Reuters.</p><p>Even with slow investment, the blue economy is still expected to expand at twice the rate of the mainstream economy by 2030, Reuters reported. It already contributes $2.5tn a year in economic output, the report noted.</p><p>Current, upward <a href="https://www.ecowatch.com/-innovation-blue-economy-2646147405.html" target="_self">shifts in blue economy investments are being driven by innovation</a>, a trend the UN hopes will continue globally for the benefit of all oceans and people.</p><p>In Israel, this push has successfully translated into investment in and innovation of global ports, shipping, logistics and offshore sectors. The "Startup Nation," as Israel is often called, has seen its maritime tech ecosystem grow "significantly" in recent years and expects that growth to "accelerate dramatically," <a href="https://itrade.gov.il/belgium-english/how-israel-is-becoming-a-port-of-call-for-maritime-innovation/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">iTrade</a> reported.</p><p>Driving this wave of momentum has been rising Israeli venture capital hub <a href="https://www.thedockinnovation.com/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">theDOCK</a>. Founded by Israeli Navy veterans in 2017, theDOCK works with early-stage companies in the maritime space to bring their solutions to market. The hub's pioneering efforts ignited Israel's maritime technology sector, and now, with their new fund, theDOCK is motivating these high-tech solutions to also address ESG criteria.</p><p>"While ESG has always been on theDOCK's agenda, this theme has become even more of a priority," Nir Gartzman, theDOCK's managing partner, told EcoWatch. "80 percent of the startups in our portfolio (for theDOCK's Navigator II fund) will have a primary or secondary contribution to environmental, social and governance (ESG) criteria."</p><p>In a company presentation, theDOCK called contribution to the ESG agenda a "hot discussion topic" for traditional players in the space and their boards, many of whom are looking to adopt new technologies with a positive impact on the planet. The focus is on reducing carbon emissions and protecting the environment, the presentation outlines. As such, theDOCK also explicitly screens candidate investments by ESG criteria as well.</p><p>Within the maritime space, environmental innovations could include measures like increased fuel and energy efficiency, better monitoring of potential pollution sources, improved waste and air emissions management and processing of marine debris/trash into reusable materials, theDOCK's presentation noted.</p>
theDOCK team includes (left to right) Michal Hendel-Sufa, Head of Alliances, Noa Schuman, CMO, Nir Gartzman, Co-Founder & Managing Partner, and Hannan Carmeli, Co-Founder & Managing Partner. Dudu Koren<p>theDOCK's own portfolio includes companies like Orca AI, which uses an intelligent collision avoidance system to reduce the probability of oil or fuel spills, AiDock, which eliminates the use of paper by automating the customs clearance process, and DockTech, which uses depth "crowdsourcing" data to map riverbeds in real-time and optimize cargo loading, thereby reducing trips and fuel usage while also avoiding groundings.</p><p>"Oceans are a big opportunity primarily because they are just that – big!" theDOCK's Chief Marketing Officer Noa Schuman summarized. "As such, the magnitude of their criticality to the global ecosystem, the magnitude of pollution risk and the steps needed to overcome those challenges – are all huge."</p><p>There is hope that this wave of interest and investment in environmentally-positive maritime technologies will accelerate the blue economy and ESG investing even further, in Israel and beyond.</p>
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