That first pit stop often involves the hunt for a chocolate bar or energy drink, a bottle of water or packet of chips, or better yet, a toasted sarmie and cold can of coke. When hunger kicks in we’re all guilty of choosing easy Quick Shop staples to cure the craving. But when it comes to snack selections these choices contain no more than simple sugars and carbohydrates, and do nothing but add empty calories, temporarily spiking energy levels only for them to plummet an hour down the line – not to mention, increase your belt size by a few notches.
So how do you avoid reaching for the Doritos only to wash them down with another energy drink? The best snacks are the kind that will keep you feeling full for longer. A well-balanced mix of good-for-you foods while on the road is easy; all it takes is a little planning.
Here are some healthy suggestions for road trip snack attacks:
Some great suggestions for road trip snack attacks.
Skip the Chips and Go Nuts
Peanuts, pistachios, walnuts, almonds, or seeds such as pumpkin or sunflower are good combinations of healthy fats and protein. Choose unsalted varieties to keep sodium levels in check. Alternatively, popcorn, biltong or rice cakes are good options to satisfy a crunch-craving.
Can the Soda
Some healthy alternatives to soda and energy drinks are water or 100% vegetable or fruit juice. All of which can be kept chilling in a cooler while you drive.
Avoid the Sugar Trap
Don’t get caught munching on a sugar-bomb of empty calories. Rather replace your favourite chocolate bar with an energy or granola bar to boost your protein and fibre intake.
Get Finger Friendly
Fruit is one of the best on-the-go snack options. Berries are naturally snack-sized, as are grapes. Prepare fruit by washing and slicing before you start your trip. Apple slices are a great source of protein, fibre and vitamins. While fresh fruit can be cubed, sliced or eaten whole, consider single-serving packets of dried fruit too. Apricots, cranberries or raisins are good, as are dried fruit rolls.
Eat your Veggies
Raw, pre-washed and prepped vegetables are snacks you can always feel good about eating. Some road trip-friendly choices include cherry tomatoes, baby carrots, celery sticks and snap peas.
Whether it's in a travel-friendly single serving tub or a low-fat smoothie, yogurt is a great snack for both kids and adults. They’re packed with calcium, vitamin D and probiotics to help keep our digestive system running smoothly (check the label for live active cultures).
Eggs on the Go
Despite their bad rap, hard-boiled eggs are easy to make and take, and are also a nice accompaniment to many savoury on-the-go snacks. They’re good source of protein too.
Low-fat cheeses, including single serving soft or hard cheese cubes or cottage cheese containers are all car-friendly. The classic cheese and cracker combo is a winner that can be whipped together in a flash and keep hunger at bay for the long-haul.
(ROADTRIP TIP: A small insulated cooler is a road trip must-have, as are Tupperware containers or re-sealable sandwich bags.)