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Road Trip Snacks

Thursday, July 18th, 2019

Hitting the open road and snacks go hand-in-hand. If you are anything like me, snacking helps keep me focused and awake while driving. Otherwise, the passing scenery, especially if it’s all
the same, lulls me asleep…not a good thing while driving. I stop regularly to stretch my legs and use the restroom, which means lots of options for unhealthy snack purchases of sugary drinks and snacks as well as salty, processed junk food. Obviously, these are not the best choices for any of us, they wind the kids up and don’t make us adults feel our best. With some planning ahead, we can save some money and make better choices.

For the Driver

Coffee or Tea – Instead of reaching for that caffeinated, sugary, soda at the convenience store, get a thermos ready with your favorite coffee concoction or your favorite tea and refill your insulated cup as you go. Feel free to add your sweetener, creamer, etc. to the thermos so it’s easy to refill on the road. If you want to start with it hot in the morning and switch to iced in the afternoon, all you must do is get the cup of ice at the convenience store and you have an all new beverage.

Water – It’s important to stay hydrated as well. Plain ole water can get boring, so consider getting some mineral water or even some zero-calorie flavored water. They come in flat or carbonated. Another good trick is to get some Crystal Light packets that you can easily add to a water bottle. These are great for kids as well.

Pistachios – Either have the kids shell them for you – gives them something to do, or just buy the nut meats. Pistachios are crunchy, tasty little nibbles. The protein from these nuts is plant-based, and they’re packed full of unsaturated fats and fiber. Not to mention, they’re much lower in terms of calories than other nuts. Pistachios weigh in at just 4 calories per nut, while Brazil nuts are 33 calories each. Walnuts are also a good option. They have the highest amount of plant-based omega-3 fatty acids when compared with all other nuts, which will help you feel full for a longer amount of time.

Dried Fruit – It’s easy to eat and quenches the need for something sweet. Check the labeling when you buy. Look for a healthy version that doesn’t have added sugar or make your own in your air fryer or dehydrator.

Fresh Fruit & Veggies – With just a little planning ahead, you can slice up some apples, peel an orange or wash up some grapes for easy snacking on the road. Really any fresh fruit chopped up is fairly easy to pick at while driving. Cut up your favorite melon or pineapple for snacking along the way. Baby carrots, tomatoes, sliced cucumbers and celery all make for good road trip grub as well. Maybe add a little salt or Cajun seasoning to spice them up.

Jerky – Jerky is a great protein snack for the road. It can be made from any kind of meat. It’s better if you make your own or pick it up from a health food store so it isn’t so full of preservatives and sugar. A dehydrator or air fryer comes in handy for this as well.

Boiled Eggs – Boil up some eggs, peel them and pack them up for your road trip. They are packed full of protein and will keep you going while you drive.

For the Kids

All the above (except coffee/tea) are great for kids as well. If you need some extra kid friendly items, consider the following for easy packing and eating while on the road.

Dry Cereal – Choose carefully here. You don’t want something full of sugar. And it needs to be something the kiddos can eat with their hands. Cheerios might be a good option. Just make sure to read the ingredients on the box.

String Cheese – String Cheese eaten the proper way is not only fun, but it tastes good and is full of protein. It’s a great snack for kids, but mom and dad can enjoy it, too!

Squeezable Apple Sauce or Yogurt – Both are healthy snacks, are easy to pack in a cooler and easy to eat in the car without too much mess. They will also take care of that sweet tooth.

Trail Mix – Make your own trail mix to get it just the way you want it. It’s a fun family activity. Let everyone pick an item or two to go in it. Pick a nut, a seed, a few dried fruits and a sweet like M&M’s or chocolate chips or even yogurt covered raisins or peanuts to make a super yummy and healthy treat for kids and parents.

You can pack sandwiches too, but it’s always a good idea to take a break to refresh and stop for lunch at a restaurant you’ve never tried. Find out what the restaurant is known for and order that. This is especially fun if you are traveling through an area that has a specialty like BBQ or Mexican food in the South, Poutine near the Canadian Border, Lobster Rolls on the Northeast Coast, etc. Make eating an adventure when you travel. It’s all part of the experience and helps you appreciate the local culture.

Now hit the road and go exploring! Be safe out there!

Heart of the Desert is a working pistachio ranch and vineyard with four retail establishments in New Mexico. They are best known for their farm fresh pistachios and Award-Winning New Mexico wines. Each store offers wine and pistachio tastings. They offer worldwide shipping and produce attractive gourmet baskets that make great corporate and family gifts. The main store, on the ranch in Alamogordo, offers farm tours that showcases how pistachios are grown and processed as well as a stunning Tuscany themed patio that overlooks the groves and is available for weddings, private parties or enjoying a relaxing glass of wine.