Healthy Road Trip Snacks
This post will give you some ideas for some healthy road trip snacks. These travel meal ideas or snack ideas are all simple recipes and foods which most people should be able to easily put together.
They can also be used to prepare a healthy picnic. The focus of this post is to help you select healthy foods when you travel. Remember it is all about getting a good balance.
I hope you will be inspired to prep some healthy food to ensure you have the perfect road trip or day out!
What is Meant by Healthy?
There is a lot of information out there describing what is healthy and what isn’t. At the end of the day, the trick is to have a balanced diet which is one gets by eating a variety of different foods.
The main things to think about regarding healthy eating, are to avoid foods that are heavily processed or with too much fat, salt and sugar, as all of these can be detrimental to health if taken in excess. All is OK though, of course, in small amounts.
There are of course plenty of diets out there like keto, weight watchers, gluten free etc etc. Some of these may be healthier than others and many are aimed at achieving weight loss.
Some have completely opposite approaches to nutrition. I will not be following any of them in this post, but just applying some common sense to avoid foods that we know are not perhaps the best for us.
Some Tips to Provide Healthy Snacks to bring on a Road Trip
Some simple tips when preparing your healthy road trip foods are to try and avoid using ingredients with high saturated fat levels. For example, use margarine instead of butter in sandwiches, or limit the amount of mayonnaise you use in a sandwich.
It will still taste good if you use less – it just does not have to be drowning in it.
Use 0% fat yoghurt as opposed to full fat. There are some great tasting low-fat yoghurts out there. Use low-fat milk instead of full fat.
Some high fat foods are also highly nutritious and good for you, like eggs, avocados, nuts, fish and olive oil.
So just remember to try and keep a good balance as you need healthy fats as well.
Avoid foods with high refined or free sugar levels like candy, cake, soda and donuts etc. They are not essential in a healthy balanced diet.
There are plenty of foods out there with natural sugars like fruit, which are more healthy for you. Natural sugars are sucrose, fructose and glucose and contain calories just like refined sugar but fruits have lots of nutrients and fibre which helps provide the balanced diet.
Try not to eat too much salt as it can raise your blood pressure. One bag of potato chips is not going to kill you of course, but everything in moderation, which is why I have left potato chips off this list as there are more healthy things to take with you.
Use whole grain bread rather than white bread in your sandwiches (unless in France of course – see later on!).
How to eat healthily on the road
Do not overeat. Some foods are so tasty that we want to eat loads. But resist the temptation to overeat.
We only need so many calories a day, which depends on our body size, level of activity and gender.
When we are travelling on a road trip we are likely to be sitting for long periods so we may not need as many calories as on a normal day of activity.
Remember anything we do not burn off will turn to fat, and this is what causes heart disease in time.
So try and get some exercise if you can – if you stop for a rest break – do some walking to stretch your legs.
Drink plenty of fluids. Make sure you have water with you on your trip to keep yourself hydrated. Ensure you have some sort of cooler box or cooler bag to keep your food cool.
I will now go through some ideas for you to consider if you are needing some inspiration for healthy food ideas for travelling.
What are the best healthy road trip snacks?
So, what makes good road trip meal planning? What to pack for a road trip? Which healthy travel food to prepare?
How to plan healthy travel meals? What is the best healthy road trip food?
From our experience, the best healthy car snacks to eat on a road trip are the ones you can easily make yourself at home.
You know exactly what has gone into them, how fresh they really are and you can prepare your own healthy snacks for travelling in the car before you leave.
Obviously the products that stay fresh on the road are also to be recommended. Think about stuff you can bake at home, prepare, wash, cut and package that is ready to eat at any time.
We will not give a complete healthy road trip food list here, more a few ideas to help you plan your own healthy snacks for long road trips.
Healthy non-perishable snacks are a great choice obviously and are food that travels well. You can make them yourself like some of the healthy snacks for the road that I share below.
Road Trip Sandwiches
There is nothing easier than making some healthy homemade sandwiches for your road trip maybe?
When we have travelled in France, and we have done some seriously long road trips there, we do not actually prepare sandwiches upfront.
We travel with a multifunctional knife and we know we will find a Boulangerie or supermarket somewhere and buy fresh some bread, ham and French mustard mayo and make our own fresh baguette sandwich on the go.
There is really nothing better than crusty French bread, but it has to be fresh.
However, in other countries will tend to prepare our sandwiches beforehand, depending on the ingredients available. Here are some examples of sandwiches we would make if we were traveling from home.
We normally package them in re-sealable plastic bags or air-tight containers.
To make your sandwiches healthier, use margarine instead of butter and do not use too much mayo. They will still be good!
Ham and Mayo Sandwich
What could be better than this simple ham and mayo sandwich (apart from one made in a French baguette of course!)?
Ham Cheese and Mayo Sandwich
This ham and cheese sandwich is also a winner with the whole family? Sometimes the simple ones are the best.
Cold Sausage Sandwich
This cold sausage sandwich is always a success. Pretty filling and even better than the hot version!
You can also just take cooked cold sausages with you wrapped in tin foil – they are also good on their own.
Chicken Mayo Sandwich
This chicken mayo sandwich is one of my favourites. So simple and tasty – a great way to use your roast chicken leftovers.
Egg Salad Sandwich
My girls love this. These egg sandwiches are quite filling and provide plenty of protein.
Bacon Lettuce and Tomato Sandwich
The ultimate BLT. Delicious always and a good travel lunch idea.
Cheese and Pickle Sandwich
This is a typical English sandwich which always goes down well. The traditional Ploughman’s lunch.
Chicken Curry Sandwich
This is a very tasty chicken curry sandwich that is a great road trip lunch idea if you can keep it cool.
The classic of the afternoon tea. Make sure you slice the cucumber thinly!
I am sure you will have plenty of your own favourite healthy sandwich recipes that you can use as well for your sandwich fillings. The possibilities are of course infinite.
Healthy snacks for the road
Pre-prepped vegetables are another good way to have some healthy snacks for trips. By pre-slicing and peeling carrots into carrot sticks, cucumbers, celery and tomatoes you can have some healthy food to munch on during your journey. Quick, cheap and easy.
Keep them in an airtight box to keep them fresh. These are some of our favourite healthy snacks and we keep a box like this in our fridge at home now as it is so easy to just grab a healthy bite when you wish.
Healthy Fruit Snacks
Fresh fruit is another easy way to sort out some healthy snacks on the go. Easy to package and ready when you need it. And of course, kids love them!
They can also be transported well in airtight boxes if you think about grapes and berries, as examples. Make sure to wash them before you pack them.
Simply wash and arrange a container with fresh fruits, check out some great containers here.
Bananas and apples you can always just eat as is. Oranges and kiwi fruit you can peel when you want to eat them.
You can also think about making a fruit cocktail and keeping it in small containers to eat when you feel like it. A great sweet treat with plenty of natural sugars!
These are quick and easy make-ahead meals for road trips.
Dried fruit – healthy snacks to travel with
Dried fruits are healthy snacks that you can buy in your favorite grocery store. Think about food like dates or apricots. Lovely to nibble on and a good shelf life so they are good for a long trip.
Beware though that because they have been dried they contain a highly concentrated level of natural sugars. So they have a lot of calories in a small package.
Other healthy travel food for road trips
There are lots of other healthy car snacks you can consider purchasing before going on your road trip. Think about food like:
Mixed nuts, cashews or peanuts
Beware though as you do not want to give kids nuts if they have a nut allergy. Apparently peanut allergy is one of the most common causes of allergy in childhood and can be fatal.
So if you are travelling with kids that are not yours and not sure of their medical history, be careful when dishing out nuts!
Crackers are always a hit with my kids, but they can make a mess if not controlled in the back of the car!RITZ CRACKERS ORIGINAL
Protein or granola bars.
Energy bars or protein bars are of course a super easy trip snack. A good alternative to chocolate bars.
Biltong or Beef Jerky
Biltong or Beef Jerky is also a great snack to take on the road. It will keep for ages and provide plenty of protein. Delicious.
Cheese dips or cheese triangles
Cheese strings or other cheese snacks like cheese triangles or cheese dips are always a good way to keep the kids quiet. Even better if you can spread on a cracker somehow without making a mess.
Homemade Healthy Road Trip Snacks
There are plenty of homemade healthy travel snacks that you can prepare up-front for a road trip, rather than buy ready-made.
Here are some food ideas road for travelling in a car that you can make beforehand. All the recipes mentioned are on this blog site and can be accessed by clicking on the relevant links.
Bacon egg muffins
These little savoury cupcakes can be made upfront and eaten when required. They will not keep that long though outside a fridge so you should eat them on the first day.
Yoghurt Fruit Pots
These are great healthy snacks for long car rides. You need to keep them cool but they are tasty and easy travel food.
Hard boiled Eggs
These are simple to prepare upfront and will give you a protein boost if you need one.
These are a great snack that we love to take on a trip. You need to keep them cool but they are really tasty and will not last very long. Similar to a cold cooked sausage.
For an easy pre-prepped pasta you cannot find an easier recipe than this one. Cool in the fridge before leaving, pack in separate containers and keep it cool until eating. Delicious!
Or perhaps you have your own healthy salad recipe you wish to prep.
Hot Food on the Go
If you have a well-insulated flask you can, of course, take some healthy hot soup with you if you are going to need to be warmed up.
A good idea if you are travelling somewhere cold in the winter and there is the slightest risk of you breaking down. Best to be prepared – you never know…
Taking some hot meals and keeping them warm for a long time may be more of a problem though and I wouldn’t recommend it.Thermos Stainless King Vacuum Insulated Bottle
Drinks for your road trip
You will also want to take some drinks with you along the way to prevent dehydration. We have some great metal vacuum insulated water bottles that we take with us which keep our water or fruit juice cold.
Fruit juice does contain quite a lot of sugar so normally we just take water with us, although sometimes we will take flavoured water or a fruit squash with us.
We do not take soda with us on a road trip normally as it is not the healthiest of things to drink due to the high sugar levels they use these days.Vmini Water Bottle
Healthy Smoothies for on your travels
Smoothies are great healthy travel snacks for road trips. They are tasty and filling and a good way to get some clean healthy vitamins.
Just be aware that you need to keep them cool to keep them fresh and that they will not last that long.
Give them a good shake before you consume them as the different constituents are likely to separate.
Healthy road trip meals
So I hope this post has given you some ideas preparing for a road trip by prepping some healthy car trip snacks? Which healthy road trip snacks to make? Which healthy road trip snacks to pack?
Selecting the right healthy food for road trips is really down to: who is in the travelling party? how long will you be travelling? Are there any allergies you need to think about? Is there any risk of a delay? How much time do you have to prepare?
These are all questions you need to ask to put together the best healthy snacks to bring on a road trip. Bear in mind that making your own snacks and meals upfront will not only save you a lot of money, as gas stations charge more generally then supermarkets, but you will also save a lot of time.
And if you are travelling with good weather you can also stop somewhere nice and have a picnic with a view if you are lucky enough.
All the recipes mentioned above are simple to prepare upfront and your travel experience will be so much improved when you know that your family are eating healthily.
The main thing is not to go hungry!
Tell me; what is the best healthy road trip snack and beverage in your opinion? Let me know in the contact section below.
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