Smart Snacking for Summer Road Trips

Want to arrive at your road-trip destination feeling energized and ready for fun? Ditch the gas-station junk-food options and plan ahead by packing smart, delicious snacks. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics has some great suggestions. Think protein, healthy fiber and sensible carbs when packing snacks for the road. Some great options:


  • Unsalted nuts
  • Pre-washed fruit such as apples, pears, bananas and grapes
  • Dried fruit
  • Pre-cut raw veggies
  • Whole-grain crackers or pretzels
  • Plain popcorn
  • Peanut butter

Leave that family-size bag of chips at home. It’s too easy to grab and gulp as you drive. Pre-portion snacks into single-serving bags before you leave home.

Bring your cooler. Use reusable ice packs to keep the cooler temperature under 40°F. Start with everything already refrigerated or frozen so it stays cool longer. Some suggestions for cold foods:


  • Reduced-fat cheese sticks or slices
  • Reduced-sodium deli turkey sandwiches or wraps
  • Individual containers of low-fat or fat-free yogurt
  • Low-fat dip, hummus or guacamole to eat with veggies or whole-grain chips

Nix high-fat and high-sodium food on road trips. High-fat food may make you feel sluggish, while high-sodium food can make you thirsty (leading to frequent bathroom breaks). Restaurant meals on the road will already be providing more sodium that your normal at-home fare. So balance that out with healthy, lower-sodium snacks. And, of course, remember to bring plenty of water for the road.