19 Nutritionist-Approved Road Trip Snacks You Can Buy Anywhere (2024)

Home Food19 Nutritionist-Approved Road Trip Snacks You Can Buy Anywhere (1)

19 Nutritionist-Approved Road Trip Snacks You Can Buy Anywhere (2)Jennifer Bowers, PhD, RDUpdated: Feb. 25, 2021

19 Nutritionist-Approved Road Trip Snacks You Can Buy Anywhere (3)Medically reviewed by Cynthia Sass, MPH, RDN, CSSD

    Gas stations don't stock only unhealthy choices: Make the most of your pit stops with these travel snacks that are actually healthy.

    Our editors and experts handpick every product we feature. We may earn a commission from your purchases.

    Healthy energy bars

    Not all energy bars are created equal. For the healthiest snack option for road trips, choose the ones rich in protein, fiber and healthy fats for a filling snack between meals—or make your own with these energy bar and bite recipes. This type of bar will help tide you over until you reach your destination. Top nutritionists’ picks include Made Good, Purely Elizabeth, and Bobo’s. Dietitian Diane Norwood, RD, opts for the KIND bars with less sugar—Madagascar Vanilla Almond and Maple Glazed Pecan and Sea Salt are her favorites. This is how nutritionists shop at the grocery store.

    19 Nutritionist-Approved Road Trip Snacks You Can Buy Anywhere (4)


    Better-for-you chips

    Skip the high fat and salt-laden potato chips and reach for a healthier snack for your next trip. (Better yet, pack your ownhomemade chipsbeforehand.) Even a registered dietitian such as myself can fall in love with the Beanitos’ snacks: They’re lower in carbs, higher in protein, and made with beans. Another tasty option is the Good Health brand of potato and tortilla chips—organic, gluten-free and non-GMO ingredients. Check out these 50 other unhealthy foods you should never buy at the supermarket again.

    19 Nutritionist-Approved Road Trip Snacks You Can Buy Anywhere (5)



    Individual bags of popcorn are fun to eat on the road—they’re crunchy, a bit salty, yet high in fiber. Making your own healthy popcorn ahead of time is ideal, and super simple. Brands to look for in mini-marts include The Little Kernel and Skinny Pop—both featuring healthier fats and lower amounts of sodium.

    Cheese sticks

    New York City-based dietitian and fitness expertLauren Manganiello, RD, heads to the refrigerator section of the mini-market to find cheese sticks, a perfect snack for road trips. Look for organic and grass-fed cheese. Individually wrapped and high in protein and calcium, they are great snack choices. Pair them with some fresh fruit for fiber, and you’ll be full for miles.

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    Naturally rich in healthy fats, fiber, protein and minerals, nuts make for delicious road trip snacks. Dietitian Sarah Schlichter, RD, owner of bucketlisttummy.com, chooses nuts and seeds because they’re perfectly portable and satisfying. The healthiest nuts to pack?Almonds, cashews, and pistachios are the choice of dietitian Basheerah Enahora of nutritionbe.com for their higher protein content. If you have 10 minutes to make your own fancier nut snack, check out these delicious cinnamon roasted almonds from dietitian Natalie Rizzo.

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    Elena Veselova/Shutterstock

    Cereal with milk

    I like classic and simple whole-grain cereal with milk—it’s a nutrition home-run. (Look for organic and grass-fed milk.) Cereals are sold in bowl-shaped single-serving containers, so simply pour in your milk (found in the fridge section, naturally) and you’ve got it made. You get a complete protein—the combo delivers all essential amino acids. Choose a high-fiber cereal, such as shredded wheat or bran flakes to keep you content until the next pit stop. Make sure you know the 20 foods that are never worth the calories.

    19 Nutritionist-Approved Road Trip Snacks You Can Buy Anywhere (9)


    Trail mix

    Pair those healthy and delicious nuts mentioned above with a sweet burst of flavor, and you’ve hit the mark. Single serving packages of trail mix containing nuts, dried fruit, and dark chocolate are rich in antioxidants and filling for hours. Making your own ahead of time ensures that the sugar and salt content is in check. An example is this fun shake-a-sack-apple-snack that kids will love. Dixya Bhattarai, RD, a dietitian in Dallas, provides a step-by-step guide to building your own healthy trail mix on her website.

    19 Nutritionist-Approved Road Trip Snacks You Can Buy Anywhere (10)



    Many gas stations have well-stocked refrigerator sections, including a few choices of yogurt. Cool, refreshing, and rich in protein and calcium, yogurt cups make great choices for a healthy road trip snack break. Look for the highest protein and lowest sugar content on the food label, as well as organic and grass-fed brands. If you’re able to sprinkle in some nuts, seeds or fresh fruit, you’ll have a fiber-rich bonus that’ll satisfy your hunger. Next time you make a trip to the store, be sure tocross these surprisingly unhealthy foods off your grocery list.

    19 Nutritionist-Approved Road Trip Snacks You Can Buy Anywhere (11)


    Hard-boiled eggs

    Sometimes called the perfect protein, eggs contain all the essential amino acids you need. Hard-boil a few before your departure, and you’ll thank yourself later. Packed with protein and micronutrients, hard-boiled eggs are usually available in the refrigerator section of gas station snack centers.

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    Roasted chickpeas

    Plan ahead and prep your own tasty, crunchy, healthy snacks for road trips. Roasted chickpeas are crispy, fiber-rich, and super portable.Amy Gorin, RD, perfected her roasted chickpeas recipe and offers five different seasoned varieties, sure to please any palate. Gorin’s version contains 4 grams of fiber and 6 grams of protein, which combine to sate your hunger on those long stretches of highway. Bhattarai shares these tandoori-roasted chickpeas on her website, with only four ingredients and anti-inflammatory spices included in the tandoori masala mixture.

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    Energy bites

    Bite-size versions of energy bars are all the rage. Larabar sells pre-made energy bites that you can find at many small markets. Or, take a few extra minutes before your trip to make these delicious chocolate almond energy bites from Rizzo. Satisfying for your sweet tooth and providing a burst of protein and a bit of caffeine to keep you awake on that long drive. Lindsey Janeiro, RD, shares her high-complex-carb recipe that you can take with you easily.

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    Dried fruits

    Finding dried apricots, cranberries, raisins, or mangoes is easy. Offering nearly double the fiber of fresh fruit, the chewy dehydrated variety makes for a perfect road trip snack. For a major satisfying treat, pair dried fruit with nuts. DietitianChristy Brissette, RD, created a delicious two-ingredient version of cinnamon apple chips that your whole family will enjoy.

    19 Nutritionist-Approved Road Trip Snacks You Can Buy Anywhere (15)


    Nut butter and apple slices

    Grab those individual packets of almond or peanut butter to dip fresh apple slices into, a combo that delivers a pleasingly sweet, rich, and salty blast to your tastebuds. Look for single-serving nut butter brands, such as Justin’s and Jif. Or, opt for the powdered peanut butter such as PB2 brand. Simply mix with water and you’re ready to dip. Many mini-markets sell fresh or pre-cut apples. For a change of taste, try pear slices or celery sticks with your nut butters. The healthy fats, protein, and vital B vitamins in nut butters make this snack a total winner. Versatile and healthy, peanut butter wins the snack game. Learn about the one food nutritionists eat every day to maintain a healthy weight.

    19 Nutritionist-Approved Road Trip Snacks You Can Buy Anywhere (16)


    Veggie hummus cups

    Hummus is my personal favorite go-to lunch, and I prefer my own to store-bought versions. You can try changing things up by making your own fun and easy-to-make hummus varieties. Store your homemade hummus in a mason jar, then stick carrots, celery, and bell pepper strips vertically into the jar. You can seal it up, store it in a cooler, and you have a high-fiber lunch that’s also rich in protein, iron, and vitamins A and C. Or go with store-bought: Thankfully, Sabra sells single-serving hummus (in a few different flavors) paired with low-fat pretzel chips.

    19 Nutritionist-Approved Road Trip Snacks You Can Buy Anywhere (17)


    Seltzer waters

    It’s possible your hunger just means you need to hydrate—not eat.For those times, tap into the wide variety of sugar-free flavored seltzer waters on the market; you’re sure to find one you’ll love. The carbonation placates your desire for bubbles, making these feel like a special treat. Don’t miss the worst diet advice nutritionists have ever heard.

    19 Nutritionist-Approved Road Trip Snacks You Can Buy Anywhere (18)Medically reviewed by Cynthia Sass, MPH, RDN, CSSD, on November 08, 2019

    Originally Published: June 15, 2017

    19 Nutritionist-Approved Road Trip Snacks You Can Buy Anywhere (19)

    Jennifer Bowers, PhD, RD

    Jennifer is a doctoral-level Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) with nearly 25 years of experience. For the majority of her career she has focused on health care, disease prevention, and nutrition education for a range of ages—from middle school to graduate school students.In private practice, Dr. Bowers is involved in freelance writing and extracurricular nutrition clubs for children. When not working, she enjoys swimming, running, hiking, biking, camping, cooking, and reading.

    19 Nutritionist-Approved Road Trip Snacks You Can Buy Anywhere (2024)


    What are easy snacks to take while traveling? ›

    Also, dry fruits are long-lasting food options for travelling. Popcorn: Air-popped popcorn is a low-calorie snack that is high in fiber. Pack some in a small container for a satisfying and crunchy snack. Fruits: Apples, bananas, oranges, and grapes are easy to pack and provide a natural source of energy and vitamins.

    What are good grab and go foods? ›

    Satisfying grab-and-go snacks
    • Hummus and pretzel pack. ...
    • Raw vegetables with ranch dressing. ...
    • Hand fruits (apples, bananas, pears). ...
    • Nuts or seeds. ...
    • Whole grain rice cakes. ...
    • Fruit cups. ...
    • Apple sauce. ...
    • Granola bar, particularly Kind or Clif brands.
    Mar 2, 2022

    What is the easiest food to eat while driving? ›

    While driving, food needs to be single bite, not greasy and able to be easily picked out of a cup or bag. So, cheese cubes, cut up fruit, small pieces of beef jerky, candy, etc.

    How can I eat healthy over the road? ›

    What are some tips to help me eat healthy on the road?
    1. Try to bring homemade meals and snacks with you. As much as you can, pack food made at home. ...
    2. Make smart choices when eating out. ...
    3. Try to eat regularly. ...
    4. Don't wait until you're too hungry to eat. ...
    5. Avoid sugary drinks. ...
    6. Watch the caffeine.
    Jul 23, 2021

    What not to eat while driving? ›

    Although every meal consumed behind the wheel poses a risk, some meals cause bigger distractions than others. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, hot coffee, tacos, hamburgers, fried chicken, jelly donuts and chocolate are on the list of top ten most dangerous foods to eat while driving.

    What is a cheap healthy food while traveling? ›

    Pack snacks

    Nuts, fruit, dried fruit, dark chocolate, hummus, rice cakes. These are all great healthy snack options that you can buy in a grocery store/market and can carry with you on your adventures. You'll thank yourself by having these on hand when the hangry-ness strikes.

    What is the number 1 healthiest fast food? ›

    8 healthy fast food picks for when you're eating on the go
    1. Dunkin: Wake-Up Wrap. ...
    2. Starbucks: Tomato and Mozzarella on Focaccia. ...
    3. Panera Bread: Strawberry Poppyseed Salad with Chicken. ...
    4. Subway: 6-inch Veggie Delite Sandwich. ...
    5. Burger King: Impossible Whopper. ...
    6. Taco Bell: Soft Taco Supreme. ...
    7. Chipotle: Lifestyle Bowl.
    Aug 5, 2023

    What travel food snacks are healthy? ›

    More healthy options for a grab and go snack

    Things like popcorn, sweet potato chips and dried fruit bars are strips can be great options. We love That's It bars and Just Bare apple chips.

    What are healthy snacks on the go? ›

    Here are 30 protein-loaded snacks that are healthy and portable, so you can enjoy them even when you're on the go.
    • Jerky. Jerky is meat that has been trimmed of fat, cut into strips, and dried. ...
    • Trail mix. ...
    • Turkey roll-ups. ...
    • Greek yogurt parfait. ...
    • Veggies and yogurt dip. ...
    • Tuna. ...
    • Hard-boiled eggs. ...
    • Peanut butter celery sticks.

    What snacks should I pack for a long day? ›

    Choose from popcorn, chips, pretzels, and more. Fresh Fruit - Fruit makes for a nice grab-and-go snack. Go with the whole fruit, only cutting it if you will eat it pretty soon (maybe only cut the fruit if you have young kids).

    What are the 8 example of go foods? ›

    Examples of Go Food: Rice, wheat bread, pasta, oatmeal, brown rice, and other grains; sweet potatoes, potato, and other starchy vegetables; foods that are naturally sweet like sugarcane, honey, and sweet corn; and good fats from coconut oil, avocado, and a wide variety of nuts.

    What are the 5 go foods? ›

    Go Food
    • Rice, bread, pasta, oatmeal, and other grains.
    • Sweet potato, potato, and other starchy vegetables.
    • Foods that are naturally sweet like sugarcane, honey, and sweet corn.
    • Good fats from coconut oil, avocado, and a wide variety of nuts.

    What should I pack for a 5 day road trip? ›

    Now, let's look into the essential things to carry on a road trip..
    • Emergency kit. An emergency kit includes a variety of things you might need during a bad situation on the road. ...
    • Phone chargers and USB cables. ...
    • Some cash. ...
    • Snacks and water. ...
    • Toiletries. ...
    • Tissues and wipes. ...
    • Hand sanitiser. ...
    • Garbage bags.
    Jan 1, 2023

    What are common street foods? ›

    • 10 Most Popular Types of Street Food in the World. muaz. ...
    • Pulled pork. There's something about pulled pork that just makes it perfect for street food. ...
    • Shawarma. Shawarma is made by cooking meat on a spit and then slicing it thinly. ...
    • Falafel. ...
    • Dumplings. ...
    • Takoyaki. ...
    • Gimbap. ...
    • Banh mi.
    May 30, 2022

    What should I prepare for a long road trip? ›

    But also don't forget a road atlas, cellphone charger, small amount of cash and coins for tolls, first aid kit, jumper cables, spare tire and tire-repair kit, one gallon per person of potable water, and a small cooler with nonperishable snacks, Dunham says.

    How do you budget for food on a road trip? ›

    Budgeting for Food

    “On average, it costs about $4 per person per meal when doing the cooking yourself.” By using this cost estimate, you can get ahead on planning by multiplying $4 by the number of times a day you will be making meals at home, and multiplying that number by the number of days the trip will be.

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