Healthy snack ideas for road trips

With a little preparation it is easy to eat healthy on the road.

Is your family planning a road trip this summer? If you answered yes then you may be wondering how to keep your family healthy during the long trip ahead. Just because you are on the road doesn’t mean you have to eat unhealthy foods! You can plan and pre-pack healthy snacks your family will enjoy. Incorporating United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) My Plate’s food groups is simple and nutritious. Here are some healthy and simple ways to help you stay healthy on the road:

  1. Instead of drinking sugary soft drinks or fruit juice, have some water. You can prepare your own and infuse the water with fresh fruit or vegetable juices. These healthy beverages can provide you with fiber, vitamins and minerals and keep you hydrated. Additional tips can be found here, better beverage choices web page.
  2. Peanuts are a healthy and delicious snack for the road, but be mindful of your portions and how they have been prepared! Choosing shell peanuts is a good option because stopping to crack the shell can help you avoid eating too many.
  3. If you are craving chocolate, consider a trail mix bar with different nuts and dried fruits covered in dark chocolate instead of milk chocolate.
  4. Include fruit and vegetables as snacks. Precut and prewash snap peas, apples, carrots, celery, mandarins and grapes. Dried fruit is also a good fruit option. Follow My Plate tips for kid-friendly veggies and fruit snacks.
  5. Don’t forget to incorporate dairy into your snacks on the go. Low-fat string cheese is a convenient way to include some dairy. Or easily take some low-fat yogurt in a cooler.
  6. Avoid the big bag of chips and refined grains, pick whole wheat crackers, popcorn and granola bars instead. These are high in fiber and low in added sugars, unhealthy fats and sodium. 
  7. Bring a healthy sandwich. Choose turkey, roast beef or peanut butter and whole-wheat bread.

Nutritious snacks and plenty of water is vital if you’re taking part in a long road trip. It is also important to store and carry your snacks properly to help keep you and your loved ones safe from foodborne illness.

Michigan State University Extension offers various educational programs for adults, families, and children that focus on lifestyle changes to promote healthy eating. For more health and nutrition tips, visit MSU Extension.

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