Friday, May 27, 2016

10 Healthy Snacks for Summer Travel

Ten healthy snack ideas for your next summer road trip! 10 Healthy Snacks for Summer Travel - A Simpler Grace
This weekend is the unofficial start of summer. Let the road-tripping begin! 

I've never been much of a vacationer, meaning, I don't really enjoy taking long trips away from home. I'm a homebody and much prefer a day trip or even a short weekend getaway. That being said, when I do decide to travel, one of the things I dread is the temptation to pull into a drive-thru for a quick bite after I've been on the road for several hours. We all know fast food is not a very healthy option but the convenience of it makes it more appealing.
This year, I've decided to combat this problem by packing a cooler with some healthy snacks and beverages, making it easy to munch on the road without the added calories of fast food. 

If you get the crunchies like I do, you should swap out your standard potato chips for kale and sweet potato chips. This combo is a little big salty (from the kale) and a little bit sweet (from the potato) and a whole lot of crunchy. My favorite recipe to use is from Popsugar. It's simple and you can double or triple the recipe to make as much as you want. The benefit to these snacks is that they are baked instead of fried, so you are getting all the nutrition of the veggies without the fat and grease.

Nothing says 'convenience' like a granola bar. There are tons of them in the grocery store aisles but they are also very easy to make at home. Depending on what you like in your bars, you can go more towards the crunchy oat kind or protein-packed with dates and nuts. My favorite ones are a mix of both from the Minimalist Baker. They are crunchy and chewy and contain healthy, whole ingredients.

I usually crave salt over sugar, so one of my go-to snacks is a handful of nuts and seeds. I love almonds, cashews and pistachios and cannot get enough of roasted pumpkin seeds. Nuts can be pretty expensive so in order to save some moolah, buy them in bulk and portion them out for your trip. Store the remainder in the freezer so they stay nice and fresh until you need them again.

We all know long car rides can get pretty sweaty on a hot day, so it's always good to have a refreshing snack on hand to help cool you down and keep you feeling full. I like to freeze grapes and munch on them in the car. To prepare, just pick the grapes from the vine, removing any stem fragments, spread them out on a small sheet pan and stick them in the freezer overnight. When they are frozen, transfer them to a container or a plastic storage bag and store in the freezer until you are ready to pack your cooler. *Bonus tip: these also serve as non-melting ice cubes in a glass of water, tea or wine on a hot day!*

I am addicted to hummus. I love it for its nutritional properties. I love that it's so creamy and I love that you can eat it with crackers, chips, sliced veggies and pretzels. My favorite brand, Sabra, (no I'm not paid to promote them) makes little personal-sized hummus portions with Rold Gold pretzels. It's the perfect amount when you need something substantial but don't have a lot of time to make your own snack.

Cheese is one of my guilty pleasures and main forms of protein. One of the greatest inventions ever is the individually-wrapped cheese stick. These days, they come in a variety of cheese, from the original mozarella to cheddar and colby and some brands even carry sliced cheese in portion-controlled sizes. If you want to be frugal, you could always purchase a block of your favorite type and slice and package it on your own.

Probably the easiest snack to grab when you are travelling is a piece of fresh fruit. Most convenience stores have a basket of apples and bananas available if you aren't prepared but I like gathering a bag of my favorite pre-washed fruit so I have a selection to choose from when I'm on a road trip. Some of my picks are apples, pears, oranges, plums, peaches, nectarines and bananas.

Pita bread makes one-fisted sandwich eating so much easier, so it's what I use when I'm packing food for travel. One of my favorites is an old school peanut butter and grape jam, but you can really use any sandwich fixins like sliced deli meat or tuna salad. I will warn you, however, to be cautious packing anything containing mayonnaise if you plan to be out in the summer heat for an extended period of time. Mustard or vegan mayo are good alternatives and won't spoil in high temperatures.

If you want to pack more substantial meals for your road trip, look to the Bento box. These compartmentalized containers make it easy to include a variety of selections for a meal, including sides like rice or dips and dressings. One of my favorite resources for new Bento box recipes and meal ideas is Mind Over Munch on YouTube. She has a collection of healthy, vegan and gluten-free options.

If you are someone who enjoys salads, the mason jar is your best friend. Layer in lettuce or greens, veggies, nuts, meat or cheese, but be sure to pour your dressing into the bottom of the jar first to keep your lettuce from wilting. When you're ready to eat, just shake the jar to distribute the dressing and you're good to go. These jars are also good if you are packing something like a quinoa salad or cauliflower rice.

What are your favorite healthy snacks to pack when you travel?

The post 10 Healthy Snacks for Summer Travel first appeared on A Simpler Grace.  If you enjoyed this article, please feel free to share it with your friends!


  1. Frozen grapes! Those are really the best and I would have never have had them if I hadn't eaten them on accident. It's like good for you candy. I'm also going to try to make my own granola bars tomorrow... we'll see how they turn out.

  2. Sara I love frozen grapes. They are perfect for a hot summer day. You'll have to let me know how your granola bars turn out. I love making my own because you don't get all the artificial ingredients that come in many store brands. Thanks for stopping by to check out the post!

  3. Yessss I love frozen grapes! It's amazing how much you start craving healthy snacks like these once you stop eating all the bad stuff? Great post! xoxox, Kayla

  4. Kayla, me too! It's very interesting how your body sort of resets itself when you lay off the junk food. It's hard to quit, but worth it when you do. Thanks for coming by to read the post!

  5. we always make our own nut/mix bags for long roadtrips or flights! Great ideas!

  6. Making your own mixes is a great idea because you can control what goes in them! Thanks for reading, Neely!

  7. I bring snacks on the plane too, but these are some great ideas for healthier options! I am sure I could bring them camping too!

  8. Yes, they'd work great for camping. Glad you enjoyed the post, Brittany!