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14 healthy car snacks for your next road trip

To help you better choose snacks during your next long car drive, we tapped some experts to get their insight on some of the best options available.

If you feel like your healthy eating patterns seem to go out the (car) window on roadtrips, then you’re not alone. Even if you’re someone who prefers fruit over fast food on a normal day, there’s just something so tempting about unhealthy gas station snacks—pre-packaged donuts anyone? However, quick and convenient car snacks don’t necessarily have to be unhealthy. In fact, there’s a whole array of healthier options out there that can help tide you over until you reach your destination.

To help you better choose snacks during your next long car drive, we tapped some experts to get their insight on some of the best options available. Read ahead to learn more about which snacks you should pack for your next trip.

Granola bars

Both portable and tasty, granola bars are a great snack to keep on hand while traveling. “Granola bars or energy bars are great travel options because they are usually nutritionally balanced and easy to eat on the go,” says Cassidy Reeser, MS, RDN, registered dietitian, and founder of Cozy Peach Kitchen. To avoid making a mess in the car, Reeser suggests softer granola bars by brands such as Clif or Luna.

Hard-boiled eggs

These little eggs are not only easy to prepare, they are easy to store, and easy to eat on the road. They’re fairly mess-free, and are packed full of protein that your body will need while on the road.

For some extra crunch and the perks of some quality complex carbs, add some whole wheat crackers to your egg snack for the perfect pick-me-up.


Nuts not only are a great source of protein, but they can also keep your digestive system moving and your gut happy when you’re on the road. Jackie Newgent, RDN, CDN, plant-forward culinary nutritionist, and author of The All-Natural Diabetes Cookbook, shares that walnuts are a particularly good option.

“Along with walnuts’ digestive-friendly 2 grams of fiber per one handful, or 1-ounce serving, research on the gut microbiome suggests walnuts may be one gut-friendly food to consider thanks to their prebiotic potential,” she shares. For instance, in a study from USDA and University of Illinois, it was found that eating 1 1/2 ounces of walnuts each day may help increase “good” gut bacteria. “So, whether you grab a handful while on the road, or pack a homemade bento-style box with plenty of plant-forward picks, walnuts are a portable, nutritious snack for your next long drive,” Newgent says.

Protein bars

Be wise with your choice of protein bars. There are countless protein bars out there that are full of nothing but sugar and crazy additives and preservatives that you’ve never heard of.

Instead, look for a protein bar full of natural ingredients that will give you the nutrients your body needs and wants, without the sugar crash.


Ditch the convenience store candy and instead grab a few different fruits for those days you’re on the go. Fruits, such as apples, bananas, and grapes, are portable, tasty, and healthy, making them great snack options to pack while traveling. Dried fruit with no added sugar is also a solid option.


The protein from these nuts is plant-based, and they’re also packed full of unsaturated fats and fiber.

Not to mention, they’re much lower in terms of calories than other nuts. Pistachios weigh in at just 4 calories per nut, while Brazil nuts are 33 calories each.


Pistachios aren’t the only great nuts on the block — walnuts are great for their own reasons.

They have the highest amount of plant-based omega-3 fatty acids when compared with all other nuts, which will help you feel full for a longer amount of time.

Greek yogurt

Greek yogurt paired with toppings, such as chopped vegetables, nuts, or fruit, is a healthy snack that also doesn’t skimp out on taste. “Greek yogurt is rich in fiber and proteins, which promote smooth digestion, help boost energy levels, and keep your hunger at bay,” says Nataly Komova, RD and fitness expert at JustCBD.

Sunflower seeds

You really can’t go wrong with any type of nuts or seeds while on the road, but sunflower seeds are particularly great because they are full of healthy fats and well as magnesium, which helps support your heart health.

Peanut butter pretzels

Not only is this snack a great way to satisfy your desire for crunch (yes, that really is a thing), it will also provide you with protein and fat to help fill your stomach until the next meal.

Make sure you opt for natural versions that are not loaded with extra sugar, and try to stick to the serving size so you don’t end up eating the whole bag.

Dark chocolate

Yes, you read that right: dark chocolate.

While we don’t recommend chowing down an entire bar in one sitting (and you probably wouldn’t want to with the really dark stuff), there are some benefits from eating a bit of dark chocolate.

Dark chocolate is known to lower the risk of heart disease while also increasing brain function. As if we weren’t on board already!

Beef jerky

This road trip snack is packed full of protein, which is one of the best ways to satisfy your hunger.

However, don’t opt for jerky from the gas station that comes loaded with preservatives, and whose sodium levels are off the charts.

Instead, pick up an organic, grass-fed one from your local natural foods store.


Popcorn is a great source of fiber and complex carbs that will help your body stay regular, and provide you with energy while on the road.

Make sure you’re not getting the microwave popcorn that is filled with chemicals. Instead, grab one from the natural foods store that has ingredients of just corn, salt, and oil.

Even better yet, pop some on the stove at home using olive oil or butter and just salt. That way, you know exactly what you’re getting.

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