Perfect Snacks and On-the-go Meals for Road Trips

You’ve planned for months, packed with precision and finally you are on your way…road trip 2015 here you come! You can’t imagine that you have forgotten anything, but unless one of those bags is devoted to the perfect road trip food, you may just find your tank on empty. Luckily I love a good road trip…and of course, I love food. So here we go… my perfect packing list for summer road trip snacks and meals.

Easy Pineapple Smoothie
Smoothies frozen in advance can keep your other food cool and provide a hydrating snack later in the day.

Meant for on-the-go…

You need easy, but that doesn’t mean compromising on nutrition. A quick trip to the store for these road trip ready items and you will be all set.

Sargento Balanced Breaks: Ready to go servings of cheese and nuts, these new snacks from Sargento are the perfect road trip option.

Chobani Greek Yogurt Pouches and Tubes: Perfect for small hands, these flavored yogurt tubes and pouches sneak in a bit of protein for a high quality snack.

Special K Hot Cereal: Ask for some hot water at one of your stops and you can enjoy protein rich, flavorful oatmeal in a convenient cup.

Orchard Valley Harvest Mini Grab and Go Packs: The perfect side for your yogurt, together they make a small but satisfying meal

Wholly Guacamole or Sabra Hummus Singles: These options offer convenient, heart healthy fat and pair perfectly with fresh carrots or sugar snap peas

Kashi Trail Mix Chewy Granola Bars: Look for bars like these that offer 6-7 grams of satisfying protein

Boom Chicka Pop: Natural popcorn is an easy, gluten-free road trip snack that you can enjoy (and enjoy some more!)

Wonderful Lightly Salted Pistachios: Just the right amount of salt to add flavor!

Dr. McDougall’s Vegan Soups and Grains: All you need is some hot water and you have vegan, gluten free Black Bean and Lime or Split Pea soup. Or select from several other low-sodium options.

Horizon Milk: Perfect for travel, these shelf stable milk boxes can be chilled and served when you are ready to use them.

World Peas: Gluten free and low in calories, these dried peas come in a variety of flavors.

Ready-to-go produce: Sliced apples, sugar snap peas, baby carrots, bananas and other whole fruit (just be sure to wash first if needed).

You have to pack us lunch…

This was the answer I received when I asked my six-year-old son to give me his thoughts on road trip food. Known for hating when I try to sneak in “linner” in lieu of a true lunch and dinner, he is passionate about not skipping a meal (something we have in common). Here’s how we do it:

GoPicnic: A perfect option for old and young alike, GoPicnic packs a variety of foods (such as peanut butter, turkey pepperoni, humus, sunflower seed butter and more along with snacks) in a convenient shelf stable box. Keep these on hand for a nutritious on-the-go breakfast, lunch or snack.

Bento Box Cool: Bento Boxes are divided containers that enable a well-rounded meal to be packed among the different sections. There are many available on the market, including this insulated “road trip friendly” option. Before you hit the road, fill your bento box with a variety of satisfying options and you will be ready for meal on wheels.

There is always pb&j: With the protein and heart healthy fat you need to be satisfied, good ol’ pbj might just be what you need. If the mess concerns you, make it in a pita instead of regular bread and nothing will fall out! For a variation on this, pick up Justin’s Almond Butter or Sunbutter Sunflower Spread, which can be squeezed onto a cracker, banana (or in your mouth!).

Applegate Half Time: Your kids want a turkey sandwich, but you weren’t making it at 4:30am as you dragged yourself into the car to beat the traffic. Luckily Applegate Half Time are easy to pack and ready to go when you need them.

Oops…didn’t pack enough snacks. Now what?

Gas station: Gas station convenience marts have come a long way. Look for granola bars, yogurt, trail mix, oatmeal, milk, cheese sticks and more to complete your snack bag and get back on the road.

Coffee shops: It’s the coffee that brings you in, but while you are there pick up small packages of nuts, granola bars, Greek yogurt and more.

Fast food restaurants: Ok…so not what you would expect from a dietitian, but when hunger calls you need to answer. If it’s your only option then a fast food restaurant it is! Just strategize. For example, if you choose a parfait, skip the sugary “fruit” and only eat the yogurt. Or if you select a salad or other vegetable, avoid toppings. Lastly, if you go for the grilled option, pass on cheese and any “special sauces.”