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7 Snack Foods for a Healthy Road Trip

By Kate Gardner

If it were possible to be an expert in road trip snacks, I think I would qualify. Several times a year, I buckle my three children into their seats and we take off on an eight-hour car ride to visit family. I can't begin to estimate how many snacks have been consumed on these trips, but I imagine it's a bunch. 

In the early days, these trips were a chance to indulge in all our favorite convenience store snacks (my favorite is peanut M&M's). However, I quickly learned no-holds-barred snacking meant we felt pretty gross by the time we got to our destination. Over time, I cultivated a list of go-to car snacks that don't leave us hanging. 

A road trip snack must meet several criteria. First, it has to be (relatively) healthy. Second, it has to be easy to eat in the car. Third, it can't be messy (this one is really important when you're going to be in the car for a long time). Fourth, it's helpful if the snack can be purchased at a convenience store. Below are the top 7 road trip snacks. 

Whole fruit - Apples, bananas, and oranges are best. They come in their own wrappers, are sweet, and generally travel well. 

Baby carrots - Baby carrots are great! Open the bag and you've got a snack. I don't allow dips in the car (like Ranch) because my kids are  well, kids. Ranch would end up on the ceiling. 

Whole grain cheese crackers - Whatever shape they come in (fish, bunny, square), whole grain cheese crackers are a great alternative to chips. Check the sodium content to make sure you're choosing a cracker that is healthy.

Dried fruit - Just about any will do. We love dried mango, which can be high in sugar, but it's also high in fiber.

Trail mix - Whatever your taste, there's a trail mix for you. We go with a traditional trail mix (peanuts, M&M's, raisins) which delivers a lot of protein. 

Applesauce pouches - Applesauce pouches travel well and come in a variety of flavors. I aim for flavors that have no added sugar. 

Wipes, trash bags, and snack cups - You're not going to eat these but they will make your road trip snacking successful. Wipes clean up fingers and spills. Trash bags keep the mess manageable. Snack cups allow you to portion out snacks from bigger packages (so you don't have to rely on individual size packages).

There's no rule that you can't indulge a little on a road trip. A special snack can buy patience from a kid who's tired of being in the car. However, this list of healthy snacks may help you feel more energized when you get to your destination. 

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Boulder, Colo.

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