Everyone has pulled over on a long drive and ravenously eaten something they regret, whether their vice is in the gas station candy aisle or on the fast food menu.  But when swimsuit season and road trip season overlap, it’s best to plan for cravings before hitting the road.  Whether you believe it or not, there ARE healthy snack options for travelers hitting the road for an end-of-summer excursion.

Freeze-Dried Fruit

Raisins and sun-dried cranberries may seem like the healthiest choice when looking for a fruity, non-perishable option that can survive a long stint on the road.  But those options can pack loads of extra sugar.  Next time, try freeze-dried fruit for a no-sugar-added treat that doesn’t need the fridge.  Stores like Target and Trader Joe’s have options ranging from strawberries to raspberries and bananas, all of which come in a portable pouch and hold roughly the same amount of calories and nutritional value of their fresher counterparts.  Bonus: the crisp, light texture of this snack makes it a great sub for the carb-heavy stuff drivers are used to mindlessly munching on.

Mini Items

Any snack can throw your diet and health off if it is not eaten in moderation, and those long, meandering drives can lead to lots of mindless eating. Keep your snacks in individual bags to prevent over-eating.  Pick a variety of small, packed snacks that can tackle different kinds of cravings, like picking something salty as well as something sweet.

Popcorn

Popcorn is a great companion on long car rides not only because of its satisfying fiber content, but also for its low calories.  Skip the pre-packaged version, which can hide massive amounts of sugar, salt and chemicals, and opt to pop it at home.  Spice things up with cayenne pepper and a dash of parmesan cheese for a treat that clocks in at 136 calories for every three cups.  Now that’s a snack with mileage!

Sunflower Seeds

Most nuts and seeds make for a satisfying snack, and they’re especially appealing since they can be so easy to find on the go.  Opt for sunflower seeds, which are a great source of healthy fats.  Sunflower seeds also contain nutrients—like magnesium—that can help to build a healthy heart.

Turkey Jerky

Those looking for a snack that will satiate them for a lengthier bit of time need look no further than jerky, which offers a low-carb, high-protein bite that will keep road-trippers full for longer than most other gas station grub.  While a variety are sold at most convenience stores and gas stations, fit trippers packing their own snacks for the drive can actually make their own.  If you are buying them at a convenience store, though, don’t munch on them for an entire long drive, though—as filling as this snack can be, the sodium does add up.

So, as you head out for your final trip of the summer – be safe, be healthy, be the best version of you.  If you or someone you know struggle to make healthy choices, we can help!  Real Life Nutrition – Real Plans for Real People!