July 16, 2015
Smart Snacking on Summer Road Trips

Trying to maintain a healthy diet while spending endless hours cooped up in a car can be tricky.  Relying on fast food, chocolate bars, candy, chips and soda can pile on empty calories and contribute to a diet downfall.  With a little planning and smart packing you can satisfy the need to snack without derailing your diet. 

Dig out those coolers, tote bags and Tupperware and pack them with some of these favorite road trip snacks

Fill the cooler

•    Apples, oranges, bananas, grapes, nectarines and berries
•    Chopped veggies: red or green bell peppers, celery sticks, broccoli, cauliflower, baby carrots, snap peas, mushrooms
•    Hummus for veggie dipping
•    Peanut butter
•    Low fat yogurt
•    Low fat cheese sticks
•    3 Hershey’s Kisses
•    20/20 Protein Muffin
•    Bottled water

Pre-washing or using pre-packaged vegetables and fruits will save you time in the long run. Don’t forget to pack along napkins, wet wipes, plastic utensils and extra cups or bottles

Pack the tote bag

•    Dried fruit
•    No sugar added apple sauce, fruit canned in its own juices
•    Roasted soy nuts, unsalted almonds or walnuts
•    Pretzels
•    Soy Crisps
•    Whole grain crackers
•    Air popped popcorn
•    Whole wheat fig bars
•    Low fat graham crackers
•    ½ peanut butter and jelly sandwich
•    Protein Bars: Pure Fit Bar, Odwalla Super Protein, Balance Outdoor, Lara Bar
       Total calories should be < 250

Packing snacks into Ziploc baggies and Tupperware will save you time and mess when in the car.  Pre-measuring pretzels, nuts, crackers, fig bars and any food that might be tempting to overeat is recommended before hitting the road.

Buddy up a carbohydrate rich food with a protein or fat for a snack that will both satisfy and fill you up until that next meal. Keep in mind a healthy snack is approximately 200 calories. 

Carbohydrate snacks, meet your protein or fat buddy

•    Fruit with peanut butter or nuts
•    Fruit with cheese
•    Dried fruit and nuts
•    Yogurt with nuts or cheese
•    Vegetables with hummus or dressing
•    Crackers with cheese or peanut butter
•    Slice of whole grain bread or ½ English muffin with cheese or peanut butter
•    Air popped popcorn with cheese
•    Low fat graham cracker with peanut butter

So, you have read this article, planned ahead and packed your cooler and bags full of healthy road trip snacks, but in between Bellevue and Eastern Washington you find yourself at a fast food restaurant.  Is your diet doomed?  No!  Here are some lower calorie and fat options to choose from if you end up at the local fast food joint.

-Plain Hamburger (no mayo)
-McChicken (no mayo)
-Egg McMuffin
-Fruit and Yogurt Parfait
-Cobb Salad
-Garden Salad
-Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad
*Save calories by putting the dressing on the side

Burger King
-Whopper Jr. Sandwich (no mayo)
-BK Broiler Chicken Sandwich (no mayo)
-BK veggie (no mayo)
-Side Garden Salad
-Chicken Caesar
*Save calories by putting the dressing on the side

-6” Turkey Breast sandwich loaded with veggies (no mayo)
-Veggie Delite on whole wheat bread
-Turn any sandwich into a wrap and save 50 calories
-Vegetable Beef Soup
-Minestrone Soup
-Spinach salad with turkey
*Save calories by putting the dressing on the side

-Jr. Hamburger (no mayo)
-Grilled Chicken Sandwich (no mayo)
-Side Salad
-Mandarin Chicken Salad
*Save calories by putting the dressing on the side

The urge to snack more than usual may be high when driving all day. But, if you are eating regular meals, you only need the same amount of snacks as you would normally eat.  Pack the map, fill the car with gas and stock the cooler with some of these healthier road tripping snacks.  Enjoy and safe travels!

Written by Megan Vucinovich

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