If you caught my last post about Owen’s Boarding House, you probably noticed that—while it was absolutely one of the best meals I’ve ever had—it wasn’t exactly what one would call “healthy.” Sure, there were more than a half-dozen veggies on the table, but I don’t even want to think about how they cooked everything to make them so tasty.
So, today we’re turning the tables a little bit and talking about healthy snacks on the go, and my friend Meghan is taking the reigns with this one! Today is moving day for us, and I’m so thankful she offered to write this post. Meghan and I go waaaaay back to high school. She and I were on the swim team together, and then she went off to be a mom of two and a certified nutritionist, so she knows a thing or two about finding healthy snacks on the go that the whole family can enjoy! Take it away, Meghan!
When I sit down to plan out what we’ll take on a long road trip, food is at the top of my list. Our family eats pretty healthy most of the time but if we are going to be stuck in a car for days at a time, it’s all about survival.
With that said, I like to take a variety of snacks including healthy options but also snacks that I know my kids will gobble up to keep that backseat nice and quiet. I also plan my snacks to be pretty versatile meaning we can eat them for breakfast, or any other meal in a pinch. Eating out on the road happens but my goal each trip is to minimize how much we spend by packing smart. For more food tips, facts, and nutrition tidbits, feel free to stop by my Instagram. Happy traveling!
15 Healthy Snacks On the Go
1. Oatmeal Packets
Most hotel rooms have a coffee maker and you can brew a cup of hot water and then pour the oatmeal packet in and let it sit for a few minutes until the oats absorb all the liquid. It’s an easy breakfast made right in your room.
Pack your cooler with some of your favorite yogurt for a quick breakfast or even a good snack option. I recommend greek yogurt because it offers the most protein and the Simply 100 Chobani ones have the least amount of sugar. If you don’t like Greek yogurt, try the Chobani Crunch, because the pour-ins make it tastier.
This is always a travel staple for us. We love to take grapes, mandarin oranges, and any other seasonal fruit in our coolers. It’s such a quick snack that the kids never turn down.
I highly recommend taking a container of homemade or pre purchased shredded chicken, beef, or your favorite meat. We like shredded chicken because we can make a variety of meals with it quickly and we don’t get sick of it. It’s very helpful for those mid afternoons when the kiddos are asleep and you are starving for a bigger meal but don’t want to risk pulling over and waking them up. You can add it to salad, make a quick burrito or put make a sandwich with it. Even lunch meat works if you prefer that.
5. Tortillas Roll Ups
I would not make these ahead of time to avoid the soggy factor. Just pack some tortillas, peanut butter and bananas to make a roll up packed with energy. Add some honey to it for extra sweetness.
6. Hard Boiled Eggs
If you make a dozen hard-boiled eggs before your trip you can enjoy them the whole week as part of your breakfast or even to make an easy egg salad for lunch on the go! For an easy egg salad, grab some mayo, mustard and relish packets and mix them in with your egg. Hello stinky car, but goodbye hungry tummy.
I always make a batch of mini muffins before a trip because these make for great breakfast items or all day snacks. Mini size snacks are always a hit with kids and seem to last longer on a trip since there are so many of them!
8. Kodiak Pancake Cups
These are our favorite pancakes because you just add water, heat up and have yourself some awesome pancakes in a cup. You can buy at Target and Sprouts I believe. You need access to a microwave to make these so if your room does not have one, call the front desk and request one. Many hotels will happily bring one to your room. Also, the lobby or breakfast area may have one you can use as well. Or you can heat at a gas station in a pinch.
9. Hummus & Guacamole Packs
I love how you can buy hummus and guacamole in a big tub, regular tub, or in snack size packets. These are so nice to pair with some raw veggie or chips or toss on a sandwich or salad. They can serve as a snack, lunch side or as part of your actual lunch.
10. Meat & Cheese Snack Packs
You can make your own or buy these for extra convenience. Most stores carry a good variety usually located in the cheese section or with the lunchmeat.
11. Protein Bars
Find a protein bar you like and stock up! These make for great snacks and give you so much more nutrition than a candy bar from the gas station. I like the Power Crunch Bars, Square Bars, and the Luna Bars aren’t to shabby either.
12. Nuts and Seeds
Pack your favorite mixed nuts or seeds for some crunchy snacks. These can also be added to your salads and yogurt if you like. If you have food allergies, specifically nut allergies, this mix is fantastic!
13. Tuna Packs
There aren’t many prepackaged foods that I swear by but these offer so much in a small pack. An excellent balance of protein, healthy fats, and some carbs.
14. Toddler Tackle Box
Before your trip, go to Wal-Mart and grab a decent size tackle box from the fishing department. You can find ones with only a few compartments and ones that have adjustable compartments. I had extreme success making one up for each kid on our last trip to Disney World. It gave them such a variety to choose from that they really enjoyed the freedom to pick whatever they wanted from this special box. We pulled these containers out for a few days which made less work for me having to assemble snack plates. Plus, you don’t have to fill your car with bags and boxes of different snacks because these containers can pack a ton of food in a little space. I filled ours with dried fruit, Cheerios, yogurt covered raisins, pretzels, grapes, and goldfish.
15. Energy Balls
There are so many recipes out there for these bite size treats*. They usually involve some oats, peanut butter, honey, or similar items.I like to use protein powder in mine to give it a boost and make it a filling snack. Since these are mini, the kiddos love them as well. Are you seeing how much I love mini things for my kiddos yet?! Just make sure you pick a protein powder that’s safe for breastfeeding or kids. I love using the Jamie Eason Lean Body for Her protein. It’s safe for all and a short list of ingredients that you can pronounce. That my friends is a good protein.
*Jessica’s note: I LOVE these Toasted Quinoa Energy Bites; we actually made a triple batch for our road trip, because the girls love them just as much as I do. And bonus: they’re very customizable with whatever you have on hand. AND if you’re a nursing mama, these are excellent for your milk supply—add in a couple of tablespoons of brewer’s yeast and flax seed!
Meghan is a single married mama of two kiddos. A funky title right? Let her explain. Her husband travels so much that she definitely feels, for the daily hustle and bustle, what single moms and the military wives out there go through. Hats off to you strong ladies! She’s very fortunate that he works hard so she can stay at home with their 4-year-old daughter and their 1.5-year-old son. She’s always had a passion for fitness and food, and when her son spent the first year of his life struggling with food sensitivities and allergies, she really became interested in nutrition. She invested her time and efforts, and is now a certified ISSA Fitness Nutrition Specialist. With this certification, she helps women and men learn to get away from unrealistic, non sustaining diets and invest more in a healthy lifestyle with food. Her clients find that it’s much easier to reach your health goals when you are enjoying what you are eating rather than restricting and labeling foods good or bad. She doesn’t believe there are good and bad foods, but there are bad diets. Follow her on Instagram for more food and health tips and tricks!