Road Trip Survival Skills: Healthy Car Snacks

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It’s time for a family road trip! The kids are psyched, and if you’re like us, you’re scrambling to make sure you have everything you need. Aside from the clothing, toys, and car entertainment, food is a crucial component to your list – because let’s be honest, no one wants hungry, cranky kids!

It’s easy to grab bags of junk food and call it a day, but it’s just as easy to revamp the cooler with healthy delights that both you and the kids can enjoy.

Here are some of our favorite snacks for healthy roadside munching:

1. Fresh veggies

Bring ready-to-eat or chopped veggies like grape tomatoes, baby carrots, cucumbers, bell peppers, sugar snap-peas. Tip: For added protein and flavor, bring small containers of hummus to dip.

2. Fruit, whole or sliced

Sliced apples with peanut or other nut butters, sliced melons, strawberries, pineapple, blueberries, peaches, oranges, bananas.

3. Air-popped popcorn

This is a fantastic healthy alternative to chips and pretzels. For additional flavor, sprinkle with cinnamon, smoked paprika or I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter spray.

4. Fat-free or low-fat Greek yogurt

For added crunch, bring along a tablespoon of chia seeds or sunflower seeds.

5. Peanut butter muffins

Spread natural peanut butter or other nut butter on a whole-wheat English muffin.

6. Turkey wraps

Roll up turkey in a whole-wheat wrap with slices of avocado.

7. H2O

Make sure you bring a water bottle for each family member

If you only pack snacks and would like a quick lunch stop, or if you run out of snacks, it’s good to know what the best options are at roadside stops.  It might sound shocking, but McDonald’s* actually has delicious menu options to build a balanced meal or snack. And most people don’t realize that you can actually customize your order by nixing the meat on your egg sandwich or passing up on mayonnaise, sauces, and dressings, but be sure to take advantage of this.

Fast Food Menu Choices

Egg White Delight McMuffin – 250 calories. Want to save calories and sodium? Order the extra lean Canadian bacon and white cheddar.

Side salad -20 calories and provides about two cups of veggies!

Fruit ‘N Yogurt Parfait – 150 calories

Fruit Smoothies – Blueberry Pomegranate Smoothie (220 calories); Mango Pineapple Smoothie (220 calories); Strawberry Banana Smoothie (220 calories)

Southwest Salad – 290 calories with grilled chicken, without dressing 

Fruit and Maple Oatmeal – 290 calories, order without brown sugar for 260 calories.

How do you stay healthy on the road?

*The Nutrition Twins are sponsored by McDonald’s to help people make informed choices when they are eating on the go.

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