Many families ignore the importance of diet on summer vacations. Diet affects your mood in a massive way, and it’s no wonder you get frustrated on a trip with no sleep, cheeseburgers for every meal, and a belly-full of soda.
We’re going to talk about some road trip snacks that will keep you and your family in good spirits. Hopefully, getting the right food in your body will help your summer vacation be one of the best you’ve ever had.
So, let’s unpack some healthy snacks.
How to Pick The Best Road Trip Snacks
The normal snacks we choose for vacations tend to be unhealthy junk foods. Candies, stops to fast food restaurants, beer for the adults, and sugary drinks the whole way through.
There’s nothing wrong with the occasional splurge on unhealthy comfort food. After all, you’re on vacation! Why shouldn’t you be able to enjoy yourself a little bit?
Those things are fine in moderation when you’re on road trips. Sometimes, you just don’t have time to stop and create a healthy snack if you don’t have anything packed. Everyone would much rather swing through a drive-thru and get something fast.
Before you leave, though, know that you’ve got the time to plan out some snacks that will keep you afloat. Try to pick foods that provide some measure of protein, nutrients, vitamins, and energy. We’ll look at some of those options below.
1. Trail Mix
Trail mix got its name for a reason. Trail mix is packed with nuts, legumes, raisins, chocolate, and seeds. These are all things that provide your body with a lot of calories, complete proteins, sugars, and more.
These are all of the things your body needs when it’s using up a lot of energy. Those foods will replenish you and your family, satiate your hunger, and prevent a food hangover.
You can create your own back of trail mix if you want to and incorporate the foods that you and your family enjoy. Just make sure to include a variety of nuts and some form of sugar. M&Ms and chocolates work well.
It’s not a bad thing to get a little sugar when you’re on a trip. It is bad, though, to eat only sugar and expect yourself to have energy for the rest of the day.
2. Meat, Cheese, and Veggie Sandwiches
Nothing like a cold cut at the turn of the day!
Whether you make some kind of sub sandwich variation or you make a standard sandwich, make sure you’re including nutritious ingredients. Meat provides protein, cheese helps out with flavor, and vegetables offer the energy you’ll need to keep up.
Sandwiches are so adjustable that you can make any number that would please each member of your family. They’re really easy to make and transport as well.
3. Protein Bars
Protein bars contain a lot of the same ingredients as trail mix does, only they’re a little more palatable.
These are good options to bring along on a hike. They’re also a good idea to eat when you get back to the car and have a long drive ahead of you. It’s never a bad idea to pack a back full of protein bars to rely on whenever you don’t want to make a more complicated snack.
You can find great selections of these bars at https://snackperk.com.
You can keep those in the center counsel or somewhere within reach while you’re driving. Sometimes, all you need is that little snack to keep you going until you can reach your destination and have a real meal.
Why Unhealthy Snacks Hurt The Trip
Nobody wants to be the scrooge that prevents people from eating what they want to. If you have some good reasoning behind your attempt to change the snack selection, though, people might listen to you.
First, note that fast-food restaurants and most sugary snacks will give you a brief rush of dopamine and sugar buzz, followed by an inevitable crash. If you’re in the car and have enough time to sleep that crash off, you might get out of the situation without a temper tantrum.
That said, you’ll miss out on the views and the fun that happens in the car. If you eat those foods then get out to try and do something enjoyable together, there’s no telling how everyone’s moods will interact.
The long road trip is every kid’s kryptonite. Go on a couple of road trips with adults and you’ll realize that not very much changes. This, in large part, is because we’re tired, energy-deprived, and malnourished on the road.
Gas station food and burgers aren’t conducive to a lot of energy. When we’re low on energy, the mood takes a massive hit. We can’t regulate ourselves and manage emotions with much success.
Then, we get brief emotional outbursts, followed by a low mood and frustration from the rest of the group.
What You’ll Gain from Healthy Vacation Snacks
Let’s not focus on the negatives.
In the absence of low energy and bad moods, you’ll get a big pay-off. For one, your family will be awake and alert in the car. There’s a better chance that you all will be talking, observing, and making memories together as you ride.
Those memories are less likely to be clouded by frustration or annoyance. When you see something exciting on the side of the road, you might be more game to get out and spend a little time exploring it.
Beyond those factors, you’ll notice that the lack of mid-day lulls and naps will allow you to get to sleep better. In tents and unfamiliar beds, sleep can be hard to come by.
When you wake up, you’ll be more energized and ready to hit the day. So, the diet has a massive impact on the entirety of your chip. Not to mention, packing your own healthy snacks is a lot cheaper than the alternative.
Want to Learn More Road Trip Tricks?
Hopefully, our look at road trip snacks and their importance was useful. There’s a lot more that goes into a great road trip, though, and we’re here to help you through it. From campsites to destinations, there’s a lot of variety in what you can choose to do.
Explore our site for more ideas on diet, travel snacks, road trips, and more.
Originally published on June 25, 2021.