Journey to a Healthier Snack Time
By Naomi W.
Turning bags of junky road trip snacks to healthy alternatives is easier than you think.
Long road trips call for patience, entertainment, and lots and lots of snacks. Instead of chowing down on whatever you can grab, plan ahead and pack some alternatives that can be more natural and possibly healthier. You may even be able to find some of the options below at a larger convenience store or rest stop along the way. Here are some popular car trip snacks along with different versions to choose from.
Instead of packing Cheez-its that are filled with trans fat, you can make your own vegan cheez-it crackers. Recipes for vegan cheese crackers can be found all over the internet and are healthier than the store brand ones. Making these crackers can also be a fun activity for children of all ages.
2. Strawberry Twizzlers
Everyone loves the red ropes of licorice that are Twizzlers, but they don’t love us back. Twizzlers are filled with both sugar and dyes that can cause hyperactivity and fatigue. Instead of packing Twizzlers on a long road trip, try organic, naturally flavored fruit snacks.
3. Chex Mix
Chex Mix is actually healthier for you than most snacks because it contains potassium, iron, and fiber while remaining low in sugar. But with high amounts of sodium, it’s best to keep the serving size small.
4. Gummy Bears
Beware of the delicious and colorful snacks that are gummy bears. Gummy bears, which are almost only sugar, tend to lead to bloating and hyperactivity in children-which is not good on a long car trip. Although they are still not as healthy as regular fruit, fruit snacks can be a substitute for gummy bears.
5. Oatmeal Creme Pies
One of the most popular road trip snacks are oatmeal creme pies. Packed with sugar and calories, they also tend to be one of the unhealthiest of them all. If you absolutely have to have this treat, you could try making it from scratch. There are even recipes free from gluten, dairy, and refined sugars.
Loved by everyone and easy to pack, chips seem to be the ideal snacks for the road. Just remember that not all chips are made equally. Baked chips tend to be healthier than regular potato chips. Also try reading the ingredients to find chips with less artificial ‘this and that’ in it.
Similar to chips, pre-popped, flavored popcorns can be easy to find and easy to pack. It can be healthier to buy bags of popcorn kernals and do it yourself. Buying unbuttered popcorn rather than the ‘movie theater butter’ popcorn can help cut down on the sodium and fat.
8. Muddy Buddies
Thankfully, having grown up during the age of the internet, there are tons of recipes for do-it-yourself muddy buddies. Unfortunately, you cannot cut out sweeteners entirely for this treat, but you can make a low calorie or high protein version of this addictive snack.
Once again, not all pretzels are made the same. Some are covered in salt, which means covered with extra sodium, and others are covered in artificial flavoring. In this case, it’s best to keep it simple- plain, organic pretzels. Lightly salted pretzel sticks are also better than the ones coating in a dust of artificial flavors.
Your dentist will want to steer you away from candy, but if you have to indulge, some options are better than others. Organic candy and even sugarless candies can be found in your run-of-the-mill supermarket. Remember that dark chocolate can be good for you, but infrequently and in small doses.
Whether it’s traveling to the beach or going out of state, snacks are a must. But, with the rate of child obesity increasing every year, it’s important to be conscious of what snacks are packed for trips, or even in the house. Reading labels and making snacks from scratch can sometimes be the best way to cut down on artificial ingredients and tons of sugar.