Road Trip Series #4: Road Trip Snacks

Best Road Trip snacks


This is the stuff we WANT to eat. Candy, chips, whatever. But all this does is contribute to the road trip spread.

It’s even harder with kids. Teens do not want to eat fruits and veggies. Today we left them in the car for a short “parents only” walk on the Cocoa Beach Pier (please don’t call the police-they are teens and the AC was running), and came back to them having torn into the tortilla chips. They had eaten most of the bag!  Mostly it was due to having nothing else to do while waiting in the car.  UGH

So what to do?

Family travel snack ideas

Ok. Ok. We are guilty of the road trip spread. You sit. You’re bored. The road is long. And you brought snacks! Road trips snacks can go either way-essential sustenance or ne’er do well evil.  

We have to plan ahead and push for the healthier snacks, all while allowing for some leeway.  If we can push the healthier snacks FIRST, we may be able to offset the amount of junk they (we) consume. 

Start with produce 

First, it’s fruit.  The easiest are apples, clementines, bananas (although they get smushed), and grapes.  I don’t like to bring containers that need washing.  If we brought berries, or pineapple, or the like we would need containers.  That’s no bueno.  Then we have to wash them.  So simple is good.  Have an apple.  It’s crunchy.  It takes time and it’s filling.  Oh!  Baby carrots are another good produce choice!  Crunchy, semi sweet, and time consuming.  You can eat them mindlessly. 

Next up… go nuts… and seeds.

Sunflower seeds are loaded with nutrition. They are a vitamin and mineral powerhouse and have a lot of protein for such a humble seed. Just be careful of the salt! One of the best things about sunflower seeds is they will keep you awake. You can’t fall asleep at the wheel when you are cracking seeds. So don’t get them out of the shell if you need a good road trip snack but do get lower sodium.


Speaking of protein, get yourself some nuts. The kids will gobble up the Jif To Go on those apples or those carrots. And you will feel like you’ve given them some nutrition. And the cocoa almonds feel like you’re being decadent and indulging  

Other healthy ideas.

There are a lot of other ideas to make your long road trip less fraught with complaints. For heavy duty protein, try some jerky. This Perky Jerky is particularly delicious! It’s tender and mild and not full of those wicked preservatives.

Seaweed snacks add some crunch and some vitamins and minerals to your diet. If your family is full of sushi fans like ours, you may like to give these a try!


Some type of crispy cereal, especially a rice-based one like Rice Chex, is great. It gives the crunch to keep you awake without the sugar rush of a wheat-based snack that is followed by a sugar crash. Plus it’s easier on the stomach than a wheat based snack. And it gives the kids the crunch they like to keep their mouths busy. And if their mouths are busy crunching there’s less complaining and fussing.

~Leslie Davis Dunbar

Jason Valade