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The easiest route to healthy food on the road

Thinking about hitting the road? Your vehicle isn’t the only thing that will need refuelling during your trip – so will you and your passengers! Whether you’re planning one last road trip before summer’s over or thinking ahead to long drives to sport tournaments this fall and winter, it’s always good to have a few ideas on hand for tasty, healthy snacks to keep you fuelled up.Perfect pairings
When it comes to constructing super-satisfying snacks, it pays to think in pairs. Grapes and cheese cubes are a perfect match, or try slices of bell pepper with hummus, apple wedges with peanut butter, or pickle spears wrapped in slices of deli turkey. The key is to contrast flavours and textures to keep it interesting. Including a source of protein means your snack will have staying power.

Keep your cool
Summer adventures require cool refreshments – and a focus on food safety. Use insulated water bottles to keep drinks chilled, and a separate cooler for food. Stash an ice pack in the bottom of a small, insulated cooler bag and then top it with refreshing snacks such as cubed watermelon, orange wedges or (frozen!) grapes. Choose seedless fruit to reduce the likelihood of seeing seeds scattered all over your backseat.

Get cracking
Tasty, satisfying and available in individual servings wrapped in convenient, environmentally friendly packaging, eggs are worth adding to your oeuvre. Consider serving them with a handful of whole-grain crackers for a bit of a flavour uplift (a bit of salt goes a long way) – and the complex carbohydrates will keep you satisfied for longer.

Bottoms up
Fill your reusable water bottles before you leave the house to ensure that everyone has a quick, clean, affordable beverage (that just so happens to be easy to clean out of your car’s upholstery). If you’re looking for something a bit less pedestrian, try mixing in a bit of fruit juice or, if your bottle has a strainer, some sliced fruit. Check out these ideas for refreshing drinks for people on the go.

Hit the bars
Of course, half the fun of a road trip is getting to indulge in sweet treats. If you’re looking for options that are light on refined sugar and heavy on flavour, consider making your own granola bars. Most recipes offer lots of flexibility, so you can replace ingredients you don’t like for things that you do, whether that means no raisins or extra raisins! A recipe that uses whole grains, nuts, dried fruits and natural sugars is a sure winner. Not up for baking? Here’s a guide to the best snack bars for kids.

Last resorts
If construction or an unexpected detour causes your best-laid snacking plans to hit a roadblock, don’t be afraid of the snack selections at the rest stop convenience store. Just make sure to go in with a plan! Look for fresh fruit such as apples and bananas; if that’s not available, cruise the aisles looking for items such as dried fruit, nuts, yogurt or granola bars. Don’t be afraid to read packages – generally, the fewer ingredients, the better. Look for snacks that are high in protein and fibre and low in sodium. (Salty snacks make you thirsty – and it might be many kilometres before the next rest stop!)

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