Summer is almost here, which means fun family road trips are quickly approaching. There's some things you always remember to pack for family trips like sunscreen lotion, comfy shoes for hiking, or your child's favorite toy. But one thing that can greatly impact how smoothly your trip goes is remembering to pack healthy snacks you and your kids can grab at a moment's notice when hunger rears its ugly head and you still have 100 miles to get to your destination.
Skip the salty, sugary temptations at gas stations or fast food restaurants when you're in a pinch on the road and choose one of these alternatives that offer either a punch of protein or an array of vitamins to keep you satiated. And they aren't all confined to health food stores. Many are available at convenience stores right alongside the other snacks, so your family should be able to enjoy them anywhere.
1. Peanut butter squeeze packs
Packed with protein, peanut butter is a great option whether you pair it with crackers, pretzels, or spread it across celery or fruit. Squeeze packs, like the ones from Justin's, are perfect for when you and your family are on the go. Their all-natural peanut butter is available in 1.15 ounce squeeze packs that are just 190 calories each, with 8 grams of protein per pack.
2. GoMacro protein bars
Protein bars have been getting a bad rap lately for not being as healthy as they claim to be. But luckily, companies like GoMacro makes protein bars with real ingredients, less sugar, and offer a variety of kid-friendly flavors including everything from cashew caramel to peanut butter chocolate chip. They make a perfect snack whether you're in the car or on a hike. Every bar is around 260 calories, and packs 12 grams of protein with just 10 grams of sugar.
3. On the go cheese packs
If you're looking for a protein packed snack with fantastic portability, look no further than cheese snack packs you can take on the go. Sargento offers Balanced Breaks, a small container that comes pre-packed with cheese and sweet trail mix, without a lot of added sugar. At 180 calories and with 7 grams of protein, there's no denying this snack is healthy for kids and adults, and can help stave off hunger until meal time.
Sometimes, nature just gets it perfect. High in potassium, B6, fiber, and vitamin C, bananas are a delicious, sweet snack that don't have a lot of sticky juice like other fruits, so little ones won't feel the need to wipe their hands on the car seats. Bananas are widely available and you can usually find these at most gas stations next to the counter or close to the snack aisle.
Like peanut butter, hummus is another perfect portable snack you can use as a spread or dip to use with everything from veggies to pretzels. Available in tangy flavors like roasted red pepper and roasted garlic, it's high in fiber and protein. Pick these up the next time you or your kids begin longing for something on the road and you don't want to give into your craving for gas station pizza. Your body will thank you for your choice.
Almonds are a great, flavorful and crunchy alternative to chips, and they can be found in just about every grocery store and gas station across the U.S. Whether you buy them salted, unsalted, or flavored with sriracha or soy sauce, they contain heart-healthy monounsaturated fats. One ounce (or roughly 23 almonds) is a great source of vitamin E, magnesium, fiber and protein.