Daniel Susco
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Road Trip Snacks: What To Bring, What Not To Bring, and Why

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Road trip season is just starting up, and as you get ready to hit the road, one of the top concerns is bound to be, “What should we take for snacks?”

Well, we have the answer, and reasons why.


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Bad Snacking

First, let’s talk about what isn’t good. Basically, it boils down to three things: Grease, sugar, and acid.

Greasy fast food is hard for your body to digest in general, and can make you tired. Sugary treats like candy, on the other hand, will give you a burst of energy, but are similarly hard for your body to process and the crash that comes right afterward will certainly not be good.

Soda is a double-whammy in this respect, combining the problems of sugar and carbonation. While sitting in a car seat for hours, soda can cause bloating, gas, and indigestion, leading to nausea and stomach pain—particularly if combined with candy.

Finally, acidic foods like those with tomatoes or citrus can affect your bladder, forcing you to make more bathroom stops.

A good snack, by comparison, is one that has healthy fats, protein, and fiber.

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Good Munchies

Let’s start with some foods that you can take on your road trip if you don’t have a cooler handy.

At the top of the list is definitely nuts and seeds. These are filled with healthy fats, fiber, protein, and other minerals, and are pretty portable. Similarly, protein or energy bars can do the trick, though you should look for bars with very few ingredients, like nuts, seeds, and dried fruit. Peanut butter is a good snack as well, so combining it with things like whole wheat crackers or some of the refrigerated items in the next tab is ideal.

Next, beef jerky is actually a really good road trip snack, primarily for its protein content. Just try to go for low-sodium versions, or even get your hands dirty and make some yourself (you should really try it yourself—it’s fun and delicious).

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For the Cooler

Finally, there are quite a few good snacks to pack in that mini-cooler.

One of those is definitely fruit. Grapes are easy in-car treats, and apples are sweet, can be pre-cut into slices for easy in-car snacking, and taste great with a smear of peanut butter.

Veggies are also a good idea, partly because they are filling and partly because crunching on carrots or bell pepper strips can help alleviate boredom. You can double these up by dipping them in peanut butter or hummus.

Finally, two of the oldest foods in human history are some of the best on the road: cheese and eggs. Toss some string cheese or cubed cheddar into the cooler, and eat either by itself or with some crackers. Then, hard boil an egg for a road-friendly (and protein-filled) snack.

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News Sources: Delish, Men’s Health, How Stuff Works, Reader’s Digest, Better Home and Gardens

Daniel Susco is a native of the Dayton-Cincinnati area, and has written on a multitude of subjects. He can discuss Shakespeare, expound on Classical Mythology, and even make witty jokes about Pliny the Elder (More like “Pliny the Rounder,” right?). In his free time, Daniel enjoys reading, cooking, woodworking, and long walks on the beach (just kidding – sunburn is no joke). See more articles by Daniel.