I have a theory that you can tell how good a road trip was based on the number of snacks you have to clean up when you finally get to your destination. Of course, traveling is fun and especially when you're with friends. But the snacks! The snacks make the journey so much better. Sometimes you end up at a lit rest stop with tons of gourmet health food options, and other times you have to make it work with whatever the gas station or convenience store has to offer.So, what makes a great, healthy snack? It's best to try and find foods with a combination of carbs, protein, and fat, says Kathleen Meehan, MS, RD, LDN, an anti-diet registered dietitian in Houston. If you can, prioritize whole foods over processed ones, and get lots of options. "It's typical to get hungry every three to four hours, so it's important to have multiple snacks or plans for a meal if you are in for a long trip," Meehan says.AdvertisementIf you're traveling this weekend, ahead are the healthy snacks that Meehan suggests grabbing the next time you're at a rest stop or gas station.1 of 8
This tasty lean protein can be nice source of energy for road trippers who eat meat because it's usually low in fat and carbs. However, the sodium content for most brands is fairly high, so keep that in mind as the miles go by. PreviousINFOTrue JerkyThe Sommelier – Blackberry Merlot Beef Jerky$6.99BUY NextPlanters Is Bringing Back Two Beloved '90s SnacksThe Healthy Trader Joe's Snacks To Have On-HandWhy Americans Aren't Ready For Menu Calorie Counts2 of 8
Almost every gas station will carry nuts, Meehan says. Consider a almonds, hazelnuts, peanuts, pecans, pistachios, or walnuts, which have been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease. PreviousINFOPlanters' ChoicePlanters Nuts Variety Pack (1.75oz, Pack O…$8.19BUY NextAdvertisement3 of 8
Cheese and crackers.
Some chain convenience stores (like 7-11 and Wawa) carry neat little cheese and cracker packs — but not all gas stations are that nice. Cheese is a source of protein, and the crackers will provide energy and fiber. Meehan's tip: Always check the cooler to see if they have cheese sticks. PreviousINFOSargentoSargento Foods Sunrise Balanced Breaks$3.63BUY Next4 of 8
Fiber digests slowly, which means it will keep you full for longer. If you can find fresh fruit or vegetables, which have lots of fiber, get 'em. PreviousINFOAmazonHoneycrisp Apple, One Medium$2.09BUY Next5 of 8
You may not have had a PB&J since you were a little kid on a car trip, but the sandwiches actually make for a great snack for grownups, too, Meehan says. PreviousINFOJustin'sHoney Peanut Butter Squeeze Packs By Justin's$6.90BUY Next6 of 8
Yogurt and granola.
This combo checks all the boxes: carbs, protein, fat, and fiber. Plus, so many brands sell little pre-made parfaits that are packaged up and everything. PreviousINFOChobaniChobani Flip Low-fat Greek Yogurt, Almond …$1.49BUY Next7 of 8
Interestingly, fiber has been shown to encourage sleep. Munch on popcorn, a fiber-rich food, and it may help you fall asleep in the car. PreviousINFOSkinny PopSkinnypop Original Popped Popcorn, Skinny …$3.09BUY Next8 of 8
Look for one with nuts for a little more substance and staying power, Meehan says. Some protein bars use sugar alcohols (such as erythritol or sorbitol) to keep the sugar content low, but those can lead to uncomfortable GI symptoms. Keep that in mind so you don't have to ask for another bathroom break. PreviousINFOKindKind Protein Bars, Crunchy Peanut Butter$18.87BUY NextAdvertisement