5 Healthy Convenience Store Snacks for Your Next Road Trip
In an ideal world, we would come prepared for every road trip with a bag of healthy snacks. Packing our own snacks before hitting the road can provide us with nutritious options as well as save time and money. But, for the busy adult, it isn’t always realistic. Fortunately, gas stations have come a long way in recent years and it’s more common to find healthy convenience store snacks that contain more of the nutrients that we want (vitamins, minerals, healthy fats, fiber) and less of the nutrients that we don’t (added sugars, salt, saturated fats).
If you get hungry on the road, honor your hunger, and consider pulling over to pick up a healthy snack that will keep you alert and energized as you continue your drive. These tasty-but-nutritious snacks can be found at most convenience stores and can help you stick to your nutrition goals while you travel.
1. Cheese Stick + Fresh Fruit
Pick up a cheese stick from the refrigerated section of the convenience store and a piece of fresh fruit, like an apple, orange or banana, from near the register before checking out. The combination of protein and fat from the cheese and healthy carbohydrates from the fruit make this a satisfying combination that will hold you until your next meal.
2. Nuts + Dried Fruit
Look for single serving packages of nuts, like almonds or mixed nuts, and dried fruit, like raisins. The nuts contain heart-healthy unsaturated fats and satisfying protein, while the dried fruit provides potassium and fiber. Choose dried fruit without added sugar when possible. You could even consider buying a package of trail mix made from nuts, seeds, and dried fruits for a fun variety!
3. Canned Tuna + Whole Grain Crackers
Canss or pouches of tuna packed in water are protein-filled, healthy convenience store snacks that pair well with a single-serving bag of whole grain crackers. The protein will help to keep you full, and adding whole grains as a source of fiber will keep you going for even longer. Look for “light” tuna if possible, since this variety is typically lower in mercury.
4. Cereal Cup + Milk
Take cereal beyond breakfast. Purchase single-serving containers of whole grain cereal and reduced fat milk, and pair together for a balanced snack containing fiber and protein. Look for cereal varieties that are lower in added sugar and have a whole grain, like whole wheat or oats, listed as the first ingredient.
5. Fruit and Nut Bars
If you’re in a rush to get to your destination, you likely need a snack that’s quick and easy to eat so that you can get back on the road as soon as possible. Fruit and nut bars made from whole foods, like Larabars, RXBars and Kind Bars, are a grab-and-go option that contain a combination of complex carbohydrates, healthy fats, and protein that will leave you feeling satisfied without feeling weighed down. Look for bars that are lower in added sugars and higher in protein to optimize nutritional power.
Healthy convenience store snacks are worth it to feel your best and stick to your nutrition goals. You won’t always be at a grocery store, well-stocked office, or at home when it comes time to eat—plan ahead so you know what to look for at your next pit stop!