Healthy Snacks for Summer Trips
Summertime is a time for family vacations, day trips, camping, and road trips. If your family is planning a summer trip, you might be thinking about what kind of healthy snacks to pack. The kids might be requesting chips, candy and sweet drinks, but you know better. Feeling overfed and undernourished is no way to spend a summer vacation. With a little planning and a few bottles of fizzy seltzer water, you can take your family’s health-conscious habits on the road.
Healthy Snacks for the Road
Sugary and salty snacks will leave you feeling thirsty and unsatisfied. Instead, pack snacks with protein, fiber and healthy carbs to satiate your stomach and your appetite. Rule of thumb – always include something fresh.
Great high-fiber snacks for the road:
- Fresh and dried fruit – apples, grapes, berries, bananas and raisins
- Pre-cut raw veggies such as pepper slices, baby carrot sticks, sugar snap peas and cherry tomatoes
- Unsalted nuts
- Whole grain crackers or pretzels
- Whole wheat pita chips
- Fiber bars like Fiber d’Lish bars
Healthy Snacks for the Cooler
Again, think protein, fiber and healthy carbs – pack a variety and save money on food you would otherwise purchase on the road. Start with refrigerated or frozen items and use plenty of ice packs to keep your cooler cool.
Snack options for the cooler:
- Cheese sticks or slices
- Frozen yogurt sticks or individual containers of yogurt
- Hummus or guacamole to eat with veggies or whole-grain crackers
- Frozen grapes and blueberries
- Pre-cut raw veggies
Healthy Snacks for Camping
Infuse health into traditional camp foods and make eating one of the highlights of the trip.
Try these camp snacks and campfire foods:
- Kale chips – Prepare these at home first. Drizzle olive oil on fresh kale, sprinkle with sea salt and bake at 375 degrees for 10 – 15 minutes for a crispy snack.
- Energy or fiber bars – fiber bars make great snacks while hiking. Try a tasty NuGo Fiber d’Lish bar!
- Trail mix – Make your own with unsalted nuts, dried fruit, seeds and carob or chocolate chips.
- Whole-wheat pancakes – Purchase a package or make-your-own mix. All you’ll need at the campsite is a little H2O.
- Baked beans – Tiny packages of fiber, protein and good carbs.
- Tuna melt – Marry tuna from a pouch and a slice of cheese on toasted bread.
- Roasted vegetable panini – Wrap it in foil and cook over a fire.
- Veggie or turkey dogs – A healthier dog option.
- Kebobs – Veggies, chicken, tofu or fruit on a stick.
- Baked apples – Core apples, fill with brown sugar and raisins. Wrap in foil and bake over hot coals for 15 – 20 minutes.
It’s easy to get caught in a junk food rut on summer vacations. With a little bit of planning, this year make choices that optimize your family’s health and set you up for a great trip.
Anne Marie Kuchera, MS, MA, RD, LPC is a registered dietitian, and both a licensed nutritionist and licensed professional counselor. She manages community-based obesity prevention and preventive health and wellness initiatives through Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC.