The summer season is almost here, and thanks to vacations and other outings, more of your time is likely going to be spent in the car. In this post, Holley from our Kitchen Council shares 5 tasty and healthy snack ideas to keep you and your family well fueled during your next road trip.

Your bags are packed, the car is loaded, and you’re ready to set out on a road trip. Whether you’re heading home from college, taking a family vacation to the beach, or venturing across the country, you need to be sure to pack one important thing—snacks!

The long open roads have always felt kind of therapeutic to me. It’s a time to catch up with each other or just sing along to the radio. My husband laughs because I always have my pen and paper in-hand ready to make to-do lists or brainstorm ideas for my business. With two little girls (3 and 15 months), I find that we are stopping every few hours during our road trips for snack and potty breaks. With each break, I have to be ready to fight the temptation to pick up costly snacks from the gas station or greasy fast food from the nearest drive thru. My answer to combat these issues (as well as pleads from my oldest for candy) is to pack a small cooler or picnic basket with all of our favorites.

Here’s what you would find if you peaked into our basket:

1. Nuts or Trail Mix

I love anything with a mix of sweet and salty flavor, so the combination of dried fruit, dark chocolate, and nuts always hits the spot. Before we set out, I will either make my Rosemary-Roasted Almonds or pack a homemade trail mix of cashews, dried cranberries, crystallized ginger, sunflower seeds, and dark chocolate chunks. When it comes to nuts and trail mix, it’s important to be mindful of portion size because they are calorie dense. Consider packing zip-top snack bags with individual servings to keep from overeating.

2. Bite-sized Whole Grain Snacks

We love munchy, starchy snacks when traveling so I usually include dry cereal for the girls (like mini shredded wheat or whole grain O’s) and popcorn for my husband and I. Since it is so easy to mindlessly eat an entire bag of popcorn in one sitting, I portion it out into individual baggies and the girls’ cereal into snack cups.

3. Fruit

Fruit is always an easy and healthy option when we’re on the road. Ellie (our 3 year old) has been into eating “whole apples” lately—only “pink or red” ones. My new favorite for her is Stemilt’s Lil Snappers since they are smaller in size and perfect for little hands (and faster road trip breaks). In an effort to be exactly like her older sister, Frances has been enjoying the Lil Snappers too. Besides their super sweet taste, I think the hard cold surface on her gums make them the perfect teether. Grapes, pears, and bananas are also a simple and easy to pack in picnic basket.

4. Veggies and Dip

Veggies are always a great choice for a road trip snack and are easy to store in zip-top bags or plastic containers. Grape tomatoes, carrot sticks, broccoli florets, and sugar snap peas paired with the single servings of hummus or guacamole rank tops with our crew.

5. Halved Sandwiches

Sandwiches cut in half are easy to stash or pack in a cooler and because of their smaller size, work well as a filling snack to get us from meal to meal. We are a peanut butter-loving family so I usually make PB & J’s using an all-natural peanut butter (just peanuts and salt) and a small amount of jelly or sliced fresh fruit for sweetness. When I pack a cooler, I’ll make ham or turkey sandwiches then store the toppings like lettuce, tomatoes, and pickles in separate baggies so we can assemble them when we’re ready to eat.

And of course, don’t forget bottled water, paper towels, and hand sanitizer.

Did I miss any of your favorite road trip snacks? If so, what are your favorites?