Sometimes life is busy, you are in the car and on the go! This is when it can be especially helpful to have healthy options for the car that you can have ready 24/7, for days where life is not slowing down. I have a plethora of ideas for healthy snacks to keep in the car.

As a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, this is something that I discuss with clients quite often. Today, I’m sharing my go-to suggestions with you all! The food ideas will be split into categories by food group. This lists are not exhaustive, but they should give you a few ideas as you start building your healthy car snack stash. It can also be helpful to keep a bag of napkins and utensils in the car for some of the options.

Note: Asterisks* indicate ideas for your littlest ones. During development, it is important to introduce a variety of foods from different food groups as you expand your child’s palate. If you are unsure if your baby is ready for a new food, it’s best to consult your pediatrician before introducing the food.

⛤Whole grains are a great source of carbohydrates, fiber, vitamins and minerals in the diet. They are sometimes even a good protein source!

Here are few ideas to try:

  • Granolas Dietitian tip: Look for options with minimal added sugars.
  • Muesli
  • Popcorn
  • Whole grain cereals* (some options may be suitable for baby)
  • Whole grain crackers

When we think of whole grains, we often think of wheat, but there are a variety of other grains and starches as well. Here are a few to look for: amaranth, barley, brown rice, buckwheat, bulgur, cornmeal, kamut, millet, oats, quinoa, rye, sorghum, spelt, teff, wheat, and wild rice.

⛤Vegetables are great sources of fiber vitamins and minerals.

Look for these creative options:

  • Freeze dried vegetables Dietitian tip: I look for options where the main or only ingredient is the veggie.
  • Beets, carrots, corn, edamame, okra, peas, sweet potatoes, tomatoes etc.
  • Dried vegetables
  • Kale chips, zucchini, etc.
  • Olive cups
  • Baby friendly, shelf-stable vegetables in jars or pouches*

⛤Fruits are great sources of fiber, vitamins, minerals and carbohydrates!

Here are a few of my favorites:

  • Freeze dried fruits Dietitian tip: I look for no sugar added- just the fruit!
  • Apples, bananas, blackberries, blueberries, grapes, mangoes, raspberries, strawberries, etc
  • Dried fruits
    Apples, cranberries, dates, figs, raisins, prunes, etc.
  • Fruit cups where the fruit is in water or fruit juice
  • Baby friendly, shelf-stable fruits in jars or pouches*

⛤There a plenty of protein options that you can keep in the car.

Check these out:

Nuts Dietitian tip: Look for unsalted options.

  • Almonds, cashews, hazelnuts, peanuts, pecans, pistachios, walnuts, etc.
  • Nut butter individual packs* Dietitian recommendation: consult your pediatrician first for your little ones
  • Seeds
  • Chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, etc.
  • Meat packages-
    Tuna, salmon, chicken, etc.
  • Protein powders that can be added to water
  • Baby friendly, shelf stables meats in jars or pouches*

⛤Meal bars can also be a great staple to keep in the car for the adults and bigger kiddos. I look for bars with whole food ingredients like nuts, fruits, and vegetables. These are two of my go-to brands, currently.
Larabars and RX bars

You can also make mini or full meals by combining foods from the options above into a trail mix. Dried blueberries and almonds is a great option, which I have pictured here, but the possibilities are endless!

I hope this list of healthy snacks to keep in the car has been helpful to you all. If you do have any questions, feel free to reach out at
Happy healthy snacking!


Aimee Sarchet is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist in Arizona. Her company, Nutrition Elevated, LLC exists with the goal of making nutrition understandable and practical- simple! She specializes in adult weight management and irritable bowel syndrome and partners with clients to achieve their goals in a way that is sustainable long-term. In her free time, you can find her producing videos for her Youtube account, Nutrition Elevated.

Youtube: Channel name “Nutrition Elevated”

27 thoughts on “Healthy Snacks To Keep In The Car

  1. All great ideas for healthy snacks anywhere, not just in the car! I’m 9 weeks pregnant and struggle with eating healthy. This list is full of great ideas that I can’t wait to implement when I go to the grocery store.

  2. Yup these are great snack ideas. The fact that they are healthy are pretty good too. Much better than my usual potato chips and candy.The whole family could enjoy the nuts and fruits in the car actually. These are definitely to be considered.

  3. Thanks for this Aimee. I tend to have breakfast in the car on the way to work in the morning and I’m always on the lookout for new healthy snacks to try add a little variety. There’s only so many meal bars you can try before they get a bit boring

  4. I’m literally always hungry and I need snacks on me all the time! So many times I’ve been out with friends and they’ve said we are meeting for dinner at a certain time, but we don’t actually eat until an hour later and then you have to wait for the food to arrive as well after you’ve ordered it. It’s torture for me!

    So I realised I need to carry snacks in my handbag at all times just in case. I wanted something relatively healthy but wouldn’t break in my handbag and didn’t need to be refrigerated.

    This post was really useful for me! Thank you.

  5. We love doing dried fruits and nuts – definitely more durable though we love fresh fruits too. We also bring lots of applesauce – can’t live without it!

  6. This list are super handy. I am planning to travel next week and I’m thinking of healthy snacks. Have an some snacks in my car but I was thinking to add a few more.

  7. I loved the blog post! These ideas are simply exciting. I prefer eating home food and avoid outside snacks and I am sure these items will make my car ride much more better and healthier. Good going girl.

  8. thank you for this great advices, I really love those whole grains I’m a great fan of muesli and popcorn love to eat those when I’m infront of the TV watching a movie. thanks a lot.

  9. I really love this post. I am planning to travel next month and I was thinking of what’s good to eat in the car. It can be hard finding good travel foods at any stores.

  10. At the moment I’m trying not to eat in the car, but recently I’ve been keeping healthy snacks at my desk and it helps so much with not eating junk food. I like keeping yogurt, fruit, biltong and popcorn

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