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.
- 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
- 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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Happy healthy snacking!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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.