Bags? Check. Tent? Check. Portable BBQ? Check. Snacks…?
No doubt you have a checklist that you go through every time you head out on a road trip. And surely it’s filled with super important things that you can’t go without. But, if snacks aren’t already on there, do yourself a favour and add them to that list. If you’re going to subject yourself to long trips in the car then you’re going to want to make sure you have some nibbles in the car that will not only satisfy your taste buds but also help keep you alert and in control of your vehicle.
Since most cars don’t have cool boxes, you’re also going to want to make sure your snacks don’t need to be refrigerated. So we’ve put together a list of six of our favourite unrefrigerated car snacks to help you through a long and arduous car journey.
1. Boiled sweets
They’re not exactly the healthiest of snacks, but we have to treat ourselves every once in a while. I’m sure we all have fond memories of mum breaking out the butterscotch sweets half an hour or so into the trip. That’s always what seemed to confirm that we indeed were going on holiday!
The good thing about a boiled sweet is that it lasts a long time, so they keep the sweet tooth satisfied for longer before your mind starts to work its way back towards your stomach again. And if there is a nutritional upside, it’s that the sugar will help keep the driver alert at the wheel.
Snacking on nuts is a great way to keep you feeling full but without having the guilt that comes with eating junk food. Nuts have loads of good fats, lots of protein and plenty of energy. Because of their nutritional content and high protein they also help you feel full for longer, so you’ll be able to get on with your long stretch of road for a while longer before reaching for more.
It’s probably worth sticking to larger nuts such as cashews, walnuts and or macadamias so that you don’t drop them on the floor. The last thing you want is for the driver to be distracted by a dropped peanut.
3. Dried fruit
Nice sweet dried apricot or apple is always a winner among everybody in the car. Due to the drying process there is no need to refrigerate it, and the sweet taste always makes the kids feel like they’re receiving a treat. Dried fruits tend to be slightly higher in calories but they certainly have their nutritional benefits that you don’t get from sweets and lollies. Their energy content will help everybody feel satisfied should you find yourself on a long stretch between roadhouses.
4. Dried meat
Meat snacks such as beef jerky, beef biltong and droewors are excellent for long car journeys. Because they are all made from natural ingredients, you know that what you’re giving your kids to nibble on isn’t just pure calories. These meat snacks are made by marinading fresh meat and then removing the moisture content to create a chewy, delicious snack.
Good quality dried meat will get its flavour mostly from the meat but also additional natural flavours, meaning there shouldn’t be any sugary or otherwise unnatural ingredients. This leaves a tasty snack that is extremely high in protein which helps to keep you feeling fuller for longer. It’s also a great way to get some other healthy nutrients into your body, like iron, and vitamins B6 and B12. Plus it will keep the kids quiet and occupied while they gnaw on a big stick of chewy jerky.
5. Hard boiled eggs
Another healthy, high protein snack that will definitely keep everybody’s tummies from getting the rumbles. A single hard boiled egg can feel like a whole meal, which is perfect if you find yourself unable to stop off at a roadhouse for something more substantial. Keep in mind that while they don’t need refrigerating immediately, it’s best not to keep them for more than a few hours so ideally you want to break them out not too far into the trip. Oh and also, remove the shells before you set off. You don’t want to be de-shelling hard boiled eggs in the car!
6. Muesli bars
Always a favourite. Cheaper muesli bars are often full of sugar, so while they may taste great, they’re not all that good for you. But higher quality muesli bars generally have much better ingredients, including nuts and dried fruit. They’re also nice and easy to hold onto, so they will make less of a mess in the car than many other snacks. Just be sure to avoid anything coated in chocolate or yoghurt because the last thing you want is chocolatey paws wreaking havoc all over the back seats of the car!
Next time you’re heading off on a road trip, consider popping some of these snacks into your day bag. Not only will they make a long trip a bit more enjoyable, they might also save you if you’re unable to stop off for a proper meal. Have a great holiday!