Energy-Packed (Gluten-Free) Snacks for Road Trips

Summer means more road trips and outdoor adventures for our family. Enjoyable travel for us includes packing portable nutrient-dense snacks to keep our energy up and avoid epic meltdowns and episodes of “hangryness”.

Packing snacks for road trips also helps us save money and avoid consuming refined sugar, preservatives, artificial coloring and other gut irritating ingredients.

There are two options for road trip snacks. With a little bit of planning you can make your own snacks ahead of time or you can keep your pantry stocked with healthy snacks that you’ve purchased.

The key here is planning so that you can grab a small cooler and hit the road with minimal prep and less stress. There is nothing worse than your 2 year old crying because they are hungry or having a major melt down because you fed them something too sugary.

I used to rely heavily on the fruit and veggie puree that comes in those squeezable pouches.

Have you ever looked at the label on those organic fruit pouches to see how much sugar is in them? I just checked and the ones in my pantry have 8-12g per pouch. Yes, it’s fruit sugar but if your kid can suck back 2-3 of those, they have just consumed 16-36g of sugar. Nothing can ruin a road trip faster than a sobbing child that is hungry or jacked up on sugar.

Okay, now that I’ve reminded you of past road trip trauma let’s move on to simple snack ideas for the car, beach, park or trail.

DIY Options

  • Trail mix (mix raw nuts, seeds and dried fruit into little baggies)
  • Seasonal fruit (fill individual containers with berries, grapes, melon etc.)
  • Apple slices with nut or seed butter for dipping (use a container with sections)
  • Veggies with a dip (hummus or guacamole)
  • Popcorn with coconut oil and sea salt (pop it the day before)
  • Green smoothies (use a travel mug or a mason jar with a lid)
  • Almond Butter Date Balls (recipe inside the new Smart Snack Guide)
  • Nut-free Energy Bars (recipe also inside the new Smart Snack Guide)
  • Banana Nut Oat Bars (recipe also inside the new Smart Snack Guide)
  • Brewed ice-tea with lemon
  • Ice-water (add cucumber slice and mint for “spa water”)

Store Bought Options

  • Meat/pepperoni sticks (Nick’s Sticks are gluten-free and made from grass-fed beef)
  • Lara Bars (made with dates and nuts)
  • Coconut water (read the label to avoid added sugar)
  • Great Bear Paleo Bites ♥ (cookies that are coconut based, low in sugar, nut-free, gluten-free, apple cinnamon is my favorite)

♥Great Bear is a Canadian company based out of Oliver, BC and started by a Crossfitter. The paleo treat scene seems to be booming in the US but this is the first Canadian “Paleo” product that I’ve been able to find. Find out more about this cool company by visiting them on-line at

What are your favorite road trip snacks? With your permission, I would love to add your snack ideas and recipes to the Smart Snack Guide and continue to share it with our community.






energy snacks, gluten-free snacks, road trips, simple snacks, snacks

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