We are headed off to New England this weekend, and our trip will include a lot of time on the road as we travel between scenic lakes and mountains. While the rest of the family will be intent on figuring out what clothes and books to pack, I’ll be more focused on what we’ll munch on along the way, especially when I pack our lunches (including Crunchy Rainbow Wraps) and snacks for the road.

Road trips are too often crammed with fast food and junk food, at least in part because we don’t have access to our own kitchens and supermarkets for sustenance. But with some forethought we can avoid most of the unhealthy and often expensive fare we encounter at drive-thrus, rest stops and gas stations, as well as stave off hunger emergencies that lead us to make unwise food choices.

Whenever we travel, I pack a bag full of healthy goodies for the trip. Here are a few of our favorite road snacks:

•    Fresh fruit (hearty fruit like apples, pears, and citrus survive long trips best)
•    Baby carrots and grape tomatoes
•    Homemade trail mix
•    Nuts like pistachios, walnuts, almonds, and sunflower seeds
•    Dried fruit (we love dried apricots and plums)
•    Turkey jerky
•    Granola bars or energy bars (store bought or homemade)
•    Lightly salted popcorn (If I have time I make my own or buy a large bag of a healthy, low-sodium  variety) and/or pretzels
•    Baggies of healthy cereal
•    Chocolate covered almonds or graham crackers for a sweet treat
•    Sugarless gum
•    Refillable water bottles
•    Napkins, wet wipes, and an extra bag for trash

I find road trips are also an excellent time to introduce my family to new healthy snacks, as they are often more adventurous when they are hungry and choices are limited.  It’s also a great time to polish off opened packages of food that would otherwise go bad or get stale while we’re away.

Packing our own lunch for the first day on the road can save a lot of time and money. Pair these Crunchy Rainbow Wraps with some water and a piece of fruit and you’ll have a healthy start to your trip, too.

Recipe: Crunchy Rainbow Wraps

  • Prep Time: 20 min(s)
  • Total Time: 20 min(s)
  • Servings: 6

A quick and easy customizable meal or snack.

Ingredients

    • 4 oz. light vegetable cream cheese (or use Boursin cheese or blue cheese or ranch dressing)
    • 6 large flavored wraps such as spinach or red pepper or whole wheat or flour tortillas
    • 6 large iceberg lettuce leaves
    • 1 1/2 cup shredded carrots (2 – 3 large carrots)
    • 1 1/2 cup shredded red cabbage, or use peeled and diced cucumber
    • 1/4 red onion, finely diced (1/2 cup total) (optional)
    • 1 avocado, sliced
    • 1 cup crumbled blue or shredded Cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese (optional)

Instructions

    • Spread a thin layer of cream cheese (or other spread) on one side of each tortilla, and top it with a lettuce leaf.
    • Distribute the fillings evenly on the tortillas (or customize them to your family members’ tastes), fold in the ends, and roll them up burrito or wrap-style. Cut each wrap in half diagonally to expose the rainbow within.

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