Nutritious & Healthy Snacks for Truckers
Long hours on the road and easy access to fast food stops and convenience store junk food makes it easy for truckers to fall into unhealthy snacking habits. Donuts and salty potato chips are undeniably tasty but eating them every day is a sure way to pile on the pounds. Consuming foods full of sugar, salt, and saturated fats can also make truckers feels sluggish and less energized.
Next time you are on the road, instead of reaching for a bag of chips or M&Ms, try munching on some fresh fruit or wholesome trail mix full of nuts and seeds. There are plenty of healthy alternatives to overly processed foods and they make some of the best snacks for a road trip. Our New England driving school has compiled a list of our recommended healthy travel snacks for the road that will keep truckers healthy and feeling full.
Fresh and Dried Fruit
There is perhaps no easier healthy snack for truckers than fresh fruit. Packed with fiber and nutrients, strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries are convenient and easy to eat when driving. For bigger fruit like apples, pears, and melons, be sure to cut them down into bite-sized pieces before heading out onto the road. When buying fruit cups at gas station stores, try to avoid the overly processed looking ones that are often packaged in syrup because those often contain a high amount of added sugar.
If you are prepping for a long-distance haul and are looking for non-perishable food for truck drivers, dried fruit is a great option. Raisons, dried cranberries, dates, and dried apricots are common choices, but you can also snack on slices of dried apples, peaches, and mangos. Try to avoid dried fruits that have been coated or seasoned, as they may contain added salts or processed sugar.
Nuts and Seeds
While dried fruit is good on its own, they are also really tasty added to a trail mix or granola with nuts and seeds. Packed with protein, vitamins, and heart-healthy fats, nuts and seeds are some of the best snacks for truckers trying to maintain good health. You can eat roasted nuts plain or mix them into yogurt or homemade granola bars. Almonds, walnuts, sunflower seeds, roasted peanuts, pecans, and pre-shelled pistachios are good options to have on hand. Avoid honey and chocolate coated varieties because of the high sugar content. It is also important to be aware of serving sizes. Many nuts do contain high levels of healthy fats but it is important not to overeat even these kinds of fats.
Vegetables and Dips
Another way to get your daily dose of nuts is by using nut butters. Mix them into protein shakes or use them as dip for fresh vegetables. Nut butters can also be stored without refrigeration. Natural peanut butter, almond butter, and mixed-nut butter varieties are easy to find and perfect for celery and carrot sticks. Another tasty vegetable dip is hummus, which pairs great with broccoli florets, bell pepper slices, radishes, and cherry tomatoes. Hummus often has a lot of flavors and spices mixed in, but is made from a base primarily containing chickpeas which are high in protein and fiber, and low in fat. To ensure these snacks are easy to eat while driving, cut them into bite-sized pieces and pour the dips on top of them beforehand.
Cheese and Yogurt
If you want to add a healthy amount of protein to your diet, dairy items like cheese and yogurt can be easy and delicious travel snacks for the road. Since regular cheese is high in fat, look for low-fat options. String cheese, mini cheese wheels, and bite-sized cheese cubes will satisfy your cravings. Yogurt, especially Greek yogurt, packs even more of a protein punch. Only eat yogurt cups at a truck stop where you can safely use a spoon without taking your eyes of the road. If you are on the go, blend yogurt with fresh fruits and a splash of water to create a delicious shake.
Popcorn and Rice Cakes
Craving something with a crunch? Instead of greasy potato chips or artificially flavored cheese puffs, munch on some popcorn or rice cakes. Both are gluten-free, air-popped, low in calories, and contain high-fiber whole grains. Avoid pre-flavored varieties because they are likely to be high in salt and artificial ingredients. Brown rice cakes are great with nut butters spread on two of them. Flavor plain popcorn yourself with healthy oils and spices. Seasoning combinations like chipotle, garlic powder and parmesan; unsweetened cocoa powder and coconut oil; and cinnamon with a pinch or brown sugar are sure to satisfy your taste buds.
By preparing some of the healthy snack options listed above, truck drivers can avoid junk food and baked goods loaded with sodium and sugar, which can leave them feeling sluggish. Instead, they can stay energized by eating light and nutritionally rich foods during their long hours on the road.
Despite stereotypes, truck driving doesn’t have to be a job that tanks your health. If you are considering training for a career in trucking, give our New England CDL school a call. If you are ready to get started on your Class A license training or Class B CDL training, contact New England Tractor Trailer Training School (NETTTS) and find out how to sign up for our CDL classes today!
Mike Demars is a 28-year trucking veteran, as well as a graduate of New England Tractor Trailer Training School with well over a million miles logged on the road. Prior to being the Regional Director of Safety & Training for our Connecticut locations, Mike spent over a decade on the road as an owner/operator of a long haul transportation company and previously managed drivers as a Driver Manager and Safety Director. He has achieved the level of Master Instructor and holds his certificate in Collision Avoidance, and is often sought as an industry expert to discuss practices within the field and to testify in transportation and trucking matters.