'Tis the season for long family road trips to see the relatives you didn’t even know existed. Since I can remember, I've taken at least one long, tiring road trip with my family every year, and let me tell ya, the only thing that gets me through it is the food. I live for when we drive from San Diego, California to Tucson, Arizona and stop at the best sandwich place in the entire state, Beyond Bread. But before we get there, we make plenty of gas station stops, which means more snacks! When traveling, it’s important to have healthy snacks available for you, and luckily, gas stations are picking up on this as well. Here are the 10 best gas station snacks that are healthy, delicious, and filling.


I’m sure you’re familiar with KIND Bars, so I won’t bore you too much with this one. The reason I put it so high on the list is because these bars hit all three of the requirement for a good gas station snack: healthy (hello, ingredients like almonds, peanuts, and honey), delicious (I mean, any bar that contains chocolate or peanut butter is a win), and filling (most of the KIND bars contain between 4-7g of protein, plus tons of healthy fats!).

I know that they’re not the “healthiest” bar on the market, but they’re way better than choosing a candy bar or one of those whey protein bars where you can’t even pronounce three-quarters of the ingredients on the label. When picking out the bars, I recommend the dark chocolate nuts and sea salt, peanut butter dark chocolate, or the dark chocolate almond and coconut flavors. 

Raw Nuts

Holly Tishfield

This one seems so simple, but it’s so essential! Most gas stations have bags of raw or lightly salted nuts like almonds, pistachios, and peanuts for sale, so grab a few for a long road trip. They’re healthy, filling, full of healthy fats (to keep you focused on the road ), and last a while. Plus, they’re great for sharing with the entire car, so no one gets hangry.

Make sure that when you pick up the nuts, the only ingredients are nuts, sea salt, and any natural seasonings. Avoid ones coated in honey, sugar, or palm oil, because while they may be tasty, they take away from the nutritional value of the nuts.

Fresh Fruit

banana, pasture, vegetable, yellow summer squash, Fruit, Market
Amelia Hitchens

Nowadays, most gas stations have baskets of fresh fruit lying by the cash register, which is pure genius. There's usually an assortment of apples, bananas, and oranges, so if you like any of those, pick a few up for less than a dollar and munch on them on the road.

All Natural Popcorn

cereal, wheat, corn, popcorn, rice
Sara Carte

I don’t mean the white cheddar, full of artificial ingredients popcorn. I mean popcorn like Boomchickapop, which contains between three and five ingredients, depending on the flavor (sea salt is my favorite). Similar to raw nuts, popcorn is great for sharing in the car, which is why buying a big bag of the all-natural, less processed kind is a great idea when making a pit stop.


juice, ice, sweet, alcohol
Rachel Hartman

Adding a drink on here 'cause why the heck not? Most gas stations are jumping on the kombucha train right about now, so if you come across some during a pit stop, pick some up! With all the sitting you’ll be doing, you're body is likely to feel tired. Drinking kombucha won’t necessarily give you energy, but it will provide your body with some probiotics and nourishment it needs, and that will make you feel better. Plus, kombucha is way better than any of the soda’s or sports drinks you can buy, so if you have the money I cannot recommend it enough.

Greek Yogurt

tea, beer
Alex Frank

Recently, gas stations have begun to add a refrigerated section of foods, and while I don’t recommend their pre-packaged caesar salads or ham and cheese sandwiches, opting for a container of Greek yogurt is a great option. Make sure the yogurt you’re picking is plain, as it will contain the least amount of added sugars and the most protein.

Peanut Butter / Nut Butter Packs

Portable peanut butter and nut butter packs are truly a lifesaver, especially for people looking for snacks that are higher in fat. Portable nut butter packs, like Justin’s, contain roughly 7g of protein and 10-12g of healthy fats, which will help keep your brain focused for the long ride ahead. Like the yogurts, make sure the packs you’re buying are as low in added sugar as possible.


Tess Wei

If you’re looking for a low-carb and incredibly filling snack, then jerky is your friend. Most stations have beef jerky in a variety of flavors, as well as plain. Some also have turkey jerky for people avoiding red meat, so check that out too.

#SpoonTip: Packed jerky is very high in sodium, so if you’re monitoring your intake jerky might not be your best option.

Hummus Packs

Hummus packs are all the rage right now, and gas stations are finally catching up. You can find pre-packaged things of hummus (typically with crisps, but sometime they’ll have the packs with carrots) in the fridge section near the yogurt. The most common brand is Sabra, so if you’re a fan of their dip, you’re in luck! These packs typically have two or three servings of hummus, so while they’re great for portion control, they will fill you up easily. Hummus is full of healthy fats, protein, and fiber, so it’s a win when compared to some other dip packs!

Vegetable Cups

vegetable, tomato, carrot, pepper
Christin Urso

Rounding out the list is a boring but essential snack: raw vegetables! Some gas stations (even ones in the middle of nowhere) will have cups of raw vegetables like carrots, bell peppers, and celery. While these packs may be a bit overpriced, they’re much more nutritious than most of the protein bars and chips offered.

#SpoonTip: If you get the hummus pack and it comes with chips, simply swap the chips for one of these vegetable cups.

These are 10 of the best gas station snacks that will leave you full, satisfied, and nourished. Plus, they all taste amazing and will make any long, overdrawn family road trip a whole lot better. Just don’t forget to look at the ingredients of the snacks you’re buying, and to avoid any unwanted sugars, oils, or artificial ingredients. Healthy gas station snacks can be hard to come by, but they're really not that hard to find once you know what to look for. It's much easier to stay healthy on the road than you think!