Truck drivers need to be alert and focused for long periods of time. A few minutes spent preparing these healthy snacks before drivers’ shifts can help them stay energized and satisfied while saving them money on the road.
Fruit contains many vitamins and minerals that can give drivers the energy they need to get through a long day. According to the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, eating plenty of fruit can help lower the risk of heart disease and stroke while positively impacting blood sugar.
Apples and bananas are pretty painless fruits to bring on the road because they don’t take a lot of effort to eat while driving. For truckers who prefer clementines and oranges, try peeling them before getting behind the wheel. Grapes can be more easily enjoyed while driving if they are picked off of the stems beforehand.
Nuts and seeds
Nuts and seeds pack protein that can help truckers curb hunger in between breaks. They are high in fiber, antioxidants and many other nutrients. Truckers should look out for added salt and sugar when searching for healthy nuts or seeds.
Almonds, cashews and walnuts are among the healthiest nuts. If pistachios are shelled before a drive, they can be a great snack since they are lower in calories than most other nuts. Some popular seeds include pumpkin and sunflower.
Tip: Truckers should store snacks in easy-to-open, reusable containers to avoid distracted driving. Alternatively, drivers can open snack containers while stopped for a break.
Protein bars and bites
Depending on the ingredients, protein bars and bites have the potential to fill drivers up while giving them an energy boost. However, several brands advertise their protein bars as health foods when they are actually more akin to candy bars. As with many snacks, drivers should pay attention to salt and sugar content.
Kind bars and Larabars are two brands that give truckers a good idea of the natural ingredients in them. Well Plated has a great base recipe for protein bites along with mix-in options such as classic chocolate chip and trail mix. Several recipes available online include differing amounts of protein powder, fruits, sweeteners and power ingredients, such as flax or chia seeds.
Plain, air-popped popcorn is a whole grain snack high in fiber and antioxidants with a relatively low calorie count. Lightly salting air-popped popcorn can still be a healthy snack to take on the road.
A quick Google search shows collapsible silicone popcorn poppers for drivers who have access to a microwave and want fresh, hot popcorn. A bonus: These microwave popcorn poppers don’t require any oil or butter.
Pre-popped popcorn brands available in supermarkets and gas stations have varied amounts of fat, sugar and sodium. Truckers should look for pre-popped popcorn low in sodium and sugar, such as Skinny Pop.
Cheese and crackers
Cheese is a great source of protein, calcium and vitamins A and B-12. Truckers should look for whole wheat crackers low in sodium and high in fiber.
Swiss and cheddar cheese are some of the cheeses that are lower in fat, but truckers should be wary about salt levels. Cheese is best consumed in small quantities. A quality cheese stick can be a great alternative to cheese with crackers because it has portion control built-in.
Truckers can cut bite-size portions of cheese and place them in a container with a cracker between each piece of cheese so that it’s easy to eat while driving.