For professional CDL truck drivers, eating a nutritious diet can be a challenge, especially since there are so many unhealthy food options on the road. That’s why healthy snacks for truck drivers are so important. In this job, it can be very easy to quickly grab junk food or snack food (we’re looking at you, potato chips!) at truck stops while out on the road. Planning ahead by preparing a healthy snack to bring with you and prioritizing healthy eating can help your physical health and your budget.
Benefits of Eating Healthy Snacks on the Road
Eating a diet full of carbohydrates, sugar and fat is not only bad for your waistline but can also lead to serious health problems like high blood sugar, obesity and diabetes. Truck drivers need to be very mindful of maintaining a healthy diet and exercising while on the road, and the key to this is meal prepping. You’ll need to find a good balance of perishable and non-perishable snacks to bring with you, based on the size of the fridge most trucking companies provide in the trucks. It might seem daunting to prepare snacks and meals before starting your trip, but all it takes is a little planning to ensure you have nutritious snacks on the road to help you avoid tempting junk food—and help with your overall health and weight loss goals.
16 Healthy Snacks for Truck Drivers
Preparing healthy snacks for truck drivers does take a little effort, but it’s worth it. All it takes is going to the grocery store ahead of time and making healthier choices. Look for snacks that are high in protein to increase your cognitive performance and help you feel full longer. Below are 16 healthy snacks that are easy to prepare in advance and take with you.
Veggies and hummus
This snack is easy to eat while you are on the road. Just put some hummus in the bottom of a travel container or mug and place chopped veggies on top. Carrots, celery sticks, broccoli, cauliflower, cucumbers, snap peas, yellow, green and red bell peppers are all great vegetable options. Hummus is a great snack because it contains protein, heart-healthy fats and dietary fiber.
An easy choice for a quick snack. Fruits like apples, bananas, berries, oranges, grapes, watermelon and apricots are great choices. You can even add some peanut butter for a little sweetness.
Hard boiled eggs
A hard boiled egg is inexpensive, lower in calories, an excellent source of protein and a great thing to eat while you’re driving. They are also fairly easy to get because many truck stops and convenience stores sell them prepackaged.
Nuts can be a great portable and healthy snack when eaten in moderation. Almonds, walnuts, macadamia nuts and pistachios are great options for a quick snack-just make sure you choose the unsalted ones.
ITS driver enjoying a salad on the road.
If you’re craving some variety, trail mix can be another good option, especially if you make it yourself. Mix together your favorite nuts and seeds with some dried cranberries, dark chocolate chips and maybe some organic coconut pieces. Just make sure you don’t add too many sweet ingredients and keep your serving sizes small.
For your afternoon pick-me-up, try some dried fruit instead of reaching for a candy bar. This will give you a sweet snack but help you avoid a sugar rush (and the subsequent crash). Dates and raisins are great choices for this, but there is a whole host of dried fruit like apples, bananas, cranberries, apricots and more. Just make sure to limit your quantity because they tend to be higher in calories.
Greek yogurt with berries
One cup of Greek yogurt contains 17 grams of protein! Make sure you choose plain yogurt with no added sugar and add some fresh fruit or frozen berries to it. Strawberries, raspberries, blackberries and blueberries are great healthy options, as they contain many vitamins.
A small container of cottage cheese has about 14 grams of protein and is a great afternoon snack. You can combine it with canned peaches, crushed pineapple or apple sauce for a little sweetness. You can even try it with some pepper and hot sauce to shake things up.
Choose low-sodium or light cheese sticks or string cheese for a quick snack that’s high in protein and calcium. Just don’t overdo it, these can be high in calories too.
This is a good healthy meal when you’re trying to avoid unhealthy fast food. Just chop up your favorite veggies before leaving home (or buy them pre-cut) and wrap them up in a whole wheat tortilla with some hummus for a nutrient-packed meal.
Fish like tuna, salmon, sardines, and mackerel can be found in individual serving size containers and don’t need to be kept cold. Paired with some crackers, this is a great option with protein and heart healthy fats.
Moderate amounts of low butter and no salt popcorn is a delicious snack. Just be sure to look for the small bags to help keep your portions small.
This is a good option for the beginning of your trips since they need to be kept cold, but yogurt-based smoothies are a great way to get calcium and protein. You can make your own smoothies to customize the ingredients, or you can find pre-packaged ones at the grocery store, but make sure you check the ingredients to avoid too much added sugar.
Spread a rice cake with a little bit of your favorite nut butter, like almond butter or peanut butter, for a delicious snack.
Jerky (with no sugar, nitrates or junk)
Beef jerky and turkey jerky can be a good snack while you’re on the fly. It’s easy to buy on the road and doesn’t need to be refrigerated. Make sure to read the nutrition labels though, some brands contain a lot of sodium and sugar. Try to look for low sodium and natural brands.
Protein bars and granola bars
It’s very convenient to grab a protein bar or granola bar at a grocery store or gas station and they can make a quick and easy snack-but be very deliberate about which one you choose. Many protein and granola bars claim to be healthy but are packed with sugar, calories and fat, and offer very little actual nutritional value. In order to make sure you are choosing a healthier bar, look at the ingredients to see how much added sugar and saturated fat it contains. Some protein bars can rival candy bars, containing as many as 30 grams of added sugar! Sweeteners like cane juice and honey can increase the risk of heart disease and diabetes and artificial sweeteners like erythritol or malitol aren’t better options, so make sure any snack bars you purchase have minimal added sugar and saturated fat.
Look for bars with dietary fiber, especially ones with natural fiber from fruits, vegetables or nuts. It’s also important to be wary of bars that have significant amounts of protein, as the body can only digest between 20 and 40 grams of protein in one sitting. Some protein is great for building or maintaining muscle mass and growth, your body can only process and store so much protein at a time. Health bars can be a great snack, but be sure to choose carefully!
Eating healthy food, maintaining an active and healthy lifestyle and prioritizing healthy habits as a truck driver is vital for your job and your livelihood. The snacks above are a great way to kick start and maintain your health journey. A day in the life of a truck driver can bring many unforeseen circumstances, so it’s important to branch out and find what works best for you to stay healthy, always remembering the importance of eating well and exercise for truck drivers.
Looking for a Truck Driving Job? Check Out Our Current Driver Opportunities
At ITS Logistics, our drivers are part of the family. We offer dedicated opportunities with great pay and a competitive benefits package including paid time off, holidays, 401(k) with company match ‑ and most importantly, respect. We are currently hiring CDL A drivers for opportunities across the country.