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By Lisa D’Agrosa, M.S., R.D., EatingWell.com

Summer vacation season is here and it’s time to hit the road. If you don’t pack your own snacks there’s good news: Many gas stations now carry fresh fruit, cut-up veggies and hard-boiled eggs. When those aren’t available, here are some other healthy (gasp!) gas station options:

1. Fruit popsicles: Most deliver around 100 calories, less than half of what you’ll find in a typical candy bar. Even better: Go for brands with no added sugar if you can find them.

2. Beef jerky: Packed with protein to satisfy your snack attack for the rest of your journey, and low in carbs, unlike a lot of snack foods. Look for jerky with the least amount of sodium.

3. Snack bars: Most deliver 200-250 calories, so they’re filling and, unlike a bag of trail mix, are pre-portioned so you won’t accidentally munch through four servings. Watch out for super-sugary bars. Two healthy favorites made with whole ingredients like nuts and dried fruit are KIND bars and Larabars.

4. Nuts: Got a salty craving? Nuts are full of healthy fats and deliver protein, both of which will help keep your tummy from grumbling on a long drive. Keep portions in check because the calories from nuts can add up quickly.

5. String cheese: Skip the “cheesy”-flavored snacks and go for the real deal. These portable, pre-portioned sticks deliver protein, calcium and have less than 100 calories.

DID YOU KNOW? Some gas-station snacks sold in small bags deliver two or three servings per package. Share the bounty with your road-trip buddies.

(EatingWell is a magazine and website devoted to healthy eating as a way of life. Online at www.eatingwell.com.)

(c) 2015 Eating Well, Inc. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC

Photo: jpmatth via Flickr

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