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Make Healthy Travel Snacks a Habit

We've all been there. Whether you’re listening to the plaintive wail from your child or from your own lips – "I'm hungry," can often put a sudden halt to your trip’s charted course.

Traveling may be broadening - but it often gives life and expression to our worst eating habits, which may lead to broadening in a totally unwelcome way! The need for quick bites at busy airports, the dilemma of limited and less-than-healthy choices, and the need to meet a budget while away from home can each contribute to eating patterns and dietary choices that wouldn't seem justifiable at home.

Planning for the Trip

When finalizing travel plans, it is always worth a little extra time and effort to assess what the itinerary will allow in terms of access to food. Needs and opportunities will differ, based on both the mode of transportation and the size of your travel party. But with a bit of advance planning, you should be able to accommodate your dietary needs, even with unexpected contingencies such as missed connections or scheduling delays.

In the Air:

Because most airlines don't serve food, it can be tempting to stop at an airport kiosk. Unfortunately, most travelers don't opt for a fruit smoothie or a chef salad; but rather, common airport staples more closely resemble personal pizzas and high-calorie burgers with a bag of fries. Rather than bemoaning the fact that it's hard to get good food when you're flying, just remember to provide for your own food options. Most healthy snacks will pass through security with no problems, but if you have any doubts, check regulations in advance.

On Tour:

When you're part of a sightseeing group, whether it's a jeep tour or a bus trip, you can count on food stops being limited. Equally as important as having healthy snacks on hand is keeping an insulated water bottle or two handy; fill one with iced tea or fruit juice for a change of pace and a refreshing treat. While comfortably hydrated, you can then rely on a variety of snack packs in your tote you keep your stomach from rumbling along the route.

On the Road:

If you're traveling in your own automobile, the task is much simpler; before you leave home, prepare a travel satchel with dried fruits, healthy trail mix, and a cooler with your favorite fresh foods; we recommend baby carrots and celery sticks, fresh fruit, and hummus. Take advantage of opportunities for informal picnics with moist towelettes, hand sanitizer and a blanket. For more tips on what to pack and how to pack out, check out our article on healthy snacks for road trips.

On the Water:

Summer on the water can be challenging for families; but, with the right preparation, life on the sea can be a beautiful adventure. In terms of packing, plain water should be at the top of your list; but, salty snacks can also prove essential to counteracting the effects of hot weather. Pack the elements needed for your favorite sandwich such as deli meats and cheeses, lettuce, and tomato slices in separate containers to keep them fresh and crisp; you may also want to consider packing pita or tortillas rather than traditional sliced bread. Fresh fruit is especially appealing in the summer; think melons and grapes, kiwi and citrus, among all the other choices available. And remember to boat safely by foregoing any alcohol until you're safely back on land.

Hiking and Camping:

Experienced hikers and campers always heed the adage "be prepared." There are numerous snack options to tuck into a backpack or a roll-around bag, or even to stuff into a jacket pocket. Just be sure that your snacks supply enough energy to support the hike home; always include foods with sugar, fiber, and complex carbohydrates to power your trip. This includes fresh fruits or fruit rolls, energy squares, and trail mix.

Anytime Essentials:

If you are a frequent traveler, or if you want to be, think about stocking your pantry with a "go away" box filled with nutritious snack options. Restock as necessary and you'll never be without choices when it's time to travel.

Travel-Ready Recipes

Searching for portable snacks to please your palate? Find a treat for any traveler with this healthy selection of recipes created by our Health Nut and Registered Dietitian.

No-Bake Granola Bars {gluten-free, vegan}

No-Bake Granola Bars Recipe {gluten-free, vegan}

A quintessential selection for any outing, granola bars provide a wholesome source of energy in a compact and tasty treat.
Ingredients: Gluten-free rolled oats, peanut butter, dried tart cherries, pistachios, flaxseed meal, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, agave syrup. unsweetened applesauce, melted cacao nibs or dark chocolate.
Total Time: 15 minutes | Yield: 8 - 10 servings

Chocolate Goji Berry Bars {gluten-free}

Chocolate Goji Berry Bars Recipe {gluten-free}

Another compact snack that breaks the mold, these energizing goji berry bars offer a great taste and an incredible flavor you’re sure to love.
Ingredients: Pitted dates, almond butter, quinoa puffs, goji berries, raw pistachios, coconut oil, dark chocolate chips.
Total Time: 20 minutes | Yield: 8 bars

Kale Quinoa Salad

Kale Quinoa Salad Recipe

This super salad is the ideal candidate to include in your cooler for a fresh snack on the go. Not only is it delicious- but it’s incredibly nutritious with an abundance of protein, vitamins, and fiber.
Ingredients: Quinoa, fresh baby kale, purple cabbage, carrots, fresh dill, boiled eggs, rice wine, extra virgin olive oil, black pepper.
Total Time: 25 minutes | Yield: 8 servings

Healthy Vegan Chocolate Truffle

Healthy Vegan Chocolate Truffle Recipe

For a fluffy dessert, pack these tasty truffles in a ziploc bag and enjoy their saccharine flavor that include a mere 70 calories in every serving!
Ingredients: Jumbo Mejdool dates, almond flour, chia seeds, flaxseed meal, cacao powder, agave or maple syrup, almond milk, unsweetened shredded coconut.
Total Time: 15 minutes | Yield: 24 truffles