Dietitian-Approved Healthy Travel Snacks

  • Written By:Amy Shapiro, MS, RD, CDN
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After more than a year of lockdown many of us have travel on the brain. It’s been awhile right? As a Dietitian, I review travel strategies with my clients to ensure they’ll feel great, stay healthy and rebound quickly upon return. Yes even while dining out, drinking more and in many cases, exercising less. (Its vacation after all and relaxation should really come into play.)

I am a firm believer in “no excuse” moments though and eating on the road or in transit are moments you can control. Instead of indulging in fast food, junk food and soda before your vacation even begins, try some of my top recommendations on what snacks to pack for any craving when you are on-the-go.

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JERKY

High Protein to Curb Your Hunger

If you want to nip your hunger in the bud then reach for a protein based snack. Protein keeps our blood sugar stable and hunger in check.

Jerky: Obsessed and always nice to have a “not sweet” option. Some of my favorite brands include: Chomps, The New Primal, Country Archer, Stryve Biltong, Perky Jerky, Vermont Smoke & Cure.

Hard Boiled Eggs: They may not smell the best, but they do travel well and pack a nourishing punch! With 70 calories, 5 grams of fat and 7g of protein, one or two of these will hold you over for hours. Pack your own or pick them up at any rest stop, Starbucks or deli.

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Individual bags of nuts: When it comes to nuts, it’s all about portions. Measure them out yourself or buy “to go” bags. Pistachios are my current crush, especially the Sea Salt and Vinegar by Wonderful Pistachios. Who needs chips?

Edamame: Seapoint Farms makes a dried crunchy variety that are high in fiber, protein and low in fat and sugar. The 100 calorie bags are easily found at Fairway and they hit that salty spot every time. Looking for a little heat? Try the Wasabi!

When Sweet Cravings Strike

Long rides and fear of flying are two reasons my clients crave sweets and reach for candy. Unfortunately, this will leave you feeling worse, craving more junk food down the road. Instead reach for:

Mini Kind Bars or Health Warrior Chia Bars: These are about 100 calories, made from nuts and seeds, will hold you for a good couple of hours and come in flavors like peanut butter chocolate, banana nut, apple cinnamon, caramel and dark chocolate sea salt. I enjoy mine with coffee or tea and it really hits the spot!

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Dried Fruit: It’s chewy, all natural and contains fiber, vitamins and antioxidants. Just make sure there are no added sweeteners and you watch your portions. Mango is a family favorite (4 slices only please) and That’s It makes dried fruit bars (portion control) and a crunchy dried apple pumpkin seed mix that is amazing!

Chocolate: We mean dark chocolate preferably >70% cacao. The antioxidants, caffeine and fiber will keep you alert and satisfied no matter how long the trip. A few favorites include Hu Kitchen Bars and Skinny Dipped Chocolate Covered Almonds and their new, low-sugar peanut butter cups!

When only gummy candies will do: Reach for a better for you variety. We love Smart Sweets (watch portions as they are high in fiber!), Yum Earth and Wallaby Organic Licorice Bites.

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Looking for a Salty Something

Nothing really says road trip like a shelf stable bag of chips right? While Doritos are not in our rule book, so many great alternatives are!

Popcorn: Fan favorite over here. High in fiber, whole food based and a large volume snack, this can keep you going for hours. We recommend popping your own using an air popper (no added fat!), but we also love Bjorn Corn (vegan!), Skinny Pop and Pipcorn, for that heirloom variety.

Better for you chips: Leave the artificial colors and additives behind and elevate your snacking. These chips and crackers give you all the crunch and flavor without any junk! Many are gluten free too! Siete Foods, Beanitos, Hippeas, Simple Mills and Mary’s Gone Crackers truly provide awesome satisfaction!

Keep these tips in your back pocket until your next trip and go away feeling excited and prepared.

Amy Shapiro is the founder of Real Nutrition.

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