Ultimate Travel Snack Guide
Snacking on a road trip or in the airport can be a real challenge if you’re health-conscious, on a budget, or just in a rush. If you plan ahead, though, you can easily have enough food on hand to keep everyone in your family or travel group happy and full from security to curbside pickup. What’s more, you have plenty of options for healthy snacking, even when you’re traveling. For a few ideas to get you started, check out the list of portable eats we’ve compiled below:
Granola bars. A staple for on-the-go eaters, granola bars are good for more than just breakfast. You can nosh on them any time of day, and if they have the right stuff, you’ll be full for the duration of a short flight. But buyer beware: many granola bars contain added sugars, and high-protein or high-fiber bars typically pack a lot of processed ingredients. Opt for natural sugars and protein instead, like the stuff you’ll find in Clif Bar’s line of Kit’s Organic bars . They feature organic seeds, nuts, and dried fruits for the perfect balance of savory and sweet—and a balanced mix of nutrients.
Homemade trail mix. In the same vein, trail mix brings together the best of healthy fats and proteins (from nuts and seeds) with natural carbohydrates (by way of dried fruits, typically). Most trail mixes you buy at the store will contain candy, dyes, or preservatives, though. If your grocery store lets you make your own trail mix, this might be a good option. If not, control what goes into your trail mix by making it at home—perhaps this fun version by Whole Foods that contains popcorn, dried banana chips, unsalted almonds or peanuts, and dried cranberries.
Fresh fruit. Any fruit that doesn’t need to be refrigerated can travel. Pack up a couple of apples, fill some small baggies with grapes, or bring a few bananas along on your trip for a quick snack. You might want to bring an extra bag along for trash if you aren’t going to be able to get to a trash can immediately after eating, for instance, on road trips or long flights.
Peanut butter and whole-wheat crackers. A whole grain plus a plant-based protein equals a healthy and filling snack. Search your grocery store for crackers that list “whole-wheat flour” as the first ingredient (chances are it’ll be advertised on the front of the box) and peanut butter that doesn’t contain hydrogenated oils, palm oil, or added sugar. Then pack up small plastic containers with a tablespoon or two of peanut butter and a handful of crackers, and dole them out as needed to hungry travelers. You also might be able to find pre-packaged peanut butter crackers that are relatively healthy, but again, look for warning signs of too many unwelcome extras in the ingredient list (i.e., “hydrogenated” or “sugar” in any of its forms).
Veggie chips. If you’re traveling with kids who won’t settle for anything less than a salty and crunchy treat, see if you can persuade them to try vegetable chips. TERRA Original Chips might do the trick. Instead of white potatoes, they’re made from other nutrient-dense root veggies (including yucca, taro, and sweet potato) and boast just 50 milligrams of salt (or about 2% of what the average person can eat in a day) per serving.