Planes, Trains and Automobiles – Healthy Snacking For Summer Travel
When it comes to eating healthy, summer can be both a blessing and a curse! Kids are out of school, friends and family come to visit and vacations abound. For some of us, it means long car trips, beach vacations or travel abroad. We often find ourselves in need of food in unfamiliar or inconvenient circumstances. Often times, hunger and lack of planning results in making impulsive, unhealthy food choices. Remember how easy it is to eat a whole bag of chips or popcorn without even realizing it? For some of us, time spent traveling can result in hours of mindless eating followed by hours of regret. However, with a little planning and preparation, making healthy choices when traveling can be effortless.
When traveling or a train or an airplane, always plan for the worst, food wise, that is! Pack a variety of non-perishable snacks including fruits and veggies, crackers, cheese, protein bars and nut butter. These foods will definitely come in handy on a long flight or in case of a travel delay. Oranges, apples and bananas are naturally pre-wrapped and can easily be placed in a carry-on bag. For the little ones, pre-cut apples make a great snack along with individual packs of peanut butter or almond butter. Packing cut-up fruit in zip-top bags makes transport easy and provides quick clean-up when finished. Don’t forget about dried fruit as a portable option when traveling. Dried apples, apricots, pineapple, mangos and other fruits provide a quick bite of natural sweet without any added sugar. Mixing dried fruit with nuts and seed is another healthy snack option for traveling. Remember to pick non-GMO or organic when buying both fresh and dried fruits, nuts and seeds.
There are many vegetables that also travel well. Radishes, celery, carrots, bell peppers and cucumbers are just a few vegetables that work very well when traveling. They are easy to prep ahead and store in the refrigerator ready to throw into carry-on bags during last-minute packing. As an extra bonus, foods like salad dressings, nut butter, hummus, dried fruits and nuts are all available in travel-sized packages. If you don’t find these in-store, be sure to check online. A couple of my favorites are Tessemae’s salad dressings https://www.tessemaes.com/collections/pouches/dressings and Kirkland organic hummus singles https://www.costcobusinessdelivery.com/Kirkland-Signature-Organic-Hummus-Singles.
Traveling by car allows us better access to healthy food if we plan ahead. Packing a small cooler with water, fruits, vegetables and some of the foods that were listed earlier in this post makes snacking healthy and easy. Remember to keep the cooler in the car rather than the trunk for quick access to food and drinks. Using your own water bottle for all forms of travel is a great way to stay hydrated, use less plastic and fill up on a healthy beverage rather that soda or juices. Using phone apps (Yelp, Around Me) to locate healthy food options while on the road is another strategy that helps you make better choices when picking restaurants and planning meal stops. If faced with an unexpected stop at a gas station or mini-mart, stick to making whole foods purchases as most places with have fresh fruit, veggie and nut options. If you are traveling with children, allow them one ‘splurge’ item, providing healthy snack options for the rest of the trip.
A word of caution regarding protein bars. These bars are marketed as a healthy convenience food option. I do love that fact that they are portable food options for travel but; BUYER BEWARE. The majority of protein/power bars on the market contain 2-3 times the amount of sugar to protein. Along with ridiculous amounts of sugar, these ‘supposed’ healthy bars also contain long lists of artificial ingredients, preservatives and GMO additives. So do your homework when buying these bars and read the label before putting them in your basket- aim for whole food ingredients(nuts, seeds, oats), natural sweeteners (dates, maple syrup and molasses) and a short list of non-GMO ingredients that you can recognize!
So….now that you have some quick and easy tips for travel snacking, enjoy eating healthier whether you are in the air on the road!
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