The official start of summer is here and that means you will be out and about more. Vacation, kid’s soccer games, baseball games, hiking, weekend getaways… So, you need some travel snacks options that aren’t all processed packaged junk. Below is my list of go-to of snacks that are packable.
Air Travel – You can actually take a lot of food through airport security as long as it meets the guideline of liquids being under 3.4 ounces. Liquids according to TSA is anything you can spread, squirt or spray. Foods that fall into that category are nut butters, hummus, salad dressing, salsa, cream dips, sauces, and gravies. All of these types of food must be in 3.4-ounce containers and fit into one clear quart-sized plastic bag. You can only bring one plastic bag per passenger. Also, you need to make sure all liquids dressings, sauces, nut butters are in a container, not on the food or you could lose your meal at the checkpoint.
Foods that don’t fall into the liquid category can be brought onboard in whatever quantity you choose. Those foods would be fresh fruits, meat, veggies, hard-boiled eggs, nuts, dried fruit, and dark chocolate.
You can also bring ice or a frozen gel pack to keep items cool. But they can’t be partially melted or gel packs that are getting squishy. All cooling packs and ice must be 100 percent frozen when passing through security, not partially thawed. Dry ice is a good solution to prevent melting; just be sure it's marked as such, wrapped and in a ventilated container.
Below are some tasty, easy healthy options for all types of travel and activities.
Fresh fruit is one of the simplest grab-and-go healthy travel snacks. Opt for ones that hold up well during travel, like apples, bananas or oranges. You can grab them before you leave the house or can easily be found at the check-out at the airport coffee shop.
Great add-on to your fruit and will give some protein and fat to make your snack last longer. You can find single-serve packets at grocery stores and some coffee chains. Make sure you look at the nutrition label and get one that doesn’t have added sugar. You can also scoop a spoonful or two into a small container before you leave the house.
There are a lot of nutrition bars out there, but they are not all created equal. Many are loaded with sugar and chemicals, so you really need to look at the ingredients before you buy. Choose ones that have real food and limited sugar. Some good choices are Kind Bar, RxBar and Epic.
Great portable snack. Just make sure if you are doing a trail mix that it’s not loaded with dried fruit and candy. Keep your serving size to a handful.
Great high protein snack to help keep you full. You can find it almost anywhere just read the nutrition label and get one that has the least amount of ingredients. Avoid any brands that have nitrites or MSG. Pass on any that have too much sugar or tons of salt.
Most of us don’t eat the recommended amount of veggies each day. You should be eating a minimum of 3 cups of veggies per day. The more the better. Veggie sticks are a very convenient snack and a great way to increase your intake of veggies. You can find pre-cut veggies at all grocery stores. If you are traveling close to home, slice up some ahead of time and keep them in a grab-and-go container or ziplock bags.
If you love avocados, this one is a no brainer. You don’t have it with chips. Goes great with veggies. My favorite is with jicama slices. You can pack your own at home, just add in an extra squeeze of lime on top to keep it from getting brown. You can also find it in single serve packs.
Need something to dip those veggies in? Hummus is a great option. Tons of different varieties. You can buy single-serve containers or pack your own.
Hard Boiled Eggs
If you are heading out early, this is a great grab-and-go breakfast. They are easy to prepare, inexpensive and a great balance of protein and fat making them incredibly filling. You can make them ahead of time or buy them at any grocery store.
You can now find olives in single serve packages. They are packed without the juice so no worries of messy spills.
Sometimes you need to have something a little indulgent to tame a sweet tooth. A little bit of dark chocolate can go a long way to help satisfy your sweet tooth. Avoid milk chocolate and opt for dark chocolate that is 80% or more to maximize the nutrition benefits. Get a smaller bar to help control portion size or you can always ration a larger bar by portioning out a couple of squares.
Hello! I'm Jori Zimmerman, a nutritionist and owner of Nutrition Savvy. I work with individuals that are looking to make dietary and lifestyle changes that will lead them to living a healthier and higher quality of life.