The Best Healthy Snacks For Traveling When You're Hangry & In A Hurry, According To RDs
More often than not, the stress of traveling makes me forget to pack something important each time I hit the road. Sometimes the culprit is an extra belt I meant to bring just in case, or a magazine I wanted to share with my mom during my visit. But the biggest thing I never manage to plan for? The snacks I'll need during my journey. As a result, I often have to choose between being hangry during my trip, or caving and taking the hit to my bank account from buying overpriced airport food. The best healthy snacks for traveling, if you ask me, are the ones you don't need to stress about when you're preparing them. Luckily, it doesn't have to be another huge to-do on the list; it just takes a little bit of careful and strategic planning.
The most important thing to remember is to bring foods that won't end up oozing, splashing, or doing anything else that will render them inedible or super messy. If you want to pack fruit, for example, opt for apples and oranges, suggests Monica Auslander Moreno, MS, RDN, founder of Essence Nutrition. "They're virtually indestructible, unlike pears and bananas, which will wind up gushing guts onto your iPad," she tells Elite Daily in an email. "Fruit is a great way to hydrate, as well as water, since fruits are actually mostly water (and a host of wonderful phytochemicals, which are beneficial to health)."
Whether you're heading off on a spectacular spring break adventure, or you're planning on experiencing a city that's always been on your bucket list this summer, here are some great treats to take on the road.
Savor some creamy yogurt
If you need a quick snack to kick off the beginning of your adventures (or you have access to a portable cooler), yogurt is the way to go, says Jenna Amos, RD and nutrition communications manager at siggi’s dairy. "Skyr, or Icelandic yogurt, is incredibly high in protein," she explains in an email to Elite Daily. Plus, the fermentation in the snack is great for keeping your digestive system happy, she adds. "The live active cultures and probiotics found in the yogurt may also help prevent or alleviate any digestive issues commonly experienced with traveling."
For an option without too much added sugar, Amos recommends siggi's no added sugar raspberry and apple flavor.
Pre-pop some popcorn
You might find yourself gravitating toward packaged popcorn at train stations or airport cafes, but for a healthier, cheaper, and more environmentally friendly option, Moreno suggests popping some organic, plain popcorn in advance of your trip, and transferring it to an eco-friendly container you can take with you.
There's no need to keep things totally plain and boring, though. "Shake with nutritional yeast and paprika, or make it sweet with cinnamon and nutmeg," Moreno recommends. "You can toss some raw nuts and cacao nibs in there for a fun flavor and texture twist and a lot of fiber."
"Fleas on a log"
You may have eaten the classic childhood snack "ants on a log" when you were younger, but Moreno suggests trying out a twist on the treat. Her version, which she calls "fleas on a log," swaps out the standard raisin component (according to the RD, they're not great for your teeth) for chia seeds.
"Sunflower butter is usually appropriate for people with nut allergies, so you won't potentially trigger anyone at a public beach or park," Moreno explains, "and the celery gives a nice hydrating crunch. The chia seeds give you a nice dose of omega 3 fatty acids."
Customize your own trail mix
"Snacks like trail mix — that contain protein, fiber, and good fat — will keep you energized and curb your hunger, so you won’t have a meltdown when traveling" registered dietitian Wendy Lopez, of Food Heaven Made Easy, tells Elite Daily.
Hate peanuts or some other common trail mix ingredient? Customize your own DIY trail mix using the bulk bins at your local grocery store, suggests Lopez. Almonds, raisins, and pumpkin seeds make for a winning mix, she says. (PS: You can always sneak in some dark chocolate chips if you have a sweet tooth.)
String cheese and banana
When it comes to eating fruit on-the-go, bananas are a great no-fuss option, since their handy skin protects from any grime at the bottom of your bag, says Jessica Jones, a registered dietitian with Food Heaven Made Easy.
For a more complete snack, bring along a string cheese stick for plenty of protein and fat, Jones tells Elite Daily. The snack's combo of carbs, protein, and fat will be sure to give you the boost of energy you need on a long journey (or even just a metro ride at rush hour).
Whenever I'm traveling, I always find myself reaching for some extra caffeine to keep my energy levels up. But thanks to limited packing space or strict liquid requirements at the airport, I sometimes find myself caving and spending money on an over-priced frap on the road. Moreno recommends packing powdered matcha green tea so that you can easily blend it into water, smoothies, or even on-the-go oatmeal for an extra kick. She tells me her personal favorite is RSP Nutrition's Matcha Bomb, which also includes MCT powder, a healthy fat derived from coconut that's great for keeping your energy up.