By Brianna Laurila, RD, LDN
Tis the season for beach days, weekend getaways, long car rides and airplane travels. Being away from home and your normal schedule can become a challenge for eating healthy and staying on track. While planning your vacation and packing your bags, take a minute to plan out some nutritious snacks.
Here you will discover some easy, portable snacks to consider for any travel situation.
Always bring water along especially for those longs beach days. Drinking water keeps your body hydrated and regulates your hunger to prevent from unnecessary snacking and overeating.
Pack some seasonal fruits such as strawberries, watermelon, and cantaloupe for a low calorie, high fiber, sweet treat. Traveling via airplane? Whole fruits such as bananas, oranges, apples, grapes and more are airplane friendly options.
Pair fresh vegetables such as baby carrots, chopped celery, cucumbers, and sliced peppers with a small container of hummus for a protein dense healthy snack. Celery and nut butter make for a classic yet nutrient dense option. Fresh vegetables are also airplane friendly.
Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, nuts and seeds, hard-boiled eggs, tuna (in a pouch or can) are easy to transport and delicious to eat during vacation travels.
Running low on time but want to have some healthy options at hand? Portioned trail mix pouches, protein bars that are high in protein but low in added sugar, string cheese, pre-portioned yogurt containers, or hand-held fruits and vegetables are all healthy and easy grab and go snacks.
Whole grain pretzels or crackers paired with a hummus dip, nut butter, avocado, or even low fat cheese are satisfying, fiber-full options. Stick to the recommend serving size of grains to prevent from over indulging. Packing a sandwich on whole grain bread is another great option and allows you to include whole grains, lean protein, vegetables (such as lettuce and tomato) all into one healthy, hunger-quenching meal.
When packing your healthy food, remember to practice proper food safety by using insulated coolers with adequate ice packs. This will keep your foods at a proper temperature, which will prevent the growth of bacteria. Always make sure your fruits, vegetables, dairy products, and meats are kept cool, preferably 40 degrees or lower.
Planning your travel food in advance will allow you to stay on track, avoid temptations, and lessen the stress of traveling.
(Remember to take into consideration your own food allergies/intolerances, gastrointestinal disorders, medical history and diagnoses, and body composition goals. It is always recommended to collaborate with a physician, trainer, and dietitian for optimal performance and health management.)