So you're planning your next trip, which usually means lots of organizing and preplanning. With all of the packing and scheduling you need to do to make sure all goes smoothly, it may be overwhelming to think about adding one more item to your list; planning healthy snacks to have with you for your drive or flight. Since you probably have more than enough details to handle already, here's a list of simple, portable, healthy and nutritious snacks to have on hand so you won't be derailed by the choices you may find at a rest stop, fast food restaurant or at the airport. Ready? Here's your "Pack Smart Healthy Travel Snack List".
The Pack Smart Healthy Travel Snack List
• Water: No problem if you're driving but If you're flying, just make sure you buy it after passing through the security checkpoint so you can bring it onboard.
• Fruit: Apples, pears, grapes, berries, melon, etc.
• Rice cakes: calorie and fat content vary so choose carefully.
• Dried fruit (mix with nuts for an extra boost of quality protein)
• Energy bars: There are so many varieties available but try to choose those packed with nutrients, not ones packed with fat, sugar and empty calories
• Cereal or granola bars: Look for bars with less than 10 grams of sugar and 3 or more grams of fiber.
• Almonds, peanuts, cashews, soy nuts, mixed nuts, etc. Keep servings to a small snack sized baggie
• Animal crackers, graham crackers or another type of low sugar cookie, cracker or wafer - lower fat/sugar choices than other cookies if you have a sweet tooth
• Fruit snacks (preferably made with whole fruit or juice)
• Trail mix- homemade or from the store, keep the serving to a snack sized baggie
• Canned fruit (remember to bring a plastic spoon!)
• Instant oatmeal (you'll need to add hot water)
• Canned or carton shakes (ex: Carnation Instant Breakfast)
• Peanut, almond or apple butter with whole grain crackers
• Low-fat/low sugar yogurt or yogurt combos (with granola, fruit or cereal within the lid or packed separately)
• Greek yogurt or Greek yogurt combo with honey or fruit
• Snack pack of pita chips or veggies with hummus
• Single serving carton or can of orange juice or tomato juice
• Reduced-fat pudding packs
• Snack packs of cut up veggies with light dip or low fat dressing
• Baked or reduced-fat potato chips, pretzels, veggie or tortilla chips
• Mini boxes of raisins
• Grape tomatoes
• Air popped popcorn
• Low fat string cheese or Laughing Cow wedge cheese and whole grain crackers
• Apple slices with snack sized packets or containers of peanut butter (remember to pack a plastic knife.)
• Mini Pita and hummus sandwiches-add lettuce and tomato too
• Sandwiches: Peanut butter and jelly or turkey with low-fat cheese on whole grain bread
• Mini or scooped bagel. Spread with light cream cheese, cottage cheese and whole fruit jam, peanut butter or melted light American or veggie cheese
• Small packs of cold cereal (preferably low sugar). Just add milk and remember to pack a spoon
• Pumpkin or sunflower seeds
• Fruit 'n Yogurt Parfait
• Hummus, turkey, cheese, Caesar or grilled chicken wrap
• Unshelled edamame
• Herbal or regular decaffeinated tea bags-You can get hot water almost anywhere and this may help ease travel stress!
Now to make things even easier, I'd suggest printing out this list (of course add to it or alter it so it's a list of snacks you really enjoy) and keep it in your favorite travel bag. For those who enjoy things neat, clean, organized or worry about items leaking in your bag you may even want to laminate it. Then when you're ready to pack for your next trip, you won't have to remember to pack healthy snacks, you'll simply be reminded when you see the list to choose whichever snacks work best for you.
When it comes to creating and maintaining healthy lifestyle changes, preplanning along with keeping things simple are two habits which ensure success. While these habits work well when you're home, maintaining them when you travel can help guarantee that you won't return from your trip with "souvenirs" such as a few extra pounds found on your belly, hips, butt and thighs!