Healthy Road Trip Snacks: Spring Break Edition
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When traveling, it can be tempting to opt for food that is convenient rather than healthy. Buckle up as Cooper’s registered dietitian nutritionists share some of their favorite healthy road trip snacks.
Katie Goldberg, MCN, RDN, LD
As a mom, I almost always keep snacks in my purse, whether we’re traveling or just running errands. The beauty of a snack bar is that it stays fresh in my purse or bag for a long time, so I always feel prepared. My favorite bar to carry with me is an RXBAR. Not only do they offer a variety of flavors (including a line for kids and new “minis”), they have a simple ingredient list and are a good source of protein and fiber. Sometimes you don’t know when your next meal will be (hello, flight delays), so having an easy option is key for me. An added bonus is the chewy texture of the bars prevents me from eating too quickly.
Another option I love to toss in my bag are clementines. Traveling with kids is all about finding activities to keep them entertained. Even little fingers can help peel a clementine—so you get a short activity plus a snack in one. Since dehydration can be an issue when traveling, citrus fruit is a juicy option and the fresh scent can actually help energize you. As a bonus, vitamin C helps ward off the germs from airplanes and rest stops.
Meridan Zerner, MS, RDN, CSSD, LD
I like the small multi-compartment organizers for travel that have sections for many different kinds of healthy snacks. In addition, I travel with individual ground flaxseed packets, oatmeal packets, protein powder, 1 oz. nut bags, dry roasted chickpeas, turkey jerky and crunchy freeze-dried fruit. Once I’ve arrived at my destination I buy popcorn and fresh fruit such as bananas and apples for the hotel room. If there’s a mini fridge, I purchase cheese sticks, hummus and carrots and low-fat milk or soy milk (to make in-room coffee better!).
All of my snacks and travel foods help fill in nutritional gaps I find when I’m away from home and out of my normal routine. Breakfasts can be expensive so packing the oatmeal and grabbing a piece of fruit cuts costs. Bonus tip: most of these items can be placed in a plastic bag and fit in a shoe for efficient packing in your suitcase.
Cynthanne Duryea, RDN, LD
Although they require refrigeration for storage, I like Wella bars and Perfect bars that are nut butter-based. They are fine to eat if unrefrigerated for part of a day (just grab one when you’re heading to the airport or place it in a mini ice bag for a road trip). I love the texture and taste of these bars and the fact they keep me feeling satisfied until my next meal.
Nina Salhab, MS, RDN, LD
I really like roasted, lightly salted almonds for a good source of healthy fats, fiber and protein. They travel well, keep me satisfied and full. I always pack individual bags of SmartPop! popcorn as a good source of yummy fiber. I pack at least one piece of fresh produce, usually apples or clementines. These are not too messy and are easy to carry. A few individually-wrapped Dove dark chocolates are always a welcome treat for my coffee breaks. Dark chocolate is a good source of antioxidants that satisfies my sweet tooth and sugar cravings.
Gillian White, RDN, LD, CNSC
When I travel, I always pack an empty water bottle in my carry-on bag to refill for free hydration. Sometimes when we think we are hungry we may actually be thirsty. Less regularity can also be a burden with travel, so bottoms up for prevention! If you find water to be a bore, jazz it up by adding any variety of the True Citrus® zero calorie unsweetened water enhancers.
Often hotels have nice Continental breakfast offerings such as yogurt, bananas, oranges, apples, dried fruit, nuts packets, peanut butter and individual servings of instant oatmeal or whole grain cereals such as Cheerios™. I like to make my own trail mix with plain Cheerios™, raisins or Craisins® and nuts.
To make sure I get enough fiber, I travel with small packets of chia seeds to sprinkle on instant oatmeal, yogurt or toast. I like the The Chia CO® brand. It has 66 calories per serving and 6 grams of dietary fiber as well as being a good plant source of ALA omega-3s.
So the next time you get on the road again, refuel with a few of these dietitian-approved snacks. To schedule a one-on-one consultation or learn more about Cooper Clinic Nutrition Services, visit cooperclinicnutrition.com or call 972.560.2655.
Article provided by Cooper Clinic Nutrition Services.