April 23, 2014

Get Travel Ready with these On-the-Go Foods

Sandwichby Elizabeth Patton MS, RD, LD, CDE

Spring break and summer vacation are just around the corner. Outside of work, it’s a relaxing, carefree time of year filled with outdoor activities and fun with friends and family. But travel can present several obstacles for maintaining a healthy eating plan. You can conquer “roadblocks” by planning ahead with some smart meal options. By bringing meal components and snacks with you on your trip, you can prevent temptation, make healthier choices more often and prevent extreme hunger. Plus, you won’t have to rely on the limited healthy options available at fast food restaurants, gas stations or rest areas.

For day trips, make sure to take along non-perishable snacks in case meals are delayed. For road trips by car, consider packing a cooler and reusable grocery bag with ingredients for meals and snacks. You’ll be able to dine whenever you’re ready without having to wait for the next stop. Of course it’s healthier than dining at a fast food restaurant, but also less tempting and less expensive. Wouldn’t it be fun to have a roadside picnic at an interesting locale along the way? Now that’s a road trip! Just don’t forget the silverware, plates and napkins. For air travel, take a few snacks in your carry-on bag and pack the remainder in a sealed, plastic container in your suitcase so they aren’t crushed during flight.

Select some of these items to pack for healthy meals and snacks while traveling:

  • Loaf of whole wheat bread or pita pockets
  • Sliced lunch meats, like turkey breast, ham or roast beef
  • Foil packs of tuna or chicken breast
  • Mustard
  • Pre-washed lettuce
  • Peanut butter and jelly (individual containers are available)
  • Low-fat yogurt or pudding cups
  • Pre-washed fruit, like apples, oranges, bananas or grapes (available prepared and packaged) i
  • Fruit leathers
  • Pre-washed veggies, like baby carrots, celery, broccoli or cauliflower (available prepared and packaged)
  • Low-fat vegetable dip, salad dressing or hummus
  • Graham crackers
  • Pre-packaged peanut butter crackers
  • Whole grain granola bars like Nature Valley®, Kashi®, or Balance Bar®
  • Packets of oatmeal or quinoa-based cereal
  • Popcorn (I love Naked popcorn by Rocky Mountain Popcorn Company)
  • Sugar-free drink mixes, like Crystal Light®
Pack these items in individual snack-sized plastic bags:
  • Whole grain and/or baked snack crackers, like Triscuits® or Goldfish®
  • Baked chips
  • Whole grain cereal for snacking, like Cheerios® or Wheat Chex®
  • Pretzels
  • Dried fruit
  • Nuts
  • Vanilla wafers
  • Animal crackers
  • Edamame
Just a little planning and preparation will help you enjoy your vacation to the fullest while keeping up with your plans for healthy eating too!
What’s your favorite on-the-go snack food? 
Elizabeth Patton MS, RD, LD, CDE is the chief blogger behind Good Food Tastes Gooda blog where Liz shares her passion for healthy eating and expertise on the matter regularly. Follow Good Food Tastes Good on Facebook.

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