Healthy Snacks for Travelers: What are You Munching on?

6/15/2011

Getting ready for vacation, or just on the road a lot, and wondering how to snack healthy? Eating healthy while traveling can be challenging at times, but the key is to plan ahead. Are you traveling by car, plane or train? Is your trip short or will you be traveling for a longer period of time? Make sure you answer these questions before hitting the open road.

"Lack of planning is the cause of unhealthy snacking while traveling," says Christine Eagle, clinical nutrition manager at Beaumont Hospital, Royal Oak. "Have a heart-to-heart with yourself about your goals for vacation." Do you want to be five pounds heavier, five pounds lighter or the same when you return? Will your carefully planned diet go out the window for a week or two, or do you plan to get fit while traveling?

Typical fare such as fast food, bags of chips and soda are almost always high in fat and calories with little valuable nutrition. With a little bit of effort, you can navigate your way around unhealthy foods and maintain a healthy diet while on a road trip.

Eagle suggests looking for snacks that are low in fat and sodium and contain protein. Take single-serving portions of food and divide them into smaller bags for snacking. Make sure to bring a cooler for food that needs to be kept cold and gather easy-to-use foods. For a short trip, you may just need water, but for longer trips bring foods with protein and carbohydrates. If you will be waiting a lengthy time at an airport, bring a granola bar, popcorn or unsalted nuts to keep you going, because the second you hit the airport, it's a fat-food fest.

Try these healthy snacks on your next adventure:

  • fresh fruit such as apples, bananas and berries
  • baby carrot sticks
  • low-fat cheese sticks
  • low-sodium crackers
  • unsalted nuts
  • granola bars
  • whole-wheat bagels
  • don't forget - bring water for hydration

Easily accessible, healthy snacks will give you energy and will be kind to your waistline. Enjoy your nutritious food as you take to the road!