Protein bars are made for traveling: convenient and easy to carry
Sandwiches can get through airport security, even with peanut butter and jam
Traveling can wreak havoc on our diets, but packing a nutritious snack or meal before heading out the door can get us started on the right healthy eating track and perhaps give us a bit of wiggle room for indulgences before arriving at our destination.
But what travel foods are the most munch-worthy? To find out, I asked 10 nutritionists for their favorite snacks or meals when traveling by road or air. Below, their responses.
Nut butter and jam sandwich
“Individual containers having no more than 3 ounces of liquids or gels are allowed through security – and this restriction applies to yogurt, peanut butter, hummus, jam and apple sauce. However, sandwiches are acceptable. I travel with a sandwich made with toasted (prevents sogginess) sprouted whole-grain bread, natural nut butter and an all-fruit jam because it does not need refrigeration and provides a good balance of protein, carbohydrates, fat, fiber, vitamins and minerals. Toss it in a Ziploc bag with baby carrots, and you’re good to go. If you are a grazer, deconstruct the sandwich and bring along unsalted dry-roasted nuts, unsulphured dried fruit (or a banana) and rice cakes.” – Layne Lieberman, registered dietitian nutritionist, author of “Beyond the Mediterranean Diet: European Secrets of the Super-Healthy”
Homemade trail mix
“I always make my own trail mix to take with my during my travels. I roast several varieties of nuts, bake granola in the oven with some honey and add dried fruit, whole-grain cereals and maybe a few pieces of chocolate. It is great because I can change it up every time and I know the ingredients, portion size and all of the calories associated with it. (A lot of store-bought trail mix can have tons of added sugar, oil and calories.) It’s also balanced with carbohydrates, protein and fat, so I know it will help me feel and stay full. You can pack some extra in your checked luggage if it is a long trip.” – Wesley Delbridge, registered dietitian nutritionist and spokesman for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
“While I’m not much for bars as a day-to-day staple, I think bars are made for traveling; they’re so convenient and easy to carry. The Kind nuts & spices bars have about 200 calories, so it’s a pretty substantial snack and is mostly made up of satisfying protein, fiber and healthy fats from nuts. They’ve got only 5 grams (about 1 teaspoon) of sugar, which easily fits into my daily budget. Because I have celiac disease, I also need snacks that are reliably gluten-free, and this can be hard to find on the road. The Kind bars are really easy to find; many coffee shops carry them, and every airport sells them, so I always know I can find something healthy and suitable to eat if travel finds me at the airport and starving in between meals.” – Tamara Duker Freuman, New York City-based registered dietitian
Kind nuts & spices bars
“My favorite travel meal is homemade spinach, red pepper and cheese frittata muffins. Simply make a frittata using a muffin tin so you have egg muffins to grab-’n’-go. Eggs provide high-quality protein, which fills us up and improves our mood. Being in a good mood is important, as traveling can be stressful. Adding the veggies to the mix gives additional vitamins, minerals, nutrients and fiber for a well-balanced, colorful mini-meal. The frittatas should be eaten within two hours or packed in an insulated lunch bag with ice.” – Sarah Koszyk, registered dietitian, sports nutritionist, author of “365 Snacks for Every Day of the Year”