If you’re one of the lucky people to be traveling by planes, trains, and automobiles this holiday season, then you know that it can often be a stressful and sometimes lengthy process. (I’m talking to you bumper to bumper traffic and “scheduled” to depart signs). Add some good old-fashioned hunger on top of that and you’re looking at some “hangry” peeps. (That’s hungry + angry mom). Or as my husband likes to tell me, I’m about to have a snickers moment.
So how do you avoid losing it on the poor airline attendants because your blood sugar is starting to dip? My solution…pack lots and lots of healthy snacks. And if you have kids, pack LOTS and LOTS of healthy snacks. I have snickers moments and we lovingly refer to my 4 year old as the snack monster, so you probably don’t want to mess with us when we are hungry.
Snacking on the road or at airports can not only be really expensive, but super unhealthy. Sure those combos may look really tempting, but they aren’t going to leave you feeling full for very long, plus they pack no nutritional value. Wouldn’t you rather indulge in the amazing goodies waiting for you at grandma’s house? I thought so.
Here are a few very simple things to look for when choosing snacks for your trip:
icon-check-circle High in fiber
icon-check-circle High in protein
icon-check-circle Low in sodium
icon-check-circle Low in sugar
Some of the snacks that I list below do have slightly higher sodium levels than others, but they also have additional nutritional benefits that will keep you fuller longer, unlike a bag of potato chips. Just make sure to always measure out a single serving size into portable containers or Ziploc bags. A separate cooler bag with an ice pack makes it easy to transport snacks that need to be kept cold.
If you’ve been a reader of EasyPeasyMom, then you know that I am all about keeping things as simple as possible, while also trying to make healthy choices. I’m giving you all of my favorite portable, healthy snacks that you can take on your holiday travels.
- Portable hummus & pretzels-Hummus is rich in protein, good carbs, and fiber.
- Organic trail mix-Traditional trail mix can be loaded with sodium, while lacking in actual nutritional value. Look for organic options that contain things like sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, unsalted cashews, raisins, and almonds. Ok, and maybe a tiny bit of chocolate in there is ok too! Better yet, make your own! No cooking required!
- Bananas-Not only are bananas delicious, but they also contain tons of important vitamins and minerals. particularly potassium which is great for maintaining normal blood pressure.
- GoGo Squeez Organic Applesauce Pouches-I can’t personally vouch for these, but my daughter is a big, big fan. I normally try and avoid them as a regular snack since they can get costly, but they are super convenient when traveling. Except that they get eaten very quickly so be ready with that next snack!
- Chobani Greek Yogurt Kids Squeezers-While we are talking about portable snacks for kids, these squeezable yogurts are another good option. The are gluten-free, contain live & active cultures, have no artificial ingredients (and no carrageenan which is hard to find). Throw them in your cooler bag and they’ll keep the kids happy!
- Organic boxed raisins-Raisins are a super easy, portable snack that both you and your kiddos can enjoy. They contain insoluble fiber and will keep you energized! (On second thought, maybe you should keep them away from the kiddos!)
- Organic granola bars-While the grocery store aisles may be jam packed with options, most of these bars contain processed sugars and artificial ingredients. Luckily there are more and more organic options available. One of my favorites is Cascadian Farms Crunchy Oats And Honey Bars. Another good choice is Nature’s Path Apple Pie Bars. And again, if you’re feeling a little DIY, there are so many great, healthy recipes out there. I’ve already done a whole post about one of my favorite homemade granola bars, check it out here.
- Organic string cheese-String cheese is another favorite of the kiddo, and I don’t blame her. Calcium and protein are key components of this easy snack and one that I enjoy as well.
- Pistachios-These may be a little messier, but they are full of antioxidants, minerals, and may help to lower bad cholesterol. Just remember to buy organic and unsalted and bring along an extra empty Ziploc to throw away the shells.
- Peanut butter and jelly sandwich-Sometimes you just can’t go wrong with an old staple. Buy organic jelly or jam, whole-wheat bread, and organic peanut butter and you are good to go. Feel free to substitute with your favorite nut butter!
- Chocolate Peanut Butter No-Bake Energy Bites-These delicious bars from Gimme Some Oven are amazing. Seriously. They are full of great stuff like flax seed, honey, and cocoa powder. They are filling and taste like dessert. Can’t beat that!
- Baked lentil chips-These were a recent find of mine while shopping at Earth Fare (kind of a mix between Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods) and although I was skeptical before opening the bag, I was totally sold after my first bite. We already know that lentils are chock full of protein and other important nutrients, so baked into a chip=a snack even my toddler will eat!
- Organic fruit salad-Chop up some grapes, apples, strawberries, and pineapple and you’ve got yourself a treat that will satisfy your sweet tooth while also giving you loads of Vitamin C and other nutrients.
- Crispy Chickpeas-When you are craving something with a bit of spice, these Mesquite BBQ Chickpeas from The Good Bean definitely fit the bill. They are high in protein and fiber, but they are also pretty high in sodium. Make sure that you measure out the correct serving size before you start eating them otherwise you’ll find it hard to stop. Not that I am speaking from personal experience or anything. They also come in a variety of other flavors like sea salt and sweet cinnamon that I can’t wait to try!
- Chocolate Covered Pretzels-Come on, you didn’t think I was going to make you go on a long trip without some sweets, did you? One of the highlights of going on a long road trip when I was little was daydreaming about all of the candy I could sneak into the car. And while my eating habits have (thankfully) changed over the years, everyone deserves a little treat when traveling. Chocolate covered pretzels are the perfect combo of sweet and salty, plus chocolate contains antioxidants right? (But if anyone asks, namely my daughter, I’m eating vegetables. Mama doesn’t always want to share!)
- Water-This one is pretty self-explanatory. And also very important. While it’s easy to be tempted by coffee, slurpees, and smoothies when traveling, nothing is better for quenching your thirst than plain old water. Especially if you’re flying because nothing will dry you out like airplane air.
- Vegetable medley-Vacation tends to mean eating outside of my regular menu. So en route I try and get my fill of vegetables as they might not be making tons of appearances once I’m at my destination. Grab some baby carrots and slice up some celery and red pepper and you’ve got yourself some crunch that packs lots of essential vitamins and minerals.
- Next Organic Dark Chocolate Coconut-If chocolate covered pretzels aren’t your thing, then definitely give these organic goodies a try. I found them at my local grocery store and they also have dark chocolate banana, which I haven’t tried yet. Only pack a serving size since they do contain a decent amount of fat and sugar, but on the plus side you’re also getting a good serving of iron and fiber.
- Organic Applesauce Cups-For those of you that prefer to actually eat your applesauce with a spoon (i.e. most adults) these 4 oz. cups are super portable, don’t need to be kept cold, and contain 100% of your daily Vitamin C. Just make sure to buy organic and unsweetened!
- Bare Crunchy Apple Cinnamon Chips-If you’re looking for a sweet crunchy treat, this one’s for you. They are non-GMO, gluten-free, a good source of fiber, and have only two ingredients. Like with all snacks, dole out a serving size into a Ziploc.
*Bonus snack-I didn’t include this one on my list because your fellow passengers might not enjoy the smell, but hard-boiled eggs make a great, nutritious, and filling snack on the go. I wouldn’t suggest snacking on them while flying, but if your family doesn’t mind the smell, crack open the car windows and enjoy a protein and calcium filled snack!
Don’t forget the napkins!
Equally important to your snacks, make sure to pack lots of extra napkins and/or hand wipes. You don’t want to show up at your destination with peanut butter hands and covered in crumbs. I used to tease my husband for stashing extra napkins in the glove compartment of the car when we would stop for meals on the road, but with a toddler in tow, I totally get it now!
Looking for additional snack ideas?
Nuts.com is a great resource for snack ideas. I love how they categorize their Healthy Snacks page so if you’re looking for vegan snacks or snack ideas for kids, it’s easy to link directly to that page. They also have some great ideas for healthy snacks on their Quick Snacks page. I can’t wait to try their organic dried watermelon!
Hope you found some useful ideas on here! Happy travels!
What are your favorite healthy snacks?
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