18 Healthy Travel Snack Ideas
When it comes to travelling, healthy eating is often one of the first things that tends to get thrown out the window. Although I am all for indulgence (Hello, wine and chocolate!) I still think it is important, and possible, to eat well while you are on the road. Whether you are travelling my plane, train or automobile, here the are some of my favourite healthy travel snack ideas.
Healthy Travel Snack Ideas
When it comes to travel snacks, there is certainly a need for added convenience, however that doesn’t mean that it all needs to be wrapped, boxed and packaged goods. Contrary to popular belief, you can actually take a lot food through airport security as long it meets the guidelines of liquids being under 100ml. It’s no secret that airports are not a mecca for fresh and healthy foods, so packing your own snacks ahead of time can help to alleviate the temptation to stock up on chocolates, candy and cookies every time you walk through the duty-free. In fact, there are plenty of real food travel snacks that you can prepare ahead of time and, if you look hard enough, there are actually some great items that you can find at most airports.
Fresh fruit one of the simplest grab-and-go healthy travel snack ideas. When picking fruit, opt for a handheld version that is not easily crushed in your carry-on, apples and bananas are typically the best choices. You can grab these from home before you leave the house, or they can easily be found at the check out of most airport kiosks and coffee shops.
2. Nut Butters
Fruit is great on its own, but let’s face it, it is much better slathered in your favourite nut butter. Single serve packets are commonly found at many grocery or health food store, and even at some chain coffee shops in airports, Justin’s and Artisana Organics tend to be the most common and popular brands. Alternatively, you can simply scoop a spoonful or two into a small container or bag before you leave the house.
You knew I had to fit vegetables in here somewhere! Veggies sticks are a really convenient snack and a great way to get some nutrition into you while you travel. Fresh vegetables like carrots and snap peas are great choices because they are easy to pack and won’t get crushed in your luggage, plus they require little to no chopping and peeling. These can be sliced ahead of time and packed up at home, or can easily be found at almost every airport terminal, you just need to look for them!
Raw veggies are always a healthy choice, but they are much more palatable with a little something to dunk them in. Consider hummus a satisfying way to add more veggies to your diet, and with all of the flavour options available on the market, your palate will never get bored. You can pack your own hummus and veggies at home, or buy single-serve containers at any grocery store.
Although there are many bars available on the market, not all are created equal. When opting for a bar it is important to consider the list of ingredients and choose bars with all natural ingredients and no added sugars. You can also make your own at home, like my No Bake Granola Bars, but my personal favourite brands are RXBAR, Bounce Energy Balls, Kind Bar and Larabar and, at least one, can easily be found at most airports.
6. Kale Chips
Although kale chips can be made at home, they are now so many flavours available in stores it’s not always worth the effort. Kale chips make a great alternative to regular potato chips because they have limited ingredients, and can technically be considered a serving of leafy greens (although I would suggest that is a bit of a stretch). Kaley’s, Solar Raw and Rhythm Foods are some of the most commonly found on the market.
7. Deli Roll Ups
Little deli meat roll-ups not only look cute, but are satisfying to boot! They can easily me made ahead of time with a little squeeze of your favourite mustard or spread to add flavour. When it comes to deli meats look for all natural versions with limited added sodium and sugar. If you are feeling ultra lazy or pinched for time, just bring a pack of deli meat and eat it on its own.
8. Dried Mango
If apples and bananas just aren’t your thing, try something a little sweeter with some slices of dried mango. This is one of my favourite sweet travel snacks and it feels like a real treat although it is an all natural treat. Look for versions that only contain one ingredient (mango), and contain no added sugar or oil. Surprisingly, you can find this in a lot of airports at a popular coffee shop chain.
9. Hard Boiled Eggs
When it comes to early morning travel, hard boiled eggs are one of my go-to healthy travel snack ideas. Not only are they incredibly easy to prepare, but they are inexpensive and a great balance of protein and fat making them incredibly filling. You can make them the night before or the morning before you travel, and peel them ahead of time or in the moment. If you are concerned about smelling up the plane, you need not be, just ensure you don’t overcook them and learn how to make perfect boiled eggs every time.
Not all cheeses are created equal, so I’m not talking Kraft single or string cheese, but if you are able to pick the right type it can be great snack rich in fat and protein. When choosing a cheese look for an organic variety if possible, and one with limited added ingredients. You can certainly cut a few slices off a larger brick at home or buy little single serve slices before you go.
If can tolerate dairy, yogurt is a great healthy travel snack idea as it is rich in protein and a source of healthy fat to help keep you fuller longer. Opt for plain full-fat varieties as much as possible and flavour them yourself by adding some fruit. If you pack your yogurt at home, simply ensure that the contain is less than 100ml, that way you can add lots of flavour with frozen berries, nuts, seeds, shredded coconut and some natural sweetener like maple syrup or honey.
Although you can certainly buy all sorts of popcorn varieties at the grocery store and convenience stores, the added flavours and sodium in many brands makes them a less than ideal choice. Popcorn is a great snack that can be made at home and packaged up for a savoury treat. Simply pop it on the stovetop in some butter or coconut oil, and season it to your taste with anything from sea salt to nutritional yeast, paprika or cinnamon.
13. Apple Chips
Not to be mistaken with dried apple, apple chips are crispy and crunchy and a satisfying combination of savoury and sweet. Although you can make apple chips at home, I personally don’t think they are worth the effort, as they can easily be found in stores or popular coffee shop chains in airport terminals. My favourite brands are Martin’s and BareFruit.
There is no better high protein snack to help keep you full like a little beef jerky. Jerky can easily be found at just about any grocery store, convenience store, or gas station, but it is important to note that not all brands are created equal. Look for brands that are made with grass-fed beef (if possible) and that have limited ingredients and added sugars. I am a big fan of Krave or Nicks Sticks.
15. Plantain Chips
Chips are a common grab and go snack, but most will keep you twice as hungry once you are done. Cooked in only oil and salt, most plantain chip brands are cleaner than standard potato chip version and more satisfying as well. Choose from sea salt, spicy or sweet options for a tasty healthy travel snack idea.
Avocado is good any way you slice it, but guacamole is probably the best way to enjoy it. Not only would it be a great alternative dip to hummus with veggies, but it always makes a great addition to some plantain chips. You can pack you own guacamole at home, just add an extra squeeze of lime on top to ensure that it does not brown before eating it, or check out a common coffee shop chain in most airports for a single serve pack.
When it comes to healthy travel snack ideas, pass on the almond and mix things up a little. Nuts are always a healthy choice, and trail mix can be too assuming it isn’t littered with dried fruit and candy. Instead of the standard peanuts and almonds, try for something different like pistachios or cashews. In fact, pistachios have far less fat per serving than almonds, so you get to eat a whole lot more keeping you occupied for longer of your flight.
18. Dark Chocolate
Just because snacks need to be “healthy” doesn’t mean they can’t be indulgent. A little bit of dark chocolate goes a long way to help satisfy a sweet tooth, especially on a long trip. Forgot the milk chocolate, and opt for dark chocolate that is 80% or more for maximum nutritional benefits. Try and buy a small bar to keep portion size to a minimum, or ration a larger bar by only eating a couple of squares.
Tips & Tricks
Although all of the above healthy travel snack ideas are great choice, pairing them appropriately can help keep you fuller longer and avoid the need to buy an extra treat when your flight is delayed. Here are some simple tips and tricks to consider when you are packing your snacks:
- Opt for Protein and Fat: In order to ensure that your travel snacks are satiating and you aren’t ordering the candy bar in the in-flight magazine, ensure that your snack combination contains a source of protein and healthy fats. Protein helps to balance our blood sugar to ensure that were are not experiencing dips and spikes in energy, and fat can be used as a source of energy as well. So pair your dried mango with hard boiled eggs and some pistachios for a great snacking combination.
- Include Fresh Fruit or Veggies: Most healthy travel snack ideas are dried, toasted or cooked, so the more you can include some raw and fresh food the better off you will be. During a long day of travel people tend to eat out of boredom, and not just hunger, so raw veggies and fruit are a much safer bet than candy and chocolate.
- Add a Little Treat: There is nothing wrong with a little indulgence while you are on the road, as long as it is the right kind. This is where a little dried mango, Lara Bar, or dark chocolate can help to satisfy a sweet tooth in a simple way.
- Pack Well: Packing your own snacks at home is always the best option regardless of whether you are flying across the country or simply headed on a drive to grandma’s house. Having the right containers can make or break your packing plan, so forgo plastics and look for glass or stainless steel to ensure you are using the cleanest options. DALCICI Stainless is my personal favourite brand and featured in this post. Made of stainless steel, they are a high-grade, non-leaching, dishwasher-safe food containers that incredibly lightweight and easy to store, making them a great travel partner.