When you’re on the road, it can be difficult to maintain healthy eating habits, particularly if you’re used to cooking your own meals at home and don’t know where to find healthy food while traveling. To stay healthy while traveling, you have to do some advance planning so that you can keep your snacks both healthy and delicious, especially when you don’t know what will be available to eat in your location at any given time. Here are some ideas for how to snack on the road in an optimal way.
Keep Things Fresh
When eating while traveling, it’s important to keep things fresh and avoid cranking up that hotel mini-fridge. Pack fruits and vegetables that travel well and don’t require refrigeration like apples, oranges, carrots, celery sticks, and cherry tomatoes. Wash and chop veggies ahead of time and pack them in reusable containers. Bringing a small cutting board and paring knife can help you continue prepping as needed. Dried fruits like raisins, cranberries, and apricots are also easy to pack and full of nutrients.
Dehydration is common when traveling, especially on planes. The body’s cells need water to function properly, so it’s important to drink plenty of fluids. Health experts recommend drinking at least eight 8-ounce glasses of water per day. Fill up a reusable water bottle after passing through airport security and make a point to drink regularly throughout your trip. If you want something with flavor, add lemon, lime, cucumber, or fresh mint. Staying hydrated will keep you feeling your best on the road.
Bring Protein-Rich Snacks
Protein is essential for maintaining energy levels and keeps you feeling full longer than carbohydrates alone. Great portable protein snacks include nuts, seeds, nut butters, jerky, boiled eggs, cottage cheese, Greek yogurt, and protein bars. Tuna or chicken salad paired with whole grain crackers also travels well. These foods will provide sustained energy as you go about your travels.
Seek Out Healthy Options
When stopping for meals on the road, seek out healthier options like salads, grilled chicken sandwiches, veggie-loaded wraps, oatmeal, and yogurt parfaits. Look for restaurants with a variety of menu choices so you can avoid greasy burgers and fries. Before leaving home, research healthy eateries along your route so you’ll know your options. If staying in a hotel, check to see if they have a continental breakfast or can provide healthy snacks like fresh fruit, vegetables, and hummus.
Bring Your Own Snacks
Rather than rely on whatever you can find on the road, bring your own non-perishable healthy snacks. Good options include trail mix, granola or protein bars, peanut butter crackers, baked kale chips, popcorn, and whole grain pretzels. These will ensure you have nourishment within reach when you need it. Dried and fresh fruits are also easy to pack. Bringing your own snacks gives you control over your nutrition.
Fitness and nutrition apps can provide inspiration for finding and making healthy snacks on the go. Search for ideas based on the ingredients and equipment you have available. Apps like Yummly, Fooducate, and MyFitnessPal can help you stay on track. Don’t forget to utilize the alarm and reminder functions so you remember to eat at regular intervals. This can prevent overdoing it when you finally do sit down for a meal.
Do some research before embarking on your trip to identify healthy restaurants and grocery stores along your route. Knowing what’s available can help you make smart choices and construct a nutritious itinerary. Call ahead to restaurants to ask if they can accommodate special dietary needs. For road trips, consider packing a small cooler with fruits, veggies, hummus, yogurt, cheese, and other perishable snacks. Stopping at grocery stores along the way allows you to restock as needed. A little planning goes a long way.
Eating satisfying snacks is key to maintaining energy and health on the road. Combine complex carbs, protein, and healthy fats for optimal nutrition. For example, apple slices with peanut butter, carrots and hummus, Greek yogurt with nuts and berries, or hard boiled eggs with whole grain crackers. These combinations provide energy, nutrients, and prolonged satisfaction so you can power through your travels.
What are some healthy snacks that are easy to pack when traveling?
Some great options for healthy travel snacks include fresh fruits like apples, oranges, and bananas; vegetables like carrots, celery, and cherry tomatoes; nuts, seeds, and trail mix; peanut butter or nut butter packets; protein bars; boiled eggs; and popping popcorn. These provide nutrients and satisfaction without refrigeration.
How can I stay hydrated while traveling?
Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water, limiting caffeine and alcohol which can be dehydrating, and avoiding very hot or strenuous activities that cause excess sweating. Drink a glass of water between alcoholic beverages. Utilize a refillable water bottle after passing airport security rather than purchasing new plastic bottles. Adding lemon, lime, cucumber or mint adds flavor and encourage drinking.
What are some tips for eating healthy in airports and on planes?
In airports, look for healthier options like salads, wraps, oatmeal, fruit cups, and yogurt. On planes, pack snacks like nuts, dried fruit, and protein bars. Request a special meal like vegetarian which is often more nutritious. Bring an empty water bottle through security and fill up once inside to stay hydrated. Avoid alcohol and salty foods that dehydrate.
How can I find healthy food options on a road trip?
Research healthy restaurants and grocery stores along your route in advance. Pack a small cooler with fruits, veggies, hummus, yogurt, cheese and other perishable snacks. Stop to restock fresh items as needed. Seek out restaurants with diverse menus vs. just burgers and fries. Take advantage of hotel continental breakfasts and fresh fruit offerings.
What food safety precautions should I take when traveling?
Pack perishable items in insulated bags with freezer gel packs. Use an insulated lunch bag for foods that don’t require refrigeration. Keep foods cold until ready to eat then avoid letting them sit out over 2 hours. Keep raw meats sealed and away from ready-to-eat foods. Wash fruits and veggies before eating. Drink only bottled water in areas with unsafe tap water.