The holidays are here and that means holiday travel. Whether you are driving a car, packing into a plane, or taking a train, the holiday season means embarking on some serious holiday travel.
One of the best parts of travel is the snacks. Instead of stocking up on snacks at the airport or gas station, plan and prepare ahead of time with some nutrient-dense foods that everyone in the family can enjoy, including the kids. Not only will you be saving money, but more mindful snack options can be great for energy, hydration and even preventing inflammation.
Here are ten simple travel snack ideas and tips from Registered Dietitian, Rhyan Geiger (RD), that are perfect for all of that upcoming holiday travel.
Craving something savory and sweet? Pair a savory snack with something sweet like these Crunchy Chocolate Chip Cookies. Enjoy a handcrafted salad or a homemade sandwich and then end with a bite of something sweet. Made with plant-powered, nutrient-dense ingredients, these Crunchy Chocolate Chip Cookies are smartly sweetened with coconut sugar so it is a more mindful snack you can feel good about enjoying.
Dried Jerky or Plant-Based Protein
Dried jerky is another super simple snack that goes great with holiday travel. There are a variety of jerky options available. Choose from beef, chicken, or even fish. If you prefer plant-based options, try dried plant-based options made from coconut, jackfruit, or mushrooms.
RD Tip: A shelf stable snack like jerky might be just what you need for traveling. Jerky is a great source of protein which can come in handy if mealtimes are delayed or sporadic because eating protein can help keep you feeling full for longer.
Energy Balls or Bites
Recharge your batteries after a long drive with a batch of homemade energy balls or bites. Small, but mighty, energy balls or bites are sure to give you enough energy to last for hours or at least enough to get you to your holiday destination.
RD Tip: Energy balls are the perfect snacking combination filled with fat, protein and carbohydrates. Instead of a snack packed with refined sugar, homemade energy balls have just what you need for snacking to sustain your day.
Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Sticks
Before you head out the door, take a look at the fruit bowl sitting on the kitchen counter and grab it all. Apples, bananas, and clementines pair perfectly with individual packets of nut or seed butter, and do not forget vegetables. Bell peppers, carrot sticks, and celery are easy ingredients that can be paired with hummus, nut or seed butter, even salsa. Get creative and try these Nut Butter Snack Packs, complete with a handful of Farmhouse Cheddar Almond Crackers. Kids, and adults, will love them.
Nuts and Seeds
Nuts and seeds are all healthy travel snack ideas. Stock up on your favorite nuts like almonds, Brazil nuts, cashews, macadamia nuts, pecans, and walnuts. Then, add some seeds like pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds for a variety of road trip snacks. You can even opt for a nut or seed spread instead. Enjoy a spoonful of nut or seed butter on its own or spread atop your favorite fruit and vegetable sticks.
RD Tip: A good source of fat keeps our brains top-notch. Nuts are a good source of ALA omega-3 fatty acids which are important for nervous system functions. Nuts also have vitamins like copper that our bodies need to promote healthy cognitive function.
Simple Yogurt Parfait
Select a clear glass jar that travels well and start building luscious layers to create a simple yet scrumptious yogurt parfait. Begin with a base layer of a favorite yogurt then add a layer of crunchy granola. Top with fresh berries or another fruit. If you do not have granola, grab a crunchy cookie and make a sweet new layer of flavor.
Soft Baked Bars
Don’t have time to shop for fruit or nuts? Try a soft Baked Almond Flour Bar instead. Whole pieces of fruit, nuts, and seeds are all delicately wrapped in a soft baked almond flour bar and are naturally sweetened with Mother Nature’s flavors using honey, maple, or molasses. Enjoy them on their own or get innovative and pair them with another mindful snack. Dark Chocolate Almond Soft Baked Bars complement a handful of fresh berries or use as a layer in a simple yogurt parfait. Need some more ideas? Check out these perfect pairings.
Need a midday snack? Pair a wellness latte with a handful of Sweet Thins. Choose from Chocolate Brownie, Honey Cinnamon, or Mint Chocolate for an afternoon pick me up. If travel has you stressed, enjoy a peaceful moment as you sip and savor the flavors of a warm latte with a satisfying Sweet Thin.
RD Tip: Looking for sweet treats that aren’t ultra processed can be challenging while traveling. Choosing snacks such as Sweet Thins that have minimal ingredients lists can provide more stable energy instead of a quick burst from refined sugar.
Tea Bags and Water
Save the planet (and some money) by traveling with your own reusable water bottle. Refill it at water fountains so you do not have to worry about pesky plastic. Flavor water with any extra fresh fruit slices you may have leftover from snack preparation. If you take your travel with some tea, pack tea bags to use while you are waiting to catch that next flight.
RD Tip: Staying hydrated while traveling is essential just like it is while you are at home. Try drinking 1-2 glasses of water upon waking up. Avoid drinking high sugar beverages and excess caffeine as those can cause dehydration.
Another healthy travel snack for holiday travel is a batch of handcrafted trail mix. Skip the store-bought versions that can be laden with sneaky sugars and make your own DIY version at home instead. Can’t decide between something salty or sweet? Why choose one when you can have both in this recipe for Sweet and Salty Cracker Trail Mix. Made with classic trail mix staples like salty (gluten-free) pretzel sticks and sweet (naturally-dyed) chocolate candy, be sure you make enough to share with the entire travel crew.
RD Tip: Customizing your snacking experience makes it even more enjoyable. Trail mix is portable and nutrient dense. Usually trail mix has nuts and seeds that are high in protein as well as heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Utilizing dried fruits is also a stable source of energy to keep you going all vacation long.
This holiday season, travel more mindfully with these ten super simple travel snack ideas. Don’t forget to help save the plan by reducing package and plastic waste by employing reusable travel containers like stasher bags and reusable straws for all of these delicious travel snacks. Happy snacking everyone!