10 Traveling Snack Ideas

snack "art"

It can be a good idea to pack a few healthy snacks for long travels over spring break or summer vacation.

A good snack may include fiber, protein and healthy fat. Try to limit sugar intake. It can only make you feel more sluggish while traveling.

Whether you are flying, driving or taking the train, here are easy, "no cooler required in" snacks:

1. Oatmeal packet. You can buy these pre-packaged or you can make your own. If you make your own combine instant oats, cinnamon, nuts and dried fruit. Add hot water that you can get on a plane during beverage service or at a gas station beverage station; grab a plastic spoon while you're at it.

2. Individual peanut butter packets. Pack these as well as whole grain crackers, a whole grain slice of bread, instant oatmeal or fruit.

3. Peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Leave out the jelly to avoid added sugar or use a no-sugar added jam. Consider swapping jelly for sliced banana, too.

4. Homemade snack mix. Grab sunflower seeds, Rice Chex or Cheerios, dried fruit, nuts, etc., from your pantry.  Consider avoiding chocolate due to melting and added sugar.

5. Fresh or dried fruit. An obvious snack choice for good reason. Add it to your oatmeal, enjoy on its own or dip in peanut butter.

6. Carrots, celery, cucumber, bell pepper, broccoli, etc. Vegetable intake on vacations is sparse. Add peanut butter or hummus to liven up the flavor. Look for individual hummus servings at an airport shop or gas station for another dip option.

7. Popcorn. Season with your own herbs and spices at home. Pack in a cleaned out, leftover plastic container such as a large yogurt container. The container avoids crushing. Toss the container in a recycling bin when done.

8. Pitted dates stuffed with peanut butter. Slice one side of a date. In the hollow center, scoop a small amount of peanut butter. Think of it as a simple, homemade Larabar.

9. Roasted chickpeas. Make these ahead of time. They require a little olive oil and spices. Roast until slightly crunchy. These can be eaten by hand at room temperature or added to a bought pre-made salad.

10. Water and tea bag. Avoid snacking out of boredom. Pack an empty reusable water bottle and fill with water after airport TSA. Pack a few tea packets that only require a cup of hot water.

Molly Sleger, RD, LDN, CDE, is a dietician at SwedishAmerican Hospital.