Arielle “Dani” Lebovitz, MS, RDN
It’s June, and when I think of summer the first thing that comes to mind is vacation and travel! In my free time, I like to do anything outside, especially visiting new places and trying new foods. The summer months are the perfect time to put my favorite hobbies into action!
Whether I am hiking, biking, beaching, or traveling abroad, I ALWAYS pack snacks and staple foods to keep me fueled when I am on the go.
On one particular trip, my husband and I were waiting at the airport for an adventure and our flight was delayed until the following morning. At that time of the night, the airport restaurants were closed and leaving the terminal for a hotel did not make sense. The only available fare in the terminal was from the junk-laden vending machines. (Have you ever noticed that when you cannot have something, you would give anything to have it?) Luckily, I was prepared with pre-packed snacks. Unfortunately, a mother traveling with her three small children was forced to hit up the vending machine for chips, cookies, and candy bars.
It was that moment I realized that packing nutritious snacks for trips should be a part of every traveler’s checklist. As a dietitian, I see the value in educating others on healthful ways to do just that and avoid a food access emergency. Instead of digging for loose change or dollar bills to feed the vending machine, grab a nutritious pre-packed snack and save that money for souvenirs!
Air travel, in particular, affects what you are able to transport, and where you travel limits what goods you can bring with you. When on a road trip, hiking, or at the beach, you have more options. The following are my tips for better-for-you travel snacks no matter where adventure takes you this summer.
Road trips are a great way to travel and bring the comforts and conveniences of home with you. If you are traveling via a car, a cooler is a great way to pack perishables for snacks along the way so you can skip the drive through window. Be sure to store foods at appropriate temperatures to prevent the potential for food borne illnesses.
Here are some of my favorite cooler friendly snacks:
- Turkey and cheese sandwiches halved and individually wrapped
- Fresh fruit such as apples and oranges
- String cheese
- Fruit/yogurt tubes can be frozen and put in the cooler as a frozen yogurt treat on the road!
- Bolthouse Farms® Veggie Snackers
Non-perishable snack-and-go for the road:
- Fruit and veggie portable pouches are an easy on-the-go snack
- V8® 100% Vegetable juice
- A bag of whole grain pretzels
Hotel-friendly microwaveable snacks:
Up, up, up and away – Nonperishable, TSA-friendly snacks
Traveling via airplanes means snacks should be shelf stable and meet Transportation Security Administration (TSA) requirements such as the fluid limit of 3.4 oz. in carry-on bags.1 Fluids include yogurt and fruit pouches. Unless you are willing to give up precious toiletry space, eat your perishables before security or be prepared to share them with your friendly TSA agents.
Air travel friendly snacks:
- Dried fruit and nuts are easy to pack snacks that are satisfying, sweet, and savory. (Note: If you are traveling internationally be sure to check the customs website before you leave. Some countries have strict biosecurity laws on the types of foods you may bring with you. In general, commercially prepared dried fruit and nuts are acceptable.)
- Protein bars with 10 grams of protein and 5 grams of fiber - an easy way to power you up for a day of sightseeing!
- Goldfish® Cheddar Made with Whole Grain Crackers or Goldfish® Grahams - I like to stock my purse with these grab and go snacks.
- Whole grain cereal - in individual snack bags for vitamin fortified snacking
- Empty water bottle. I never get on a plane without a water bottle-As long as it is empty, you will get through security without a problem and can fill it up once you get to your gate. This is an easy way to save money and stay hydrated!
Visit a local grocer! One of my favorite things about traveling is trying new food. Whether you are going abroad or staying stateside, every region has unique products and iconic dishes just waiting to tantalize your taste buds. Visiting local grocers can help you stock up on snacks to keep you moving and provide opportunities to try something new!
Wherever your adventures lead you this summer, be prepared with on-the-go snacks and experience local fare along the way!
Credentials per Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics: Arielle “Dani” Lebovitz, MS, RDN, CSSD, LD, CDE
Arielle “Dani” Lebovitz is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (R.D.N.) and health communications professional. Dani is currently the Sports Dietitian at Robins Air Force Base in Warner Robins, Georgia. She manages: health education program development, implementation, and evaluation; event planning for health fairs and 5k races; speaking engagements and briefings; newsletter content and editing; and, marketing communications and social media. Dani writes, edits, produces, develops recipes, and hosts “Dani’s Delicious Dish,” a weekly, web-based Facebook series endorsed by Air Force Medical Services that helps people live better, healthier lives (YouTube: Dani’s Delicious Dish). She holds a Master’s of Science in Health Communication from Boston University and completed her dietetic internship at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center. She also holds two specialty certifications as a Certified Specialist in Sports Dietetics and a Certified Diabetes Educator. Dani’s passion is educating children about nutrition to help foster healthy and “fruitful” relationships with real food.
1. Transportation Security Administration Accessed April 8th, 2015